Night of the Big Wind (The)

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X:1 T:Night of the Big Wind, The C:flute player Vincent Broderick (Co. Galway) M:4/4 L:1/8 R:Reel K:D B2|AFFF DFFF|A2 de fdde|f3d BAFA|B2 eB BAFB| AFFF DFFF|A2 de fdde|f2 fe fafe|dBAF E2:| |:f2 fd BAFA|B2 dB BAFA|f2 fe defg|afbf afeg| fgfd BAFA|B2 dB BAFA|f2 fe fgfe|dBAF E2:|]



Bigwind.jpg

NIGHT OF THE BIG WIND, THE. Irish, Reel (whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by Galway flute player Vincent Broderick. The title references a weather event the occurred prior to the Great Famine of the mid-19th century, but which is still part of traditional memory. The Night of the Big Wind was the most devastating storm ever recorded in Irish history; several hundred died across the island. Known as Gaeilge as “Oíche na Gaoithe Móire”, the hurricane of 6th and 7th January 1839 made more people homeless in a single night than the decades of evictions that followed it. It is said that it roared in from the Atlantic with such power that waves actually broke over the top of the Cliffs of Moher[1].

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Broderick (Traditional Irish Flute Solos: The Turoe Stone Collection vol. 1), c. 1993; p.

Recorded sources: -


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  1. Excerpted from Turtle Bunbury, "The calm before the Big Wind of 1839 was particularly eerie", The Irish Times, Jan. 10, 2020 [1].