Fair Maiden's Beauty Will Soon Pass Away
FAIR MAIDENS' BEAUTY WILL SOON FADE AWAY. Irish, Air (4/4 time). D Dorian. Standard tuning. One part. "I learned both the air and the words of this song from my father. It was very well known in my early days among the people of the south; and there are more verses in the song; but those I give are all that I can remember. One day, about seventy years ago, a number of persons--old and young--were merrily engaged saving hay. A good way off, at the other side of the little river, were some reapers working away, among them Tom Long, a splendid singer with a powerful voice. As a sort of variety, to break in on the hard work, they asked him to sing; and he, nothing loth, sat down and gave them this very song in glorious style. Instantly both mihuls threw down their sickles, rakes, and forks, and sat down in mute attention and rapt delight, till Tom had finished; when they at once started up and resumed their work" (Joyce). The air appears in Joyce's Ancient Irish Music as well.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 23. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 400, pp. 209-210.