Nothing Can Sadden Us

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X:1 T:Nothing Can Sadden Us M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig S:O'Neill - Music of Ireland (1903), No. 747 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A A/B/ | cdc BcB | ABA Ace | fga edc | c>BB Bed | c3 BAB | A>BA Ace | fga edc | dBG A2 :|| e/d/ | cde e2 e | efe fga | e>dc cBA | G>AB B2e | cde e2e | e>fe fga | e>dc cBA | G>AB Bed | c3 BAB | A2A Ace | f>ga edc | c>BB B2 e/d/ | cec BcB | ABA Ace | fga edc | dBG A2 ||



NOTHING CAN SADDEN US (Ni Deanac Aoinnid Bronac Sinn). AKA - "Nothing in Life," "Nothing in Life Can Sadden Us." AKA and see "Flaming O'Flanigan's," "Irish Jig (4)." Irish, Jig (6/8 time). A Major (O'Neill): G Major (Goodman). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (O'Neill): AABA (Goodman): AABB' (Kerr). Fr. John Quinn finds the tune as an untitled jig in an 1803 collection of Glasgow musician James Aird ("Irish Jig (4)," and also notes it appears in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) under the title "Flaming O'Flanigan's" (from a stage-Irish song of that title). Further, states Fr. Quinn, soon after Aird's publication the melody was used by Northumbrian composer William Shields in the music for his opera The Lock and Key (1796) where it is the melody for his song “Hey! Dance to the Fiddle and Tabor.”

"Nothing can sadden us" is the name of a song set to the tune in 1802 by Sir Thomas Moore:

Oh! Nothing in life can sadden us
While we have wine and good humour in store;
With this, and a little of love to madden us,
Show me the fool that can labour for more!
Come then, bid Ganymede full every bowl for you,
Fill them up brimmers, and drink as I call;
I'm going to toast every nymph of my soul for you,
Ay, on my soul, I'm in love with them all!

Moore's song proved quite popular; enough for the air to become the vehicle for innumerable parodies, such as "The Monkey; or, dear creatures, we can't do without them" ("Air-"Oh! nothing in life can sadden us"), from The Universal Songster (1834, p. 98), which begins:

Oh! Nothing in life can sadden us
While we have plenty of horrors in store;
With these, and a few clever monkeys to gladden us,
Show me the fool who'd wish to see more!
Thus said each manager, singing in one key,
I for tragi or comedy don't care a sous;
For if I had not a prime devil and monkey,
I must, I am certain, soon shut up my house.

The tune was also printed by New York publisher W. Dubois in 1817 in The Gentlemen's Amusement Book 4 (p. 9), and was entered that same year into the music copybook of flute player Daniel Henry Huntington (Onondoga, N.Y.).

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Hughes (Gems from the Emerald Isles), London, 1867; No. 66, pp. 15-16 (as "Nothing in Life"). Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3), c. 1880's; No. 220, p. 25. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 20. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 747, p. 139. Shields/Goodman (Tunes of the Munster Pipers), 1998; No. 168, p. 71 (appears as "Nothing in Life Can Sadden Us").

Recorded sources: -



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