I am a widow and a maid

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X:1 T:I am a widow and a maid M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Sadly" S:piper Hugh O'Beirne, 1846, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim via William Forde B:Joyce - Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909, No. 630) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Cmix (3GAB|c2c2 dB|A2 GFED|{C}F2G2 FE|D4 (3GAB| c2c2 dB|AG F2 GA|FD C2C2|C4||CD|E2 EGFE|D2 C2 DE| F2G2 FE|D4 (3GAB|c2c2 dB|AG F2G2|FD C2C2|C4||



I AM A WIDOW AND A MAID (Is Baintreabhach agus Maighdean Me). Irish, Slow Air (3/4 time). C Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. This widow and maid was the bride of O'Reilly, who was drowned when crossing the Shannon on his wedding day: see "Lamentation of O'Reilly's Bride."


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Hugh O'Beirne, professional piper[1] from Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, 1846, via County Cork collector William Forde (1795-1846) [Joyce].

Printed sources : - Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 630, p. 321.






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  1. P.W. Joyce concluded that O'Beirne had been a fiddler in his Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909, p. 296). However, William Forde, the only collector who had direct contact with O'Beirne, wrote in a letter to John Windele of Cork, dated Sept. 21, 1846, that he had obtained over 150 airs from a piper, Huge Beirne. Forde was seeking to supplement his collection with music from Connaught and the north, and was glad to make the musician's acquaintance, staying on in Ballinamore longer than he originally planned. He also found O'Beirne in poor health in the time of Great Famine, writing "Stirabout and bad potatoes were working fatally on a sinking frame," and aided the piper by improving his diet ("but a mutton chop twice a day has changed Hugh's face wonderfully").