Gurreire Dance (The)

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X:1 T:The Gurreire Dance M:6/8 C:Charles P.F. O'Hara L:1/8 R:Jig N:"Composed on the surrender of the British Frigate Gurriere, Capt. Daeres, N:to the United States Frigate Consitution, Capt. Hull." B: Charles P.F. O'Hara - The Gentleman's Musical Repository (New York, 1813) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G cdc BAG|e2A ABc|ede gdc|B2G GAB| cdc BAG|efg edc|Bcd gdc|B2G GAB:| |:d2G BAG|B/c/dG BAG|e/f/ge dcB|e2A ABc| B/c/dG B/c/dG|B/c/dG BAG|e/f/ge f/g/af|g2G GAB:|]



GURREIRE DANCE, THE. American, Country Dance (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A patriotic composition by Charles P.F. O'Hara, who included eleven of his own tunes honoring American victories of the War of 1812, and politicians of the era, in his collection of mainly traditional Irish and Scotch tunes, sold from "his new music store" at No. 70 William Street, New York, "where may be had a great variety of the most ancient and modern single songs. Also a general assortment of flutes, violins, tambarines, drums, and all other musical instruments." Geoff Hore [1] (2009) remarks:

Little is known about O’Hara; he does not feature in Captain Francis O’Neill’s Irish Minstrels and Musicians published by The Regan Printing House, Chicago, 1913. It appears that he migrated to USA from Ireland in 1812, aged 31, and his occupation is given as a ‘teacher of music’. This information came from the book British Aliens in the United States during the War of 1812 by Kenneth Scott, published by Genealogical Publishing Co 1979 Baltimore. He married Phebe Elam CARLTON, daughter of Martin L and Frances Elam Carlton at Powhatan County, Virginia on 22 AUG 1816. See brideindex.info.

Researcher Nicholas Carolan [2] finds mention of O'Hara in the New York paper Columbian of January 2nd, 1813, which says that Charles P.F. O’Hara was a multiinstrumentalist who had ‘resided many years in the west of Ireland’. His name appears on a list of subscribers to a volume called A New System of Mythology, in Three Volumes; Giving a Full Account of the Idolatry of the Pagan World (by Robert Mayo M.D., 1816), that indicates O'Hara was living in Baltimore at the time.

The Constitution and Guerriere

The fight between HMS Guerriere and USS Constitution [3] was one of the first naval engagements of the War of 1812, and a spectacular victory for the infant American navy. The Constitution was commanded by Isaac Hull and proved to be the superior vessel, with thicker sides and larger guns. It was during this engagement, when one cannon-ball bounced "harmlessly" off the side of the Constitution, that a crew member is said to have yelled "Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!", thus bestowing on the ship the nickname 'Old Ironsides'.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - O'Hara (The Gentleman's Musical Repository), 1813.

Recorded sources: -



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