Hermit of Killarney

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X:1 T:Hermit of Killarney M:C L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Moderate" S:O'Neill - Music of Ireland (1903), No. 116 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G B/A/ | G>AGE D>EGA | BdBG A2 d/c/B/A/ | G>AGE D>EGA | B<d A>B G2 z :| |: D | G>Bdd e>dBd | e>d c/B/A/G/ A2 d/c/B/A/ | G>AGE D>EGz/A/ | Bd A/G/A/B/ G3 :||

HERMIT OF KILLARNEY (Ditreabac Loca Lein). AKA and see "Adieu Adieu Thou Faithless World," "When War Was Heard." Irish, Air (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title comes from a song by George Ogle (1739-1814), set to an older air. The melody also appears in Edward Riley's Flute Melodies, vol. 1 (New York, 1814, p. 14). Thomas Crofton Croker (Popular Songs of Ireland, 1839) gives the story that the song is about an actual hermit, an Englishman named Ronayn, who took up a solitary existence on an island (the still bore his name around the year 1800) in the district of Killarney. He sustained himself by hunting and fishing, and was the object of some awe in the community.

As on Killarney's banks I stood, near to her crystal wave,
I saw a holy hermit, retired within his cave;
His eyes he often turn'd to heaven, and thus exclaimed he:
Adieu, Adieu, though faithless world, thou wert not meant for me!

"Hermit of Killarney" was entered twice[1] into the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper Canon James Goodman (musicologist).

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Goodman had the tune from ms. lent to him by a pipe maker named Doogan[1]

Printed sources : - O'Farrell (National Irish Music for the Union Pipes), 1804; p. 17. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 116, p. 21.

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  1. It can be found in Book 2, p. 177[2], and Book 4, p. 159.