Denis O'Conor (2)
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DENIS O'CONOR  (Donnchadh MacCathal og). AKA and see "Planxty Connor (2)," "Planxty Denis O'Conor," "Wear with me thy rosy wreath." Irish, Air or Planxty (6/8 time). B Flat Major (Haverty, O'Neill, O'Sullivan, Tolman): G Major (Johnson). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABC: AABCC (Haverty). The tune is attributed to blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) by O'Neill, although Donal O'Sullivan (1958), in his definitive work on the bard could find no incontrovertible evidence of its origin and could not trace where O'Neill obtained the air. O'Sullivan does agree that it is in the style of O'Carolan, and that it could well be a composition of the bard's. Denis O'Conor (1674-1750) was the head of a family who were the principle patrons of the Irish harper, according to O'Sullivan, and for whose various members he composed several melodies. The great house in Belanagare was always a welcome home to O'Carolan. The Catholic O'Conor's had lost much of their lands fighting for the Stuart cause at the end of the 17th century, although a small portion was eventually returned to Denis. Prior to that, he had lived in a humble cottage for many years and his hair had turned prematurely grey, earning him the sobriquet of Donnchadh liath (Grey-haired Denis). In 1706 O'Conor married Mary, a daughter of the O'Rourke's, another Jacobite family. By 1720 Denis had managed to secure the return of the estate of Balanagare, near Frenchpark, County Roscommon. His home became a haven for "numerous ill-fated Irish Catholic gentlemen of the province. His hospitable door was never shut against those in misfortune and distress, band both Catholic layman and cleric felt at home beneath his roof" (O'Sullivan, p. 41). For more, see O'Sullivan, who devotes a short chapter on the family.
Source for notated version: Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903) [O'Sullivan].
Printed sources: Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 123, pg. 89. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 2), 1859; No. 110, p. 50. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 5: Mostly Irish Airs), 1985 (revised 2000); p. 4. R.M. Levey (First Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland), 1858; No. 10, p. 5 (as "Planxty Connor"). O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 237. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 667, p. 121. O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 123, p. 167. Tolman (Nelson Music Collection), 1969; p. 20.