Lake of Coolfinn (The)

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LAKE OF COOLFINN, THE. AKA - "Lakes of Col Flynn." AKA and see "Willie Leonard." Irish, Air (3/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "I took down this very characteristic air and one verse of the ballad, from Peggy Cudmore of Glenosheen Co. Linerick. The ballad is well known in both the south and the west; and it appears obvious that it relates a real event--the accidental drowning of poor young Willie Leonard. There are many places in Ireland called Coolfin; but in which of them 'The Lake of Coolfin' is situated I cannot tell. The ballad, as I received it, is a singular mixture of vigour and imbecility; in some parts vivid and true to nature; in others, vulgar, feeble and prosy. I have retrenched, added something of my own, changed many of the lines, and restored the rhythm where it was necessary. But I have retained as much of the old ballad as possible" (Joyce). Cazden (et al, 1982) remarks that this tune shows contour and focal points matching his Catskill Mountain (New York) collected 6/8 time "The Bounty Jumper" and relatives. He also prints the title as "Lakes of Col Flynn."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 417, pp. 227-228.

Recorded sources:




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