Gage Fane

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X:1 T:Gage Fane M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Slow" B:Smollet Holden - Collection of favourite Irish Airs (London, c. 1841; p. 26) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G>A|B2 AG B2|A2 G<E BA|G2 EDEF|G4 AB|C2 BA {AB}C2| B2AG B2|A2e2 dB|A4 AB|f2 BA (AB/c/)|B2 AG B2| A2 BAG>E|E4 GA|B2 AG B2|A2 GE BA|G2 ED (D/E/G/A/)|G4:|]



GAGE FANE. AKA - "Géanna Fiáine (Na)." Irish, Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. Thomas Moore set his song "The origin of the hart" to this air. Francis O'Neill (Irish Folk Music, 1910, p. 195) explains that the title is a phoentic rendering of the Irish "Gaedhana Fiadhaine (An)", which itself is a Gaelicisation of the English "Wild Geese (1) (The)." It was said by Bunting to have been "sung by the women on the shore at the time of embarkation" of the Irish Generals following the capitulation of Limerick in 1691, who preferred exile to remaining in their country once their cause was lost. O'Neill says:

The mystifying "Gage Fane" confronts us in Smith's Irish Minstrel, Moore's Irish Melodies, and Moffat's Minstrelsy of Ireland and many less pretentious publications. It was a relief to find that Perceval Graves in The Irish Song Book, issued in 1895, finally broke the monotony of error by printing the correct Irish name.

Grattan Flood in A History of Irish Music tells us that Smollet Holden in his Collection of Irish Tunes, published in 1804-6, was primarily responsible for this ridiculous error, which has been copied for nearly a century without question or correction.

Alfred Moffat (Minstelsy of Ireland, 1897, p. 344) notes that "this air is preserved in the Hibernian Muse, c. 1780; it is there simply headed ;Irish Air.'" The song printed in his 1897 collection, "'Tis Believed that this Harp" employs the "Gage Fane" as the air for the lyric.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Bunting (A General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music), 1840. Clinton (Gems of Ireland:200 Airs), 1841; No. 80, p. 40. Smollet Holden (Collection of favourite Irish Airs), London, c. 1841; p. 26.

Recorded sources: -



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