Golden Star (1) (The)
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GOLDEN STAR , THE. AKA and see "Dawning of the Day (1) (The)." An air, one of a supposed seven or eight hundred, by the ancient harper Thomas O'Connellan (see note for "Breach of Aughrim (The)"). The harper Heffernan was one of the last of the ancient Irish harpers, and flourished in the early 18th century. The blind harper Arthur O'Neill (1734-1818) related this story about him in his Memoirs:
The Duke of Argyll that lived in Queen Anne's reign heard of the celebrity of Heffernan on the harp, who came to hear him play, with a large company. The Duke called for a good Scotch tune, and Heffernan being of a real Irish independent turn of mind played him the pretty tune of 'The Golden Star', which is a soft plaintive Irish tune. His Lordship said it was too melancholy for a Scotch tune. 'Oh, my Lord, says Heffernan, 'you must know it was composed since the Union-alluding to the Duke's being the counterpart of Lord Castlereagh in planning the Union of Scotland and that 'The Golden Star' was the most appropriate tune he could play for such lovers of gold as would barter their country's honour for the temporary use of that tangeant but useful and corrupted metal! The Duke started up and hastily quit the tavern (with his company) of the plain, blunt Hibernian.