Fair at Dungarvan (The)

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X:1 T:Fair at Dungarvan, The M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Moderate" S:O'Neill - Music of Ireland (1903), No. 99 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G GA |B4B2 | d4e2 | B4A2 | G4A2 | B4B2 | d4A2 | (B6 | B4) GA | B4B2 | e4d2 | B4A2 | G4F2 | E2F2E2 | B4A2 | (G6 | G4) || GF |E4E2 | E2F2G2 | F4E2 | D4F2 | E4E2 | E2F2E2 | B6 | A4F2 | E4E2 | E2F2G2 | F4E2 | D4c2 | B4G2 | A4F2 | (G6 | G4) ||

FAIR AT DUNGARVAN, THE (Aonac Dungarbain). AKA and see "Alas My Bright Lady," "Dungarvan," "Lament for Kilcash," "Nelly My Love and Me," "Rose Connolly," "There is a Beech-Tree Grove," "Were you ever in sweet Tipperary?" Irish, Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. O'Neill writes in Irish Folk Music, A Fascinating Hobby (1910):

A ballad called "The Fair at Dungarvan" was a great favorite in Munster, at least in the middle of the last (19th) century. The air, which I remembered since boyhood, was noted down and printed under that name, no other being known for it at the time. It developed, however, that it was an air of great antiquity, much varied by time and taste, but never beyond easy identification. As "Rose Connolly", Bunting printed it in 1840 in his third collection, The Ancient Music of Ireland, and notes that it was obtained in Coleraine in 1811, "author and date unknown." It is to be found under that name also in Surenne's Songs of Ireland, published in 1854. Probably its most ancient title was "The Lament for Cill Caisi", or "Kilcash", a setting of which is to be found in Dr. Petrie's Complete Collection of Irish Music. Among the songs which I find sung to this air are: "Alas, My Bright Lady," "Nelly, My Love, and Me," "There is a Beech-tree Grove," and "Were You Ever in Sweet Tipperary?"

"Rose Connolly" is a rather distanced version. See also note for "Lament for Kilcash"; Paul de Grae notes that "Cill Cais" is still sung nowadays to this air or a close variant. "[O'Neill's] supplemenatary title "Were you ever in sweet Tipperary" is the first line of the poem "Tipperary" by Eva Mary Kelly (b. 1825), a regular verse contributor to the Fenian newspaper The Nation under the pen-name "Eva"; she was also the source of several tunes in the Pigot Collection reproduced by [collector P.W.] Joyce"[1].

Additional notes

Printed sources : - O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 28, p. 22. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 99, p. 18.

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  1. Paul de Grae, "Notes to Sources of Tunes in the O'Neill Collections", 2017.