X:1 T:Dolphin, The M:C L:1/8 S:Hugh O'Beirne, 1846, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, via William Forde B:P.W. Joyce - Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F A>G|F>DC>D F2 GA|B>AGF A>Bc>A|F>DC>D F2 G>A|B>AG>F D3|| B|A>cc>c f2 f>A|B>AF>A B2 d>d|c>AF>D C>DF>G|A2 F>F F3||
DOLPHIN, THE. Irish, Air (4/4 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "'The Dolphin so sweet in the middle of the deep.' I suppose the Dolphin was the name of a ship" (Joyce).
- P.W. Joyce concluded that O'Beirne had been a fiddler in his Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909, p. 296). However, William Forde, the only collector who had direct contact with O'Beirne, wrote in a letter to John Windele of Cork, dated Sept. 21, 1846, that he had obtained over 150 airs from a piper, Huge Beirne. Forde was seeking to supplement his collection with music from Connaught and the north, and was glad to make the musician's acquaintance, staying on in Ballinamore longer than he originally planned. He also found O'Beirne in poor health in the time of Great Famine, writing "Stirabout and bad potatoes were working fatally on a sinking frame," and aided the piper by improving his diet ("but a mutton chop twice a day has changed Hugh's face wonderfully").