Snow Breasted Pearl (3) (The)

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X:1 T:Pearla an brollais bam T:Snowy-Breasted Pearl [3], The M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Andante" B:Bunting - "Ancient Irish Music" (1797, No. 35, p. 19) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Eb (B/c/d)|e4 ec|B3 AGF|E4 (GE)|F2 {D}(CB,CD)| [G,4E4] {B}(AG)|A2B2cd|[G4e4] (d/e/f)|e2 (dc) B2|c2 (GFGB)|c4z2|| z4(B/c/d)|e4 d/e/f|e4 (ed)(cB)|(c2E2) G/A/B|[F4B4] B/c/d| (e2 d/e/f ec)|B3 AGF|E4 (GE)|F2 CB,CD|E4||



SNOWY BREASTED PEARL [3], THE (Pearla na m-brollac baine). AKA - "Pearla na m nrollac baine," "Péarla an bhrollaigh bháin." AKA and see "Open Thy Casement, Lady Bright.” Irish, Air (3/4 time). G Major (O'Neill): E Flat Major (Bunting, Surenne). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Paul de Grae finds "Snowy Breasted Pearl [3]" to be a near-duplicate of the song "Open thy casement, lady bright," printed in Crosby's Irish Musical Repository (1808, p. 191), for which the indicted air is "Snowy Breasted Pearl," from Edward Bunting's General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music (1797, No. 35, p. 19, where it is attributed to O'Carolan, though without evidence)[1]. Thomas Moore also used the melody for one of his songs. A tune by this name was recorded (as "Pearla an Vroley Vaun") by the Belfast Northern Star of July 15, 1792, as having been played in competition by one of ten Irish harp masters at the last great convocation of ancient Irish harpers, the Belfast Harp Festival, held that week.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - "O'Neill" [O’Neill]. Chicago Police Sergeant James O’Neill was a musically literate fiddler originally from County Down and Francis O’Neill’s collaborator on his early volumes.

Printed sources : - Bunting (General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music), 1797; No. 35, p. 19. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs, vol. 3), 1859; No. 209, p. 100. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 512, p. 89. J.T. Surenne (Songs of Ireland without Words), 1854; p. 123.

Recorded sources: -Globestyle CDORB 084, Leo Rowsome – “The Gentlemen Pipers: Classic Recordings of Irish Traditional Piping” (1994).


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  1. Paul de Grae, "Notes to Sources of Tunes in the O'Neill Collections", 2017.