Cuckoo (2) (The)

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X:1 T:The Cuckoo [2] M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air S:Hugh O'Beirne, 1846, piper, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim via William Forde B:P.W. Joyce - Old Irish Folk Music and Songs, No. 614 (1909) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D Dorian G2|A2f2 ed|eddcAG|Ac d2 dc|A2c2 DE|FEFG (3ABc| d2A2F2|{E}GE D2D2|D4||DE|FEFG (3ABc|d2d2 ed|d2 cAGA| c4 DE|FEFG (3ABc|d2 cA AF|{E}GE D2D2|D4||




CUCKOO [2], THE. Irish, Air (3/4 time). D Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Joyce obtained the melody from the collection of County Cork musician and lawyer William Forde (c. 1795-1850), who acquired tunes in Munster and North Connacht in the 1840's. He never published his collection (save for an 1841 collection of 100 Irish airs, along with 100 Scotch and 100 English ones), but his manuscripts came into the possession of collector Edward Pigot, and finally P.W. Joyce, who published many of them.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Hugh O'Beirne, professional piper[1] Ballinamore, south County Leitrim, collected in 1846 by County Cork collector William Forde (1795-1850) [Joyce].

Printed sources : - Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 614, p. 316.






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  1. P.W. Joyce concluded that O'Beirne had been a fiddler in his Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909, p. 296). However, William Forde, the only collector who had direct contact with O'Beirne, wrote in a letter to John Windele of Cork, dated Sept. 21, 1846, that he had obtained over 150 airs from a piper, Huge Beirne. Forde was seeking to supplement his collection with music from Connaught and the north, and was glad to make the musician's acquaintance, staying on in Ballinamore longer than he originally planned. He also found O'Beirne in poor health in the time of Great Famine, writing "Stirabout and bad potatoes were working fatally on a sinking frame," and aided the piper by improving his diet ("but a mutton chop twice a day has changed Hugh's face wonderfully").