Loch na Garr (2)

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LOCH NA GARR [2]. Irish, Slow Air (3/4 time). D Minor (Joyce): D Major/Mixolydian (O Cannainn). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Joyce): AA'B (O Canainn). "(Lord) Byron's '(Dark) Loch Na Garr' was often sung by the people to the following slow Irish air, which may be compared with 'Bunch of Green Rushes (1) that Grew at the Brim' (Moore's 'This Life is all Chequered')" {P.W. Joyce}. These songs reference the Jacobite insurrections in Scotland and Jacobite hopes in Ireland, along the lines of the songs "Blackbird (The)" and "Jenny's Welcome to Charlie." A Stuart on the throne of England was a hope for many Catholics of Gaelic extraction, who longed for a lifting of the burden of the Penal Laws and Catholic emancipation. According to Gearóid Ó hAllmhurain, "Loch na Gar" references the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Stuart) and his army at Culloden moor in 1746, by the crown forces of the Duke of Cumberland. Brian McNamara says the tune was a favorite of piper Willie Clancy.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 96, p. 50. Ó Canainn (Traditional Slow Airs of Ireland), 1995; No. 77, p. 68.

Recorded sources: Drumlin Records, Brian McNamara - "A Piper's Dream."




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