Back to Drimen Duff
DRIMIN DUFF. AKA - "Druim Fionn Dubh." Scottish, Irish; Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill): AABB (O'Farrell). 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." "Drimen Duff" was included as one of the airs in Crotch's Specimens of various styles of music referred to in a Course of Lectures read at Oxford and London, and adapted to keyed instruments by W. Crotch, Mus. Doc., Prof. Mus. Oxon. Crotch, who was Principal of the Royal Academy of Music (London) from 1823-1832 delivered lectures on various types of national music from 1800-1804 and 1820, and had them bound in three volumes, familiarly referred to as "Crotch's Specimens". The Irish "specimens" (where the air can be found) are contained in volume 1. See also Francis O'Neill's cognate tune "Young Black Cow (The)."
Poet Robert Burns used the melody for his song "Gloomy Night is Gath'ring Fast" in 1786.
Source for notated version: copied from Burk Thumoth's Scotch & Irish Airs (1742) [O'Neill].
Printed sources: O'Farrell (National Irish Music for the Union Pipes), 1804; p. 20. O'Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 8), c. 1760; p. 12. Samuel, Anne & Peter Thompson (The Hibernian Muse), London, 1787; No. 30, p. 21.