Annotation:Rose Connolly

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X:1 T:Rose Connolly M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"A little quick" N:”Author and date unknown.” S:Noted at Coleraine, 1811 B:Bunting – Ancient Music of Ireland (1840, No. 14, p. 14) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:E E/F/|.G2.G (E>F).G|B3 (cB).A|G>AF E2E|E3-E2 E/F/| G2.G (E>F).G|B3 (cBA)|G>AF E2E|E3 (Bc).d| eBG Bcd|e3 {d}cBA|{c}(B>G).F (G>E).C|E3 G>AB| c2c {d}c>BA|B2 c/B/ G2E|{D}C>B,C E2E|E3-E2||

ROSE CONNOLLY. AKA and see "Rosey Connolly," "Fair at Dungarvan (The)," "Alas my bright lady," "Lament for Kilcash," "Nelly My Love and Me," "There is a beech-tree grove," "Were you ever in sweet Tipperary?" Irish, Air (6/8 time). E Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The tune was noted by the Belfast collector Edward Bunting (1773–1843) from an unknown source in Coleraine in 1811. and printed in his third collection of 1840. O'Neill learned it as the air for a ballad called "Fair at Dungarvan (The)," which "was a great favorite in Munster, at least in the middle of the last [19th] century." The oldest title attached to the tune, thought O'Neill was "Lament for Cill Caisi (The)/Lament for Kilcash" or "Kilcash," a version of which is printed in Charles Villiers Stanford's The Complete Collection of Petrie's Irish Music (1905). O'Neill's also records that the songs "Alas my bright lady," "Nelly My Love and Me," "There is a beech-tree grove," and "Were you ever in sweet Tipperary?" were also sung to the air.

Bunting's "Rose Connolly" words go:

All you young men and Maidens I pray you take warning by me,
And never court your true love anunder a Hozier Tree.
The devil and his temptations it was that came over me,
And I murdered my Rosey Connolly anunder a Hozier Tree.

O'Sullivan notes that "ozier," a form of willow, is meant for "Hozier" in the lyric.

Joel Shimberg points out that the American old-time duo Grayson and Whitter recorded a song called "Down in the Willow Garden" in the 78 RPM era, a reworking of the “Rose Connolly” text theme, although not musically related to Bunting's tune. However, John Moulden says that “Down in the Willow Garden” was not very widespread in pre-Ralph Peer (the seminal 78 RPM recording engineer of the 1920’s) Appalachia. It goes:

Down in the willow garden, where me and my love did meet,
It's there we sat a-courting, my love dropped off to sleep.
I had a bottle of burgundy wine, which my true love did not know,
And there I murdered that dear little girl, down under the banks below.

I stabbed her with my dagger, which was a bloody knife,
Threw her into the river, with was a dreadful sight.
My father often had told me that money would set me free,
If I would murder that dear little girl, whose name was Rose Connolly.

Now he sits in his own cabin door, a-wiping his tear-dimmed eyes.
Watching as his only son climbs up the scaffold high.
My race is run beneath the sun, and hell now waits for me,
Because I murdered that dear little girl, whose name was Rose Connolly.

The “Down in the Willow” tune made its way into bluegrass repertoire from the Grayson/Whitter recording.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Bunting (The Ancient Music of Ireland), 1840;. O'Sullivan/Bunting, 1983; No. 14, p. 21. Sureene (Songs of Ireland), 1854.

See also listing at :
Read Emily Kader's 2014 article "Rose Connolly Revisited: Re-Imagining the Irish in Southern Appalachia" [1]

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