Leading of the Star (The)

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LEADING OF THE STAR, THE. Irish, Air (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Collector P.W. Joyce (1827–1914) obtained the tune from the John Edward Pigot collection of Irish music. Dónal O'Connor, writing about the great Irish music collectors at the Comhaltas site [1], records:

John Edward Pigot (1822-1871) was born in Kilworth, Co. Cork in 1822. He joined the Young Ireland Movement in 1841 and became very friendly with its leader, Thomas Davis. The Nation newspaper was the organ of the young Irelanders and Davis appealed to people to write patriotic songs for it. Davis and Pigot published adverts in The Nation asking those who had Irish tunes to send them in.This seems to be the start of the Pigot collection. In 1844 Pigot went to study for the Bar. While in London he made friends with Patrick McDowel, a celebrated sculptor and an ardent collector of traditional airs. McDowel gave Pigot very many tunes and he collected many more from Irishmen in London. He went to Bombay in 1865 and practised at the Indian Bar He returned home due to ill health and died in 1871. He collected more than two thousand airs.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 694, p. 348.

Recorded sources:




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