Mountain High (The)

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MOUNTAIN(S) HIGH (An Sliab Ard). AKA and see "Two Miles Below Fermoy." Irish, Slow Air (2/4 time). B Flat Major (Joyce): G Major (O'Neill, Petrie). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Petrie notes: "A tune of Bonds glen" and "Parish of Camber." Joyce explains that Pomeroy, cited in the lyric, is in the county Tyrone, but that he heard the song sung by others whose version was "two miles below Fermoy" (County Cork).

As I roved out one evening two miles below Pomeroy,
I met a farmer's daughter all on the mountains high,
I said, "my pretty fair maid your beauty shines so clear,
Upon these lonely mountains, I'm gald to meet you here.

See also O'Neill's related "Mountains of Pomeroy (The)." Paul de Grae finds settings among Petrie's collections as "Reyanrdine" and "Reynard on the mountain high" and in O'Neill's Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922) as the hornpipe "Reynardine."

Source for notated version: learned by Joyce from his father, presumably as a child in the 1840's in Limerick [Joyce].

Printed sources: Joyce (Ancient Irish Music), 1873; No. 20, p. 21. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 134, p. 24. Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; No. 559, p. 142.

Recorded sources:




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