James Betagh

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JAMES BETAGH. Irish, Air (cut time & 6/8 time). G Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABCD. Composed by blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). The first two parts of the air O'Sullivan prints (sourced to John Lee's collection of O'Carolan tunes, printed in Dublin in 1780) are in cut time, and the second two are in jig (6/8) time. The melody was first printed in John and William Neale's Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes (Dublin, newly dated to 1742). O'Sullivan gives that the Betaghs were an old Irish family who had been forced to move from Leinster to Connacht by the Settlement under Cromwell. The tune was composed for James Betagh of Drimhill, who married Fanny Dillon, for whom O'Carolan composed another air. It was a fortunate marriage for Betagh, for he acquired the estate of Mannin, near Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, when Fanny's brother John Dillon died in 1731.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 55 (appears as "Hale-Bopp Circle", a dance composed in 1997 by Fried de Metz Herman, set to the jig part of the tune). O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 4, pp. 104-105.

Recorded sources:




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