Eileen Aroon (3)
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EILEEN AROON  (Eilionóir a Rúin). Irish, Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Ó Canainn): ABC (O'Sullivan/Bunting). See Eileen Aroon (1) for notes on the tune and "Eileen Aroon (2)" for older versions.
Source for notated version: Belfast musician and collector Edward Bunting (1773–1843) noted his version from the harper "Denis Hempson at Magilligan in 1792," who played variation by the famous harper Cornelius Lyons from the turn of the 18th century. Lyons had made a reputation as the arranger of variations to such tunes as this and "The Coolin/Coolun (The)" in a more 'modern' style. Bunting greatly admired the playing and repertoire of Hempson, an elderly man when the nineteen-year-old, hired to make some transcriptions at the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792, first met him:
Hempson, who realized the antique picture drawn by Cambrensis and Galilei, for he played with long crooked nails, and in his performance, “the tinkling of the small wires under the deep notes of the bass” was particularly thrilling, took the attention of the Editor with a degree of interest which he never can forget. He was the only one who played the very old—the aboriginal—music of the country; and this he did in a style of such finished excellence as persuaded the Editor that the praises of the old Irish harp in Cambrensis, Fuller, and others, instead of being, as the detractors of the country are fond of asserting, the ill-considered and indiscriminate, were in reality no more than a just tribute to that admirable instrument and its then professors. ... [Bunting, Ancient Music of Ireland, 1840, Preface p. 3]
Printed sources: Bunting (Ancient Music of Ireland), 1840; No. 123, pp. 94–95. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs, vol. 2), 1859; No. 102, p. 46. Ó Canainn (Traditional Slow Airs of Ireland), 1995; No. 37, p. 35. O'Sullivan/Bunting (Bunting's Ancient Music of Ireland), 1983; No. 123, pp. 175–178.