I'd rather be married than left
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I'D RATHER BE MARRIED THAN LEFT (B'Fhearr liom a bheith Pósta ná Tréigthe). AKA and see "Macks (The)." Irish, Slide. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. The melody was recorded by Seamus Ennis in January, 1949, from the fiddle playing of Kerry musicians Padraig O'Keeffe and Denis Murphy (O'Keeffe's pupil). Alice C. B Bunten, in an article entitled "Irish Songs in the Beggar's Opera" (Journal of the Irish Folk Society, vol. 5, p. 19), identifies the tune as a derivative of the English song "Would you Court a Young Virgin of Sixteen Years" (Would You have a Young Virgin) in Gay's 1728 work. She states: "In Charles II's reign [1660-1685] Tom D'Urfey wrote the words of 'Would you Court' &c. for his play Modern Prophets, and used this tune, which was an old one, for it." The tune has a long pedigree-see note for "Would You have a Young Virgin" See also "Native (La)" in the "Lancer's Quadrilles."
Source for notated version: a manuscript dated 1919, written by Michael S. Meany (Tulla, County Clare) for his students. The title with the tune in the ms. is "The Macks" [Breathnach].
Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 79 (appears as untitled slide). Breathnach (CRÉ V), 1999; No. 78, p. 39.
Recorded sources: RTE CD174, "The Sliabh Luachra Fiddle Master Pádraig O'Keeffe." Spin CD1001, Eoghan O'Sullivan, Gerry Harrington, Paul De Grae - "The Smoky Chimney" (1996).
See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info