John Macananty's Courtship
X: 1 T:John MacAnanty's Courtship S:P.W.Joyce, Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909) F:http://www.faeriemagazine.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3 K:D M:3/4 D2|D2 D2 DE|G4 A G|E2 D2 D2|D4 F G|A2 A2 B2| =c2 A2 G2|A2 d2 d2|d4 c d|e2 d2 c2|d4 c B| A2 F2 D2|E4 GA|Bc D2 cA|G2 E2 E2|D4 D2|D4|]
JOHN MACANANTY'S COURTSHIP. AKA and see "Fair King's Courtship," "Fairy King's Courtship," "One evening of late as I roved out in state." Irish, Air (3/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "Both the air and the words of this ballad appear to me to possess much simple beauty and feeling. I learned them from my father when I was a mere child, and I never heard the air with any one else. The ballad embodies one of the many forms of a superstition formerly very prevalent in Ireland, and not quite extinct even at the present day--namely, a belief that the fairies often take away mortals to their palaces in the fairy forts, lisses, and pleasant green hills. Macananty or Macanantan was a fairy king who formerly enjoyed great celebrity in the north of Ireland, and whose fame extended also into the south. There is a hill called Scrabo in the county of Down, near Newtownards, on which is a great sepulchral carn. Under this hill and carn Macananty had his palace; and the place still retains much of its fairy reputation among the people of the district. Macananty himself is remembered in legend; and his name is quite familiar, especially among the people who inhabit the mountainous districts exztending from Dundalk to Newcastle in the county of Down. I find that here they call him in Irish Sheamus Macaneandan--James Macanantan; buy both names, John and James, must have been added in recent times" (Joyce).
Elias Howe (1867) printed the tune as "Fair King's Courtship" (a misprint of "Fairy King's Courtship").