Shady Groves

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X:1 T:Shady Groves M:C L:1/8 Q:"Moderate" B:O'Neill's Music of Ireland. 1850 Melodies, 1903, p. 39, no. 226 Z:François-Emmanuel de Wasseige K:G G>A|(Bd)AB GFED|E2A2 A2(GA)|(Bd)AB (GF)ED|E2G2 G2H|| AB|cBcd He2 Bc|dBAG HA2 (FG)|(Ad)^cB (AG)FE|F2D2 D2(Fd)|dcBA ^G2ed| c2A2 A2(AB)|(cB)AG F2(dc)|B2G2 G2AB|cBcd He2 Bc|dBAG A2!D.C.!|]



SHADY GROVES [5] (Tor-coillte sgatmar). Irish, Air (4/4 time). G Major/A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. See also the close variant “Love's Young Dream.” O'Neill researcher Paul de Grae's comments on the tune [1] are cogent and reproduced here:

This appears to have been derived from Howe's "Kelvin Grove" (Howe, '1000 Jigs and Reels, 1867, N. 141." The first part (four bars) and the beginning of the second part are identical to Howe's air; but where Howe has four bars in the second part, O'Neill embellishes and extends it to ten bars: a not entirely successful venture, but interesting for the light it may cast on James O'Neill's taste in variation.

The origin of this air may be the old air, "An Sean-Bhean Bhocht" or "The Poor Old Woman." It is very similar to Music of Ireland No. 324, the first of two settings of "The Poor Old Woman" (also from James O'Neill), and to "Love's Young Dream" (No. 590); the latter is an almost exact duplicate of Howe's setting (Howe, 1867, No. 112).


Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Chicago police sergeant James O’Neill, a fiddler originally from CountyDown and Francis O’Neill’s collaborator [O’Neill].

Printed sources : - O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 226, p. 39.

Recorded sources: -



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  1. Paul de Grae, "Notes to the O'Neill Collections," unpublished manuscript, 2017.