Wind that Shakes the Barley (1) (The)

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X:11 T:Wind that Bloeth the Barley [1]. WI.011 M:C| L:1/8 Q:1/2=100 B:Wm Irwin, 1838 MS, AGG's Transcription R:.Reel O:England A:Lake District Z:vmp.Chris Partington.2005 K:D A2AB AFDA|B2BA BcdB|A2AB AFDA|gefd B2d2:| |:f2fd g2ge|f2fd eAce|f2fd g2gb|aged B2d2:|



WIND THAT SHAKES/SHOOK THE BARLEY [1], THE ("An ghaoth a bhogann," "An Ghaoth/Gaot a chroitheann/corruideann an eorna" or "An gaot a biodgeas an t-orna"). AKA and see "Duncan Davidson," “Gaoth A Chroitheanna an Eorna (An),” "I Sat (with)in the Valley Green," "Kerry Lasses (3) (The)." Irish, Scottish, Shetland, English, American; Reel. D Major (most versions): G Major (Hardings): D Mixolydian (Carlin). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Allan's, Breathnach, Cole, Harker/Rafferty, Honeyman, Mallinson, O'Neill/1850, Stanford/Petrie, Surenne, Sweet, Tubridy): AAB (Athole): AA'B (O'Neill/Krassen, 1915): AAB (Brody, Carlin, Flaherty, Hunter, S. Johnson, Kerr, Neil, Skye, Sumner): ABB (Phillips): AABB (Hardings, Miller & Perron). The Irish musicologist Father Henebry considered this tune originally Scottish (as did Breathnach), but Bayard (1981) finds almost no Scottish traditional forms; he found numerous versions in Irish and Irish American currency. Emmerson (1971), however, states the tune is "substantially a set of the 'Fairy Dance,'" which is definately Scottish and whose full title is "Largo's Fairy Dance," composed by Nathaniel Gow.

“The Wind that Shakes the Barley” was cited as having commonly been played for Orange County, New York, country dances in the 1930's (Lettie Osborn, New York Folklore Quarterly). "The (Provance) version...contains a feature common enough in old country reels, but seldom encountered in American variants: namely, the 'circular' construction, which provides for the tune's going on indefinitely without coming to a complete cadence. F.P. Provance stated that he learned this set 'among the Dutch' in eastern Fayette and western Somerset Counties an interesting evidence of how the German settlers have adopted the tradition of the Irish whom they encountered on their arrival in Pennyslvania" (Bayard, 1944). It was recorded on 78 RPM disc by Beaver Island, Michigan, fiddler Patrick Bonner, who had several Irish-style tunes in his repertoire. Beaver Island was settled by a number of immigrants from Arranmore island, off the coast of Donegal, and the Donegal fiddling tradition can be heard in Bonner’s playing (he was the youngest son of immigrants from Arranmore).

The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes ("The Northern Minstrel's Budget"), which he published c. 1800.

The melody (as "Wind that Shed the Barley") was entered into Book 2 of the large c. 1883 music manuscript collection of County Leitrim fiddler and piper Stephen Grier (c. 1824–1894). "Wind that Shakes the Barley" was the vehicle for the Donegal house-dance the Barnas Mór Reel, writes Fintan Vallely in his book Blooming Meadows (1998), interviewing Donegal fiddler Vincent Broderick of the townland of Tangaveane in the Croaghs (Blue Stack Mountains). Broderick remembered: “They would let hands to, d’you see, every other bar or so…and they done this step dance every one of them on their own and then they would join hands again, go around again.”

Several songs have been written to the melody. One set of Irish words goes:

Oh, won't you rattle me, and oh, won't you chase me,
Oh, won't you rattle me, the little bag of tailors.
Oh, won't you rattle me, and oh, won't you chase me,
Oh, won't you rattle me, the little bag of tailors.

I went up to Dublin, I met a little tailor,
I put him in my pocket, for fear the dogs would eat him.
The dogs began to bark, and I began a-wailin',
I threw him in the Liffey, for fear the dogs would eat him.

A romantic song to the tune with words by Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830–1883) commemorating the uprising of 1798 led by the Society of United Irishmen was originally published c. 1880 in Ballads of Irish Chivalry. It is also called “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” and goes:

I sat within a valley green
I sat there with my true love
My sad heart strove the two between
The old love and the new love
The old for her, the new
That made me think on Ireland dearly
When soft the wind blew down the glen
And shook the golden barley.

'Twas hard the woeful words to frame
'Twas worse the tide that bound us
But harder still to bear the shame
Of foreign chains around us
And so I said "The Mountain glen
I'll seek it morning early
And join the bold United Men
While soft wind shakes the barley"

While sad I kissed away her tears
My fond arms 'round her flinging
The foeman's shot burst on our ears
From out the wild wood ringing
The bullet pierced my true love's side
In life's young spring so early
And on my breast in blood she died
While soft wind shakes the barley.

I bore her to some mountain stream
And many's the summer blossom
I placed with branches soft and green
About her gore-stained bosom
I wept and kissed her clay-cold corpse
Then rushed o'er vale and valley
My vengeance on the foe to wreak
While soft wind shook the barley

Then blood for blood without remorse
I've taken to Oulard Hollow
I've laid my true love's clay cold corpse
Where I full soon will follow
And 'round her grave I wander here
Now night and morning early
With a breaking heart when e'er I hear
The wind that shakes the barley.

Oulart Hill, referred to in the song as “Oulard Hollow,” is located in County Wexford and was the site of the United Irish rebels' first significant success. On Whit Sunday, the 27th of May, 1798, they ambushed and annihilated a body of Government troops—the infamous North Cork Militia—numbering around one hundred. There are said to have been but three survivors, despite the fact that the militia was Irish to a man. Another song set to the tune is called “Little Bag of Tailors (The).” O’Neill prints the tune as “Wind that Shakes the Barley” and “I sat in the Valley Green.”

The title is among those mentioned in Patrick J. McCall’s 1861 poem “The Dance at Marley,” the first three stanzas of which goes:

Murtagh Murphy’s barn was full to the door when the eve grew dull,
For Phelim Moore his beautiful new pipes had brought to charm them;
In the kitchen thronged the girls — cheeks of roses, teeth of pearls —
Admiring bows and braids and curls, till Phelim’s notes alarm them.
Quick each maid her hat and shawl hung on dresser, bed, or wall,
Smoothed down her hair and smiled on all as she the bawnoge entered,
Where a shass of straw was laid on a ladder raised that made
A seat for them as still they stayed while dancers by them cantered.

Murtagh and his vanithee had their chairs brought in to see
The heels and toes go fast and free, and fun and love and laughter;
In their sconces all alight shone the tallow candles bright —
The flames kept jigging all the night, upleaping to each rafter!
The pipes, with noisy drumming sound, the lovers’ whispering sadly drowned,
So the couples took their ground — their hearts already dancing!
Merrily, with toe and heel, airily in jig and reel,
Fast in and out they whirl and wheel, all capering and prancing.

“Off She Goes,” “The Rocky Road,” “The Tipsy House,” and “Miss McLeod,”
“The Devil’s Dream,” and “Jig Polthogue,” “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,”
“The First o’May,” “The Garran Bwee,” “Tatther Jack Welsh,” “The River Lee,” —
As lapping breakers from the sea the myriad tunes at Marley!
Reels of three and reels of four, hornpipes and jigs galore,
With singles, doubles held the floor in turn, without a bar low;
But when the fun and courting lulled, and the dancing somewhat dulled,
The door unhinged, the boys down pulled for “Follow me up to Carlow.”

The tune is mentioned in William Hamilton Maxwell’s Stories of Waterloo and Other Tales (London, 1829), in a chapter on one Frank Kennedy, ofConnemara, a junior officer stationed in Ireland. In this passage he has been invited to a ball with several other officers:

The first dance had concluded, when the long gentleman whispered softly over my shoulder, how I liked "the heiress?" The heiress!—I felt a faint hope rising in my breast, which made my cheek colour like a peony. Rattigan's remorse for neglected opportunities rushed to my mind. Had my lucky hour come? and had I actually an heiress by the hand for nine-and-twenty couples? We were again at the head of the room, and away we went—she cutting and I capering, until we danced to the very bottom, "The wind that shakes the barley!"

I had placed Miss O'Brien, with great formality, on a bench, when Rattigan took me aside:—"Frank, you're a fortunate fellow, or its your own fault—found out all from the old one—lovely creature—great catch—who knows?—strike while the iron is hot," &c. &c &c.


Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - Kevin Burke (Co. Clare) [Phillips]; Michael Kennedy (Ireland) [Carlin]; F.P. Provance (Point Marion, Pa., 1943; learned from fiddlers playing it in eastern Fayette and western Somerset Counties, Pa.) [Bayard, 1944]: J Bryner (Pa., 1946), F King (Pa., 1960), and Shape (fiddler from Pa., 1944) [Bayard, 1981]; fiddler Sean Keane (Ireland) [Breathnach]; fiddler Michael Lennihan (b. 1917, Kilnamanagh, in the Frenchpark area of County Roscommon) [Flaherty]; S. O’Daly [Stanford/Petrie]; the 1823—26 music mss of papermaker and musician Joshua Gibbons (1778–1871, of Tealby, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire Wolds) [Sumner]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : Bayard (Hill Country Tunes), 1944; No. 23. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 162A C, pp. 99–100. Breathnach (CRÉ III), 1985; No. 202, p. 90. Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; p. 293. Burchenal (Rinnce na h Eireann), p. 120. Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 195, p. 116. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 22. DeVille, 1905; No. 74. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 91. Greenleaf, No. 186. Hardings All Round Collection, 1905; No. 129, pp. 40–41. Harding's Original Collection, 1928; No. 130. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 159, p. 49. Honeyman (Strathspey, Reel and Hornpipe Tutor), 1898; p. 9. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 223. Jarman (Old Time Fiddlin' Tunes); No. or p. 15. JFSS, VII, 172 (a Manx vocal set, "Crag Willee Syl"). S. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 4: Collection of Fine Tunes), 1983 (revised 1991, 2001); p. 6. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; Set 3, No. 2, p. 4. Levey (First Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland), 1853; No. 24, p. 11. McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), c. 1920's; No. 68, p. 17. Miller & Perron (New England Fiddler’s Repertoire), 1983; No. 92. Moffat (Dance Music of the North), 1908; No. 23, p. 9. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 188, p. 243. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 155. O'Neill (O’Neill’s Irish Music), 1915; No. 257, p. 133. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1518, p. 280. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 737, p. 129. Peoples (Fifty Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1986; p. 32. Phillips (Fiddlecase Tunebook), 1989; p. 52. Robbins, 1933; No. 25. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 1), 1912; No. 199, p. 75. Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; Nos. 320 & 321, pp. 80–81. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 89. Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 96 (appears as “The Wind that Blows the Barley Down”). Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 41. Sweet (Fifer’s Delight), 1965/1981; p. 64. Sym (Sym's Old Time Dances), 1930; p. 27. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, Book Two), 1999; p. 24. Welling (Hartford Tunebook), 1976; p. 26. White's Excelsior Collection, p. 35.

Recorded sources: - Columbia C 33397, Dave Bromberg Band "Midnight on the Water" (1975). ColumbiaLegacy CK 48693, "The Best of the Chieftains" (1992). Front Hall 014, John McCutcheon "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" (1977. Learned from the Smathers Family). Front Hall 015, Jake Walton and Roger Nicholson "Bygone Days." Gael Linn Records CEF 022, Seamus Ennis, John Joe Gannon, Sean Keane "Seoda Ceoil II" (1969). Ghe Records GR1001, Mike Cross "Child Prodigy" (1979). Green Linnet SIF1110, Tony DeMarco "My Love is in America: The Boston College Irish Fiddle Festival" (1991). Homespun Tapes, Kevin Burke. Rounder CD1518, Various Performers – “American Fiddle Tunes” (1971. Played by Patrick Bonner). Rounder Select 82161-0476-2, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley: Hammered Dulcimer Music” (reissues, orig. released 1977). Shanachie 79006, Mary Bergin "Traditional Irish Music." Shanachie 79011, Planxty "Cold Blow the Rainy Night." Shanachie 78010, Solas – “Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers.” Bob Smith’s Ideal Band – “Ideal Music” (1977). “Fiddlers Three Plus Two.”

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng’s Irishtune.info [2]



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