Midnight Fifer (The)
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MIDNIGHT FIFER, THE. Irish, Air (3/8 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABCD. The melody appears in the periodical The Citizen, or Dublin Monthly Magazine of April, 1841, with the note:
This air we have called "The Midnight Fifer," having been taken down some twenty years ago as played on the Fife. It was heard by the pale moonlight, and at the very witching hour of night. The listener had been awakened from his sleep by the shrill ear-piercing tones of the approaching player. The sounds passed slowly by, and gradually died away in the distance and were never heard again. The desolaion was extreme. Viotti could not have been more amazed when he first heard the "Ranz des Vaches" in the Alps. The effect of it was extraordinary, the alternating periods of four and two bars, in each part of the air, producing a peculiar wildness which can only be thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed when the shrill clear tones of the Fife or Octave Flute are employed to give utterance to this singular specimen of our native music.
Source for notated version: