Lark in the Clear Air (1)

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X: 1 T:The Lark in the Clear Air % Nottingham Music Database S:Trad, via EF P:AABAB M:6/4 L:1/4 F: K:D P:A af|"D"d3 c"f#"cd|"G"BG"D/a"A2"A7"AB/2c/2|\ M:4/4 "D"d3/2e/2 fg|\ M:6/4 "Em7"e2"A"a2af| "Bm"d3 ccd|"G"BG"D/a"A2"A7"AB/2c/2|\ M:5/4 "D"df"G"B"Em"e"A7"c|"D"d3:| M:4/4 "A7"A2 |"D"d3/2c/2 "D"d/2e/2f/2g/2|"D"a2 "G"b3/2a/2|"D"af e/2d/2e/2(3f/4a/4g/4\ |"Em"f2 "A"ea/2f/2| M:6/4 "Bm"d3 ccd|"G"BG"D/a"A2"A7"AB/2c/2|\ M:5/4 M:5/4 "D"df"G"B"Em"e"A7"c|"D"d3||

LARK IN THE CLEAR AIR [1]. Irish, Air (irregular time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. English words by this title were written by poet Samuel Ferguson to a tune taken from the Petrie collection, "An tailiur," or, as another version goes, to a traditional air called "Caisleán Uí Néill" collected by his wife, Lady Mary Ferguson, in the west of Ireland[1]. The song was popularized by the tenor John Cormack. John Loesberg (1979) remarks that the tune was featured for many years as an introduction to Cairan Mac Mathuna's radio program Mo Cheol Thú.

Dear thoughts are in my mind and my soul soars enchanted,
As I hear the sweet lark sing in the clear air of the day;
For a tender beaming smile, to my hope has been granted,
And tomorrow she shall hear, all my fond heart would say. ... [Samuel Ferguson, 1810-1886, Dublin]

See also the cognate melodies "Skylark (2) (The)" and "White Breasted Boy (The)."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Northumbrian bagpiper Billy Pigg (1902-1968) [Miller & Perron].

Printed sources : - Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music vol. 3), 1977; No. 71. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 142.

Recorded sources: -Leader LEA 4006, Billy Pigg - "The Border Minstrel" (1972).

Back to Lark in the Clear Air (1)

  1. Paul de Grae, "Notes to Sources of Tunes in the O'Neill Collections", 2017.