My Lagan Love

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MY LAG(G)AN LOVE. Irish, Air (2/4 or 3/4 time). C Major (Roche): G Major (Ó Canainn). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Ó Canainn): AB (Roche). The Lagan is a river in northern Ireland which runs through Belfast, but it also refers to the locality of East Donegal/West Tyrone; the word itself refers to 'low-lying ground'. The lyric is by Joseph Campbell (whose name is sometimes given as Joseph McCahill), set to an ancient Irish air. The melody is occasionally played by Scottish and Canadian pipe bands, and, in America, sung as a song known as "The quiet joys of brotherhood." According to John Moulden the song was first published in Belfast in 1904 in Herbert Hughes and John Campbell's Songs of Uladh (p. 32), wherein Hughes states that he "made this collection while on holiday in North Dun-na-nGall in August of last year." The note with the tune in that volume says:

I got this from Proinseas mac Suibhne who played it for me on the fidil. He had it from his father Seaghan mac Suibhne, who learned it from a sapper working on the Ordnance Survey in Tearmann about fifty years ago. It was sung to a ballad called "The Belfast Maid," now forgotten in Cill-mac-nEnain.


Source for notated version: "From Hughes" (Roche).

Printed sources: Ó Canainn (Traditional Slow Airs of Ireland), 1995; No. 88, p. 76 (appears as "Lagan Love"). Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3), 1927; No. 9, p. 3.

Recorded sources: Green Linnet SIF 1077, Capercaille - "Crosswinds" (1987).




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