Dear Black White-Backed Cow (The)

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DEAR BLACK WHITE-BACKED COW, THE (Druimin Dubh Dílis). Irish, Air (3/4 time). G Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "...From Mr. James Blair, Armagh. Forde gives this in connexion with Bunting's Druimin dubh, and with several other settings of it taken from different individuals. But this version of Mr. Blair is so different from all that it may be said to be a distinct air" (Joyce). Cazden (et al, 1982) also concludes that this melody is unrelated to other "Druimin Dubh Dilis" or "Drimindown" tunes. O'Neill (1922) says: "In former times it was much more common to find a white stripe along the spine of brown or black cows, and this coloration was called "Druim-fionn", or white-black, which became "Drimmin" or "Drimen". Thus we have "Drimmin-fionn-dubh" or White-back black cow, etc. In poetical literature those titles are allegorical. "Drimmin Dhu" was a political password among the Irish Jacobites, and all "Drimmin" songs breathe a spirit of fealty to the Jacobite cause."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Song), 1909; No. 445, p. 250.

Recorded sources:




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