General Monroe's Lamentation

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GENERAL MONROE'S LAMENTATION (Marbna Ceannairt Munroe). Irish, Slow Air (3/4 time). G Minor (O'Neill): A Dorian (Ó Canainn). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill): AA'B (Ó Canainn). Henry Monroe (of Lisburn, County Antrim) was chosen to lead the rebels from County Down in the rising of 1798. After an initial success at Saintfield he was defeated in the Battle of Ballynahinch and was forced to flee to a farmhouse for refuge. He was betrayed, arrested, brought to Lisburn, County Antrim, and subsequently hanged there in front of his own home (and then beheaded, according to O'Neill), just three days after his defeat (Ó Boyle, 1976).

Source for notated version: O'Neill says in Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby (pp. 70–71): "An extremely plaintive Lamentation air was sent to us by mail from Sault Ste. Marie, Northern Michigan. The sender, whose name was Dwyer, stated that his grandmother, from whom he learned it, used to tell of a Gen'l Munroe in the rebellion of '98 in connection with the song..."

Printed sources: Ó Canainn (Traditional Slow Airs of Ireland), 1995; No. 74, p. 65. O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 6, p. 13. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 37, p. 7.

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