Annotation:Sliabh na mBan (1)

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X:1 T:Sliabh na mBan [1] M:C L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Andantino" B:Roche – Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3 (1927, No. 54) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G (Bc)|d2 ed G2 (DG)|B2 (cd) E2 (AG)|(F2 D)E (F<B)A2|G6:| G2|A2 (AB) c3c|B2 (GA) B3B|^c2- AB(c<f)e2| !fermata!d3d (ed^c)d|E2 (DG) B2 (=cd)|E2 (AG) (F2 D)E|(F<B) A2 (G4|G4) z2|| (Bc)|:.d.e.d.B .G.D.G.A|Bcde EEAG|FA,DE FDBA|1 GG,B,D GABc:|2 GDB,A, B z(FG)|| "poco più mosso"AEAB cedc|BDGA Bgfd|^cEAB (cA)(f>e)|!fermata!d>E- G/A/[B/d/]d/ (ed)^cd| EDGA Bcde|EEAG FA,DE|FD!fermata!(B>A) (G4|G6)||

SLIABH NA mBAN [1] (The Mountain of the Women). Irish, Air (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABCCD. This Munster song is from 1798, and words can be found in Ar gCeol Feinig (1927), by Fr. Padraig Breathnach, noted from Nioclas Toibin's singing by Aine Ni Raghallaigh. The name “Mountain of the Women” comes from a legend about the famous Irish hero Fion MacCumhaill, who, having advanced in years, determined it was time to marry. To help him select a suitable bride he decided that he would call for a race to be run to the peak and down again of a local mountain in County Tipperary, with declared his betrothed. A beautiful maiden named Deirdre won, but apparently found the hero a bit too advanced in years and so ran off with his younger colleague Diarmuid. The mountain’s name commemorates the event.

The song, however, commemorates a battle fought in the 1798 Irish rebellion on the slopes of Slievenamon, a height near Clonmel, County Tipperary, resulting in an Irish defeat. Accordion player Brendan Begley, a native of Baile na mBoc, Ballyferriter, County Kerry, remembered hearing this song sung at summer house parties when he was young, the sounds drifting into his bedroom. For his family “singing was the main thing…even milking the cows we might be singing”[1].

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3), 1927; No. 54, p. 15.

Recorded sources : - Tara Music TARACD 4011, Frankie Gavin - "Fierce Traditional" (2001). Larraga MOR1302, Mike Rafferty - "Speed 78" (2004).

See also listing at :
Alan Ng's [1]

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  1. Charlie Piggott & Fintan Vallely, Blooming Meadows: The World of Irish Traditional Musicians, 1998