Maids of Mourne Shore (The)

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MAIDS OF (THE) MOURNE SHORE, THE. AKA and see "Down by the Sally Gardens (2)," "Mourne Shore (2)," "Sally Gardens (2)." Irish, Air (4/4 time). A Major (Roche, Stanford/Petrie): G Major (Johnson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Roche, Stanford/Petrie): AAB (Johnson). The tune is one of the melodies to which the song "Sally Gardens" is set. W.B. Yeats revised a song he had heard earlier in his life, and, not recalling the name, entitled his poem "An Old Song Re-Sung." In 1909 Herbert Hughes set the poem to music, employing the melody of "Maids of Mourne Shore." Hughes' song title was taken from Yeats' opening line, "Down by the Sally Gardens (2)."

The opening stanza of the song "Maids of Mourne Shore" goes:

Ye hills and dales and flowery vales that lie around Mourne shore,
Ye winds that blow over Martin’s Hills will I ever hear you more;
Where the primrose grows and the violet blows and the sporting trout there plays,
With line and hook delight I took to spend my youthful days.

George Petrie notes that his version was collected in County Derry in 1834. The melody also appears in Hoffman's 1877 collection of selected arrangements of the George Petrie collection (1855).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 5: Mostly Irish Airs), 1985 (revised 2000); p. 9. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3), 1927; No. 50, p. 14. Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1902; No. 302, p. 75.

Recorded sources:




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