Girl that Left the Country (The)
X:1 T:Girl that Left the Country, The M:C L:1/8 R:Reel S:Rev. Luke Donnellan – “Oriel Songs and Dances", S:Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society (vol. II, No. 2, 1909; No. 95) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G (no sig. in ms) c|BG G/G/G DGGc|Bdef gedc|BGGA BABd|(3efg dB A2 Ac| BG G/G/G DGGc|Bdef gfga|bgaf gefd|(3efg dB A2 Ad|| Beef edBA|Bdef gedc|BGGA BABd|(3efg dB A2 Ad| Beef edBA|Bdef gedc|Bdef gfga|bgaf gefd|]
GIRL THAT LEFT THE COUNTRY, THE. AKA and see "Kingston Lassies (The)," "Maid Who Left the County (1) (The)." Irish, Reel (whole or cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The reel was collected in the Slieve Gullion region of south County Armagh by the Rev. Luke Donnellan (1878-1952), a rector at Dromintee, who published a collection of over 100 tunes, mostly reels, in 1909 in an article entitled "Oriel Songs and Dances" in The Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society (vol. II, No. 2). Oriel  (now Oirialla), or Airgíalla, and Anglicizations, Oriel, Uriel, Orgiall, or Orgialla, was the name of an ancient Irish federation or kingdom largely in what is now the County Armagh, south Ulster. Donnellan was enthusiastic about P.W. Joyce's then recently published Old Irish Music and Songs (1909), but found Irish music rather rare in his area.
The old people of Dromintee will tell you of the number and the skill of musicians who used to come to [nearby] Forkhill fair. I was told there used to be as many as thirty playing at it. They display an extensive knowledge of the names of songs and dance tunes, but cannot sing them. The reel known as “Black Haired Lass (2) (The)” No. 66 inf., seems to have been a great favourite with everyone. These facts point to a vanishing and disappearing musical culture.
Forkhill Fair, held on Michaelmas Day (Sept. 29th) was once the great horse and cattle fair, and festival of the area (St. Michael is the patron saint of horsemen).