Over the Hills and Far Away (4)

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OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY [4] (De Bharr na gCnoc is in Imigéin). AKA and see "So Early in the Morning," "Wee Geordie has lost his plinker." Irish, Polka. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Although the tune was untitled in the original manuscript, Breathnach recognized it as a version of "Over the Hills" and said the following words were sometimes sung for children to it by Anna Lyons in Dublin:

When I was young I had no sense,
I bought me a fiddle for eighteen pence;
And the only tune that it would play
Was 'Over the Hills and Far Away'.

Chorus:
So early in the morning,
So early in the morning,
So early in the morning
Before the break of day.

My Aunt Jane she called me in
She gave me tea out of a tin,
Half a bog of sugar on the top
And three black lupms out of her wee shop.

Researcher Conor Ward finds the tune in local Leitrim and Longford manuscripts as "Heel and Toe Polka" in the Francis Reynolds MS (c. 1885), and "Early in the Morning" in the Alex Sutherland MS (c. 1930). In Northumbria, states Breathnach, the chorus of another song set to it is "Wee Geordie has lost his plinker," where the word plinker refers to a marble.

Source for notated version: a manuscript written by or in the possession of David Collins (Abbeyfeale, County Limerick) [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ IV), 1996; No. 82, p. 43.

Recorded sources:




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