Once more I hail thee

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ONCE MORE I HAIL THEE (Seo do beata aris). Irish, Air (3/4 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Paul de Grae notes that Edinburgh publisher George Thomson commissioned an arrangement of this air from the composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), and published it in his Select Collection of Original Irish Airs (1814, No. 3, p. 8) ["Beethoven's setting is one of his 25 Irische Lieder (WoO 152)," notes Paul]. The melody was supplied by Thomson, "Communicated without a name by a Friend", and the lyric was a poem "written, and afterwards retouched for this air" by Scottish poet Robert Burns. It goes:

Once more I hail thee, thou gloomy December!
Thy visage so dark, and thy hurricane's roar;
Sad was the parting thou mak'st me remember,--
My parting with Nancy, ah! ne'er to meet more!

Fond lovers parting is sweet painful pleasure,
Whn hope mildly beams on the soft parting hour;
But the dire feeling, O farewell for ever,
Is anguish unmingled, and agony pure.

Wild as the winter now tearing the forest,
Until the last leaf of the summer is flown,
Such is the tempest has shaken my bosom,
Since hope is departed and comfort is gone.

Still as I hail thee, thou gloomy December,
My anguish awakes at they visage so hoar;
Sad was the parting thou mak'st me rembember,
My parting with Nancy, ah! ne'er to meet more!

Source for notated version: "Walsh" [O'Neill]. William Walsh was a Chicago Police Patrolman during Francis O'Neill's tenure as Police Chief, and was a Highland piper.

Printed sources: O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 503, p. 88.

Recorded sources:




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