Annotation:Rocks of Cashel (2) (The)

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X:1 T:Rocks of Cashel [2] M:C| L:1/8 O:”Irish” R:Country Dance B:Aird – Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4 (1796, No. 29, p. 11) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D df a2 b/a/g/f/ a2|df a2 b/a/g/f/ e2|df a2 b/a/g/f/ ac'|d'b af geef:| |:df {g}f/4e/2<f {g}f/4e/2<f {g}f/4e/2<f|df {g}f/4e/2<f geef|df {g}f/4e/2<f {g}f/4e/2<f {g}f/4e/2<f|d'baf geef:|]

ROCK(S) OF CASHEL [2], THE (Carraig na g-Caiseal). AKA and see "Chorus Jig (6)." Irish, Scottish; March (cut time) or Strathspey. G Major (O’Neill/1850): D Major (Hime, O’Neill/1913, Petrie). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Aird, O’Neill/1913): AABBC (O’Neill/1850): AABBCC (Hime, Gow): AABBCCBB (Lowe, Petrie). Cashel is a town in County Tipperary famous for the huge outcropping of limestone rock which looms nearby, upon which can be found the ruins of both the town's ancient fortress and a cathedral—the Rock of Cashel (note that 'rock' is properly singular). It was early the seat of the kings of Munster, the Eoghanachta, and Brian Boru was crowned there in AD 977. In 1101 Muircheartach O’Brien ceded the Rock of Cashel to the Church, and it was a religious center until sacked by Cromwellian forces in 1647.

The tune has an Irish name and presumably provenance (Glasgow musician gives the provenance as "Irish" in his 1802 collection, the earliest printing), but appears in Scottish publications first. At least one version of the tune was known in the mid-18th century for it was a favorite tune of the Reverend Dr. Campbell (a friend of Edmund Burke, Johnson, Boswell and Goldsmith) who stated it was danced to at Cashel in 1775. It “was a tune which seemed to inspire particular animation,” he wrote in his 1778 work A Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland (O’Neill, 1910 & 1913). Belfast collector Edward Bunting [1] (1773-1843) published a version of “Rocks of Cashel” in his third collection under the title “Chorus Jig (6)," which O'Neill replicated under the "Rocks of Cashel" title. It is not the tune usually known as "Chorus Jig" (actually a reel), but does have some of the character of it. The first strain of "Rocks of Cashel" is similar to that of Robert Petrie's "Marr Hills Strathspey."

The melody appears in the music manuscript copybooks of Ann Winnington, c. 1810, a resident of New York, and of Ensign Thomas Molyneaux of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, c. 1788 (under the title "Rocks of Cashell, The Presto," with an alternate title "Irish Medely" [sic]. County Cork cleric and uilleann piper James Goodman included a version of "Rocks of Cashel [2]" in his mid-19th century music manuscript collection (vol. 4, p. 19).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1802; No. 29, p. 11. Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 516. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 2), 1802; p. 24. Hime (Forty Eight Original Irish Dances Never Before Printed with Basses, vol. 1), Dublin, 1804; No. 13. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 5), 1844-45; p. 7. McGoun (Repository of Scots and Irish Airs), c. 1800. O’Farrell (National Irish Music for the Union Pipes), 1804; O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1819, p. 342. O’Neill (Irish Minstrels and Musicians), 1913; p. 420. Petrie (Fourth Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jiggs & Country Dances), 1805; p. 24.

See also listing at :
Alan Ng's [2]

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