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FANAID GROVE. Irish, Air (4/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. Herbert Hughes (1909) indicates the tune is from County Donegal. Fanad Head is a nothern penninsula in County Donegal, west of Lough Swilly, an area that was Irish-speaking until the mid-20th century. The song has many variants and titles throughout the Irish diaspora (Laws p. 20, Roud 175). A version was popularized in the 20th century by Sarah Makem, as "It was in the Month of January" which relates the story of a young girl betrayed and abandoned by her wealthy lover, only to be rejected and into the snow by unforgiving parents. It concludes with the caution:

Come all you pretty fair maids,
A warning take by me,
And never try to build your nest
On top of a high tree,
For the leaves they will all wither,
And the branches all decay,
And the beauties of a false young man,
Will all soon fade away.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Hughes (Irish Country Songs, vol. 1), 1909; pp. 55–58. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3), 1927; No. 47, p. 13.

Recorded sources: Topic 12T182, Sarah Maken – "Ulster Ballad Singer" (1968).




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