Lúibín (1) (An)
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LÚIBÍN (, AN). AKA - "Spinning Wheel Song (The)." Irish, Air (6/8 time). A Flat/E Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. This six bar hexatonic phrase is an example of a luibin, "a peculiar species of chaunt, having a very well marked time, and a frequently recurring chorus or catchword. It is sung at the merry-makings and assemblages of the young women when they meet at 'spinnings' or 'quiltings' and is accompanied by extraneous verses, of which each singer furnished a line. The intervention of the chorus after each line gives time for the preparation of the succeeding one by the next singer, and thus the Loobeen (sic) goes round until the chain of song is completed. Hence its name, signifying literally the 'link' tune" (Bunting, 1840). A later note by Bunting (for "Lúibín (3) (An)") indicates that young men as well as women participated in this game-like singing. O'Sullivan (1983) finds other spinning tunes (all from County Clare) in Stanford-Petrie (Nos. 1366, 1367, 1368, 1369, 1473, 1474, 1475), as well as occasional printings in the Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society.
Source for notated version: the Irish collector Edward Bunting obtained the song from a Miss Murphy of Dublin in 1839.
Printed sources: P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 3), 1859; No. 300, p. 148. O'Sullivan/Bunting, 1983; No. 134, pp. 191-192.