Proposal (1) (The)

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PROPOSAL [1], THE (An Tairgse). AKA and see "He Asked Me Name the Day," "I Know that Johnny Loves Me." Irish, Slow Air (4/4 time). D Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The tune was remembered by Captain Francis O’Neill from his childhood in Tralibane, County Cork. In a 1906 letter to Alfred Percival Graves in 1906 (printed in "A Few Gossipy Notes" in the Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, London, O'Neill wrote:

In my opinion No. 192 (“The Proposal”) is an air of uncommon beauty when sung or played with expression. Forgotten for years, it came to me like a flash one day. For fear of losing it, I seized J. O’Neill’s bow hand, so that his strains could not unhinge my memory. It is a new old one.

In Irish Folk Music (1910, p. 75) he says:

‘The Proposal’, or ‘He Asked Me to Name the Day’ is an air of much beauty when sung or played with expression. Forgotten since early youth, it came to me like a flash one afternoon. For fear of again losing it I grasped (his musical collaborator) Sergt. O’Neill’s bow-hand, lest his strains unhinge my memory. This unpublished melody, which possesses marked individuality, came dangerously near passing into oblivion.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: O'Neill (O’Neill’s Irish Music), 1915; No. 38, p. 27. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 192, p. 34.

Recorded sources:




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