O'Donnell Abu (1)
X:1 T:O'Donnell Abhu  M:2/4 L:1/8 R:March K:G ||G2 Bc|d2Bd|b2 ge|d2 cB|A2 A>B|c2 BA| G2 Bc|dc BA|G2 Bc|d2 Bd|b2 ge|d2 cB| A2 a>g|fd ef|g2 g>a|g3 a|]a2 b>a|ge d2| g2 g>e|dB GA/B/|c2 ec|B2 dB|A2 d>e|dc BA|B2 Bc| d2 Bd|b2 ge|d2 cB|Aa a>g|fd ef|g2 g>a|g2 g2|]
O'DONNELL ABU . AKA - "O'Donal Abhu/Aboo." AKA and see "Clanconnell War Song (The)," "O'Donnell's March (1)," "Our Land Shall be Free," "Proudly the Note of the Trumpet is Sounding." Irish, March (4/4 or 2/4 time). G Major (Miller & Perron, O'Neill, Sweet): D Major (Morrison, Mulvihill, Roche). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Miller & Perron, Mulvihill, O'Neill): AA'B (Sweet): AABB (Roche). The music to this Irish march is said to be "at least as old as the late 16th century", however, it has also been credited by W.H. Grattan Flood to Joseph Haliday, who may or may not have been from Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary. Haliday was a bandmaster of the Cavan militia in the early part of the 19th century and is also credited with being the inventor of the Royal Kent Bugle (see Grattan Flood's article "Joseph Halliday: Inventor of the Royal Kent Bugle," Musical Opinion, 42, No. 500, May, 1919, 501-502).
The tune probably commemorates "Red Hugh" O'Donnell who was one of the leaders of the Irish forces in the wars with the Tudor English at that time. The tune is commonly played in New England for the dance "British Sorrow." Clearly an ancient tune, O'Neill gives source credit for his version in his Music of Ireland (1903) to fiddler and collaborator James O'Neill, however, in his Irish Minstrels and Musicians (1913) he lists it as one of the "splendid martial airs" of Irish traditional music. "Proudly the Note of the Trumpet is Sounding" is the name of an c. 1843 song by Michael Joseph McCann, set to the air.
A rather gentle, florid arrangement of O'Donnell Abú has long been played daily on RTE Radio at 5:30AM weekdays and 6AM on Sunday mornings.