John Peyton

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X:1 T:John Peyton M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Air S:Hugh O'Beirne, piper, 1846, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, via William Forde C:Turlough O'Carolan (?) K:G A|GG/A/ de/d/|cA/G/ G>e|gg/a/ g/e/d/c/| d/e/g g(3d/e/f/|gg/a/ g/e/d/c/|d/e/g g>e|gg/e/ fe/d/| ed/c/ d/c/c/d/|ed/c/ d/c/d/e/|d/c/ A G3||



JOHN PEYTON. AKA - "Johnny Peyton." Irish, Planxty (2/4 time). G Major: G Mixlydian (Joyce). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The tune is attributed to blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), although Donal O'Sullivan, in his definitive 1958 work on the bard could find no incontrovertable evidence of its origin, concluding only "There is nothing in its style which renders Carolan's authorship of it impossible." The melody may have been composed for one of the children of Tobias Peyton, notes O'Sullivan, who (among other children) had a son named John and a daughter named Jane (who is a possibility, as the the Piggot manuscripts give the title as "Juny Peyton").


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - County Cork collector William Forde's (1795-1850) manuscript collection [Joyce, O'Sullivan]. Forde noted the tune from Hugh O'Beirne, a professional piper[1] from Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, in 1846.

Printed sources : - Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 149, p. 103. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 618, p. 317 (appears as "Johnny Peyton"). O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 149, p. 181






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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").