Annotation:O'Donoghue of the Glens War March

Find traditional instrumental music

Back to O'Donoghue of the Glens War March

O'DONOGHUE OF THE GLENS. Irish, "War March" (6/8 time). Ireland, County Kerry. A Minor/G Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Frank Roche (1912) gives County Kerry as the march's provenance. O'Donoghue of the Glens (Ó Donnchadha na nGleann) was the name of the successive chiefs of the O'Donoghues of County Kerry [1], hereditary chieftain of his sept of the Kerry Eóganacht. The clan is descended from the royal house of Munster.

The march is probably the "O'Donoghue's Whistle" that is a melody mentioned by Mrs. S.C. Hall in a c. 1830's account of a performance by James Gandsey, the King of the Kerry pipers (O'Neill, Irish Minstrels and Musicians, 1913, p. 206). "Some of the martial gatherings are enough to rouse O'Donoghue from his palace beneath the lake--one in particular, 'O'Donoghue's whistle,' is full of wild energy and fire." Gandsay and the tune are also mentioned in R.M. Ballantyne's travelogue The Lakes of Killarney (1865), in the his retelling of the "Legend of the Fairy Hurlers":

All of a suddent up rose O'Donoghue and his boys, with black oak hurleys, and every man of them had a white silk shirt tied about his middle with green, and the pipers playing O'Donoghue's Whistle as grand as Gandsey;... ...[p. 88]

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 2), 1912; No. 320, p. 54.

Recorded sources:

Back to O'Donoghue of the Glens War March