Old Blind Bard (The)

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X:1 T:Old Blind Bard, The M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Brilliant" S:O'Neill - Music of Ireland (1903), No. 266 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Emin B/A/ | G/A/B/c/ dc/d/ | e/d/c/d/ Bb/a/ | {a}gf/e/ B^d | e3 B/A/ | G/A/B/c/ dc/d/ | e/d/c/d/ Bb/a/ | g/f/e/d/ B^d | e3 || b | b>a gf/g/ | a/g/f/e/ de/f/ | gf/g/ e/f/g/a/ bB BB/A/ | G/A/B/c/ dc/d/ | e/d/c/d/ Bb/a/ | g/f/e/d/ B^d | e3 ||



OLD BLIND BARD, THE (An sean file dall). Irish, Air (2/4 time, "brilliant"). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. It has been speculated that "Old Blind Bard" may have been the composition of Sergeant James O'Neill, in a tribute to the ancient harper Carolan. However, as Fr. John Quinn points out, the tune was collected by George Petrie (artist) (1790-1866) and printed in his Ancient Music of Ireland (1855, p. 112) as an untitled air that he obtained from a street singer in Dublin around the year 1815. Petrie remarked: "...although the tune is not very Irish in its character, nor probably very old, its spirit and flow of melody appeared to me to entitle it to a place in this collection."

It may be that Sgt. O'Neill had a version of the original song with the title "Old Blind Bard", however, since the tunes are nearly identical except for the transpostion of the key, it may be that the title was manufactured for Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - "O'Neill" [O'Neill]. Chicago Police Sergeant James O'Neill was a fiddler originally from County Down. He was musically literate, and served as Francis O'Neill's transcriber and collaborator on his early volumes.

Printed sources : - O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 266, p. 46. Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection of Petrie's Irish Music), 1905; No. 49.






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