Annotation:Valley Near Sliavnamon (2) (The)

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VALLEY NEAR SLIEVE NA MON [2], THE. Irish, Air (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Slievenamon [1] (The Mountain of the Women) is a 2,365 ft. mountain in south County Tipperary, near Clonmel. The mountain is said to have derived its name from the ancient fairy women or Feimhin, who enchanted a warrior named Fionn mac Cumhaill and his followers.

O’Neill (1922) says: “This fine air which runs to the unusual number of 14 bars in each part was sent me by a Dublin friend, Mr. M. Flanagan, a distinguished linguist and scholar. In his leisure moments, he enjoys the music of his fiddle, and union pipes, being a skillful performer on both instruments. A brief sketch of his eventful life appears in Irish Minstrels and Musicians. Whether suitable to the meter of the melody or not, Mr. Flanagan's charming verses will be no less appreciated than his music.” The words are by Charles Kickham (b. 1828), author of Knocknagow, who was being groomed for the medical profession. Unfortunately, he was deafened and half-blinded by a firearms accident at the age of thirteen. He was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for Fenian activity and, due to ill-treatment in prison, was released totally blind. Kickham died in 1882.

Alone all alone by the wave washed strand
All alone in a crowded hall
The hall it is gay and the waves they are grand
But my heart is not here at all
It flies far away by night and by day
To the times and the joys that are gone
And I never will forget the sweet maiden I met
In the valley near Slievenamon.

It was not the grace of her queenly air
Nor her cheek of the roses glow
Nor her soft black eyes, nor her flowing hair
Nor was it her lily white brow
But the soul of truth and of melting ruth
And the smile like a summer dawn
That stole my heart away on a soft summer day
In the valley near Slievenamon.

In the festive hall by the star washed shore
Or wherever my restless spirit flies
My love oh my love shall I neer see you more
And my land will you never uprise
By night and by day I ever ever pray
While lonely my life flows on
To see our flag unfurled and my true love to enfold
In the valley near Slievenamon.
In the valley near Slievenamon.

Source for notated version: M. Flanagan, Dublin [O’Neill].

Printed sources: O’Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922.

Recorded sources:

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