Maid of Selma (1)

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MAID OF SELMA [1] (An Maigdean Ua Selma). AKA - "Maids of Selma." Scottish (originally), Irish; Air (6/8 time, "gaily"). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill): AAB (Cole, Roche). This melody is identified as Scottish in origin in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883), and can be found under the "Maid of Selma" title as a song in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. 2 (1788, pp. 119-120) with lyrics taken from Ossian's poem "Oina Morul."

The melody, according to Stenhouse, is a variant of the Scots' "Todlin' Hame," with variants and antecedents that include James Oswald's "Lude's Lament" (from a medley entitled "Battle of Falkirk (1) (The)"). Another Scottish medley, called "Highland Battle (The)" also contains a tune based on "Lude's Lament," called "Lament for the Chief (The)." John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies, 1900) was quite dismissive of both Stenhouse's findings and of the air itself:

The many conjectures of Stenhouse concerning the melody of "this prosaic song", as he terms it, may be summed up as follows:--The air commences in the same strain as the old tune of "Todlin Hame," and continues with what may be described as something like variations on that melody. The tune, if it may be called one, appears never to have been popular. It first appeared in Neil Stewart's "Collection of Scots Songs," 1772, and afterwards in Corri's "Collection of the Most Favourite Scots Songs," 1783, finally disappearing, so far as we know, with the copy in the Museum.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 73. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 250, p. 43. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3), 1927; No. 65, p. 19 (listed as an Air). Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 105.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's [1]

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