Caves of Cong (The)

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CAVES OF CONG/KONG, THE. AKA and see: "Red Haired Man's Wife (2) (The)," "Loch Lein," "Thios ag Beal Bearnais." Irish, Air (3/4 time, "with feeling"). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The air, for which there are no words under this title, is well known (both air and words) as the song "The Red Haired Man's Wife." Belfast collector Edward Bunting (1773-1843) printed a version of the tune, very similar to O'Neill's setting, save for the transposition.

The village of Cong is in County Mayo, close to the shores of Loch Corrib, in County Galway. Nearby are numerous caves that are historically and geologically significant. The Pigeon Hole, Ballymaglancy, cave has stalactites and stalagmites, while Captain Webbs Cave, Kelly's Cave, Lady's Buttery and Horses Discovery caves in the vicinity of Cong town are mostly accessible. The Giant's Grave cave near Cong was a megalithic burial chamber and nearby at Nymphsfield there is one of several stone circles in the area.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bunting (Ancient Music of Ireland), 1840; No. 83, p. 63. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 161, p. 28.

Recorded sources: JNBS001, Brian Stafford & Josie Nugent - "The Caves of Cong" (2014).




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