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MOLLY MACALPIN ("Mailí Nic Ailpín" or "Maire Ni Mic Alpin"). AKA - "Mollie McAlpin." AKA and see "Hawk's Hornpipe," "Hawke's Hornpipe," "Moll Halfpenny/Moll Ha'penny," "Paul Ha'Penny," "Poll Ha'Penny." Irish, Air (4/4 time), Lament or Set Dance. A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Grattan Flood (1906) attested that "Molly MacAlpin" was the air that became known later in Scotland as "Gilderoy (1)" (it should be noted that Donal O'Sullivan has said that nothing in Flood's account of the tune in his History of Irish Music is trustworthy). It was written after 1601, the year that five members of the MacAlpin (also called Halpin or Halfpenny) family were outlawed, leaving one of the ladies to mourn. O'Neill (1913) credits the composition of the melody to Laurence O'Connellan, an Irish harper born at Cloonmahon, County Sligo, in the mid-17th century, the younger brother of another famous harper, Thomas O'Connellan (c. 1640/1645–1698), however, most believe it was Thomas who composed the tune. After Thomas's death Laurence traveled to Scotland popularizing several of his dead brother's compositions. "Molly MacAlpin," along with Connellan's "Molly St. George" and "Eileen Aroon (1)" (by Cearbhall O'Dalaigh), comprise the three earliest Irish harp tunes with extant lyrics.
It was printed in London in 1719 by Thomas D'Urfey, who got it from an Irish actor, Thomas Dogget, about the year 1700. Irishman Matthew Conconnon selected it as the ninth air his version of The Jovial Crew in 1731. Thomas Moore wrote lyrics entitled "Remember the Glories of Brian the Brave," published in Bunting's collection of 1807. See the North County Kerry version of the tune called "Boodie Man (The)," a Wrenboy march. See also the related air "Mollie McAlpin" (O'Neill, 1903, No. 103) and "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music" (O'Neill, 1903, No. 700).
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Bunting (General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland), 1796; No. 44, p. 24. P.M. Clinton (Gems of Ireland: 200 Airs), 1841; No. 36, p. 18. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 2), 1858; No. 176, p. 80. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 193, p. 34.