Dear Black Cow (1)

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DEAR BLACK COW [1] (Druimin Dubh). AKA and see "The Black Cow." Irish, Air (3/4 time). G Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The words lament the loss of a cow, comparing it to the celebrated mythological Irish cow which could never be fully milked. In Bunting's 1840 collection he gives a few verses of a political song in which "the black cow" serves as a "very whimsical metaphor, the cause of the exiled monarch." Other writers, notably George Petrie, Patrick Walsh, Margaret Hannegan, Seamus Clandillon and Redfern Mason, believe "Drimin/Druimin Dubh" (or "Dhriman Dhoun Deelish" "Drimin donn Dilis" etc.) also note the title's symbolizm with Ireland. Cazden (et al, 1982) finds that, "with sufficiently imaginative adjustment," the melody resembles the "Drimindown" tune family, which includes O'Neill's "The Sorrowful Maiden" and Cazden's own Catskill Mountain (New York) collected ballad "The Maid on the Shore."

Source for notated version: noted by the Irish collector Edward Bunting from the playing of harper Arthur O'Neill, 1800.

Printed sources: O'Sullivan/Bunting, 1983; No. 42, pp. 63-64.

Recorded sources:




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