Dawning of the Day (2) (The)

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X:1 T:Dawning of the Day [2] M:C L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Slow and expressive" S:Joyce - Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F AB | c2 dc AGAc | d2D2D2 FG | A2F2 AGFE | F6G2 | A2A2f2d2 | e2 dc A2A2 | d2e2f2e2 | d6A2 | A2Af2d2 | e2 dc A2A2 | d2 de f2e2 | d6 AB | c2 dc AGAc | d2D2D2 FG | A2F2 AGFE | F6 ||

DAWNING OF THE DAY [2] (Fáinne Geal an Lae). Irish, Slow Air (4/4 time) and March. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. Writing in 1873 Joyce remarked that the song was "still well known in the southern counties." The melody that he printed for "Dawning of the Day" is the most oft-heard today, played as a march as well as an air. Phillips Barry suggests this melody was the origin for the standard melody of the famous Irish song "The Wild Colonial Boy," though Cazden (et al, 1982) sees little actual resemblance and opines the connection is "needlessly conjectural." The melody printed by Joyce is also used for the song "Raglan Road." The air was published by Edward Walsh (1805-1850) in Irish Popular Songs (1847), with words translated from an anonymous 18th century love poem:

Maidin mhoch do ghabhas amach
Air bhruach Locha Lein;
An samhradh ag teachd, 'san chraobh re n'ais,
'Gus lonnradh teith o'n ngrein;
Air taisdiol dham tre bhailte-puirt
'Gus banta mine reidh,
Cia gheabhainn le'm ais acht cuilfhionn deas
Le fainne geal an lae.

(One morning early I walked forth
By the margin of Lough Lene;
The sunshine dressed the trees in green,
And summer bloomed again;
I left the town and wandered on Through fields all green and gay,
And whom should I meet but Coolenn-Dhas,
By the dawning of the day.)

Walsh was born in Derry and was a private tutor and schoolteacher, serving at the Spike Island convict station (Cobh) and later in a Cork workhouse. He died in County Cork. See also the closely related "Dawning of the Day (4) (The)" and Canon James Goodman's variant "Fáinne Geal an Lae."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Heymann (Legacy of the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival), 1992; p. 34. Joyce (Ancient Irish Music), 1890; No. 8, p. 8. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Song), 1909; No. 774, p. 379.

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