Peggy was Mistress of My Heart

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X:1 T:Peggy was Mistress of My Heart M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Moderate" S:Hugh O'Beirne, piper, 1846, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, via William Forde B:Joyce - Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909, No. 595) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Gmix E|G2f e2d|c2A G2E|EDE G2G|(G3 G2)|| A|c2c AGA|G2G G2A|c2d e2c|(d3 d2)G| c2c AGA|G2G G2A|c2d ege|d3 e3| g2a g2e|c2A G2E|D2E G2G|(G3 G2)||



PEGGY WAS MISTRESS OF MY HEART. Irish, Air (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "A 'Cailying' tune. A 'Caily' (Irish Céilidhe or Céili) is an evening visit to a neighbour's house, chiefly to have a gossip. Usually there were several persons together; and certain lively songs were often sung during such visits" (Joyce).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Hugh O'Beirne, professional piper[1] Ballinamore, south County Leitrim, 1846, via County Cork collector William Forde (1795-1850) [Joyce].

Printed sources : - Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 595, p. 309.






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  1. P.W. Joyce concluded that O'Beirne had been a fiddler in his Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909, p. 296). However, William Forde, the only collector who had direct contact with O'Beirne, wrote in a letter to John Windele of Cork, dated Sept. 21, 1846, that he had obtained over 150 airs from a piper, Huge Beirne. Forde was seeking to supplement his collection with music from Connaught and the north, and was glad to make the musician's acquaintance, staying on in Ballinamore longer than he originally planned. He also found O'Beirne in poor health in the time of Great Famine, writing "Stirabout and bad potatoes were working fatally on a sinking frame," and aided the piper by improving his diet ("but a mutton chop twice a day has changed Hugh's face wonderfully").