Return from Fingal (The)

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RETURN FROM FINGAL, THE (An casad ua Fine-Gall). AKA and see “Battle of Aughrim (3) (The),” “March to the Battle of Aughrim.” AKA – “Fingal March.” Irish, Air or March. E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. O’Neill (1913) states this air was learned by the Irish collector Dr. Petrie from the playing of Munster pipers, and was supposed to have been the march played or sung by Brian Boru’s Munster troops on their return home from their triumph over the Danes at Clontarf in 1014 (in which Boru was killed). Fingal, or in Irish Fine Gall or ‘foreigner’s territory’, is another name for Clontarf, located just north of Dublin.

The march (as "Return from Fingal") was recorded as the middle tune of a medley of three marches by The Fingal Trio, consisting of County Dublin piper James Ennis, County Sligo flutist John "Jakes" Cawley, and County Meath fiddler Frank O'Higgins. James was the father of uileann piper Seamus Ennis, a force in the mid-20th century for the preservation and popularization of traditional Irish music. The march set was constructed of tunes that referenced the Battle of Clontarf, beginning with "Brian the Brave," "Return from Fingal," and ending with "Remember the Glories of Brian the Brave," the name of a Thomas Moore song set to the old air "Molly MacAlpin."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland, vol. 2), 1974; No. 80 (listed as a march). P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs, vol. 2), 1858; No. 155, p. 71. Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 5: Mostly Irish Airs), 1985 (revised 2000); p. 11. O’Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1816, p. 341.

Recorded sources: Folkways FTS 31098, Ken Perlman – "Clawhammer Banjo and Fingerstyle Guitar Solos" (appears as “Return of Fingal”). Regal-Zonophone MR 386 (London), The Fingal Trio (1931).

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng’s Irishtune.info [2]
Hear the Fingal Trio's recording at the Internet Archive [3] and the Comhaltas Archive [4]




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