Dark Loch na Gar

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DARK LOUGH NA GAR (Loc Dorca Na Gar). AKA - "Dark Loch na gCaor," "Dark Lochnagar." Irish, Air (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Lochnagar is a mountain in the Grampian range of Scotland, although the title refers to the lake that lies in its northeast corrie (kettle), also called Lochnagar. Gearoid O' hAllmhurain believe this tune may have been learned in County Clare from Scottish sappers in the 1830's who were sent to the region as part of the British survey of the country. Whatever its origins, it became the melody of a popular 19th century song circulated on ballad sheets (the ballad gives reference to the Scottish battle of Culloden, in 1746). Recorded by Clare piper Robbie Hannon. Piper Jimmy O'Brien-Moran says it was a favorite of Willie Clancy's.

Source for notated version: "Cronin" [O'Neill]. Edward Cronin was born in Limerick Junction, County Tipperary, in the 1840's. A weaver by trade, he emigrated to America, and although he could find no work in his trade, he supported himself at whatever he could. He finally settled in Chicago. Cronin was a member of the Chicago Irish Music Club, and Captain O'Neill was impressed with his skill and command of his instrument. Eventually the two struck up a working friendship, with O'Neill visiting Cronin's house often to transcribe his large repertoire. Unfortunately, Cronin could also easily become suspicious and was determined to hold grudges, and thus long-term friendships were difficult for him. Their relationship ended when Cronin perceived some slight and cut off the visits.

Printed sources: O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 477, p. 83.

Recorded sources: Piping Pig Productions PPPCD001, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran - "Seán Reid's Favourite" (1996).

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