Rambling Laborer (The)
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RAMBLING LABORER, THE (An Spailpin/Spalpeen Fanach). AKA and see "Girl I Left Behind Me (1) (The)," "Brighton Camp,” “Spailpin Fanac(h) (1)." Irish, Air (2/4 time) or Long Dance (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Joyce): AABB (O'Neill/1001). The name comes from one of the songs written in Gaelic to the air. Fr. Henebry (A Handbook of Irish Music, 1928, p. 301) notes that "Girl I left behind me" is "one of the commonist, and certainly the poorest" version of "Spailpín Fánach (An)." See notes for alternate titles for more information on this popular melody.
Sources for notated versions: "Mr. Flattely of Mayo," via the County Cork musician and collector William Forde (c.1795–1850) [Joyce]: Padraig O'Neill of Droiched na gCorran, Helvick, Ring, "a boy then about twelve years of age. He was quite accustomed to sing into the phonograph."
Printed sources: Henebry (A Handbook of Irish Music) 1928; No. 95, p. 291 and p. 301. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 494, p. 272. Ó Lochlainn (Irish Street Ballads), 1939; No. 18. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 299. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 972, p. 167 (appears as "The Spalpeen Fanach").