Dear Black Cow (2)

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DEAR BLACK COW [2] (An Druim-Fionn Dub Dileas). AKA and see "Colly My Cow," "Druimfionn Donn Oilir," "Peasant's Grief (The)," "White-Backed Brown Cow (The)." Irish, "Very Slow" Air (3/8 time). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The Gaelic song "Druimfionn Donn Oilir/White-Backed Brown Cow (The)" was composed in 1648. A version was rendered into English by the Irish actor Thomas Dogget and sung by him in 1690 as "Colly My Cow." The tune is a close variant of Belfast collector Edward Bunting's version, which he called "Dear Black Cow (1)", and was a song or lament for the death of an beloved animal. Bunting’s translation of the Irish words goes:

The Poor Irishman’s Lamentation for the Loss of His Cow

As I went out on a Sunday Morning
I found my Drimmin du drowned in a moss hole
I clapp’d my hands and gave a great shout
In hopes this would bring my Drimmin du to life again.

Chorus:’’
Oru Drimmin du—Oru Gra
O my Drimmin du—Lovely and fair
Oru Drimmin du—Oru Gra
O my dear Drimmin du—farewell.

There never went a spanshel upon the foot
Of a cow that so much resembled the Glass
She had the most milk and of the sweetest taste
My grief, my mourning distress I cannot redress.

He explains: “Drimmin dubh” i.e. ‘black back’ and “Glass Drimmin” i.e. Grey back. This was the name of a very remarkable cow, spoken of in old stories, called also “Glass Gaivlin.” She belonged to a blacksmith; there is a hill also called “Glass Droman” and another called “Drum Gaivlin.”



Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bunting (Ancient Music of Ireland), 1840; No. 42, p. 32. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 1), 1858; No. 78, p. 33. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 130, p. 23.

Recorded sources:




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