Deirdre's Lament for the Sons of Usneach

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X:1 T:Deidre’s Lamentation for the Sons of Usnoth M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:”Very Slow” B:Smollet Holden - Collection of favourite Irish Airs (London, c. 1841; p. 8) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G GA|B3A GE|D>E G2 GA/B/|c3 c BG|AGEDEG|A4:| |:Bc|d2 ge dB|AG/E/ {E}D2 DE|G>AGE DE|G>ABG TA2|G4:|]



DEIRDRE'S LAMENT FOR THE SONS OF USNEACH. AKA - "Deirdre's Farewell to Scotland." AKA and see "Lamentation of Deirdre for the Sons of Usneach." Irish, Scottish; Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part: AABB (O'Farrell). The oldest extent piece of Irish music, given to the Irish collector Edward Bunting by Hempson, at ninety the last of the ancient brass-strung harpers, at the time of the 1792 Belfast Festival. Musically it makes use of parallel thirds and sixths and employs but six notes. The text of the ballad is mediaeval in origin and tells of Deirdre's sorrow at leaving the southwest Scottish locales of Glen Etive and Glen Massan and Glendaruel. Deirdre had been in happy exile with her lover Naisi in those lands, and both were to return to a tragic betrayal and death. The melody was first published in O'Farrell's Pocket Companion, c. 1804-1816, the same tune as that printed in Bunting. See note for "Lamentation of Deirdre for the Sons of Usneach" for more.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Bunting (Ancient Music of Ireland), 1840. Smollet Holden (Collection of favourite Irish Airs), London, c. 1841; p. 8. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol III), c. 1808; p. 37 (appears as "Deirdre's Lamentation for the Sons of Usnoth"). Purser (Scotland's Music), 1992; ex. 4, p. 73. Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; No. 1019.

Recorded sources: -RCA 09026-61490-2, The Chieftains - "The Celtic Harp" (1993).



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