Woods of Kilmurray (The)

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X:1 T:Woods of Kilmurray, The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Rather slow" S:O’Neill – Music of Ireland (1903), No. 22 Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Gmin d/c/|BAG FDC|D G2 G2 G/B/|BAG dcA|(F3 F2)d/c/| BAG FDC|D (G2 G)zG/A/|B<dc A<BA|(G3G2)|| G/A/|B>cd/=e/ fdc|d (g2 g)g/a/|bag dcA|(G3 G)z a/g/| fed cAG|F (D2 D2)zG/A/|B<dc A<BA|(G3 G2)||



WOODS OF KILMURRAY, THE (Coillte Cill-Muire). Irish, Air (6/8 time, "rather slow"). G Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. O’Neill says the tune is: “a restoration of an ancient air partly forgotten, which my mother sang (in Bantry, west Cork).” Mention of the air was made in an article in the Chicago Sunday Tribune (March 2nd, 1902) that describes the process of reconstructing this melody:

This is one of the old elusive and ever furtive airs which Captain O'Neill had tried to call back from the time when, at the spinning wheel, his mother wound up the old song with the words, "the flourishing state of Kilmurray." Only the last bars of which these words were sung were remembered sufficiently to recall. Officer O'Neill put these bars on paper and then went to work to write backwards to a logical Irish beginning. This he has done and the Chief Francis O'Neill and the Inquest Committee are satisfied that the world's judges of Irish music will find it so. [1]

Paul de Grae remarks: "James O'Neill may perhaps have had the jig "Gobby-O (The)" (MI 844, DMI 105) somewhere in his mind during this process--certainly there is a degree of similarity in the first part at least. "She's a Daughter of Daniel O'Connell" (MI 44) is a major-mode variant."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 22, p. 4. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3), 1927; No 67, p. 19.

Recorded sources: -



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  1. Quoted by Mac Aoidh, The Scribe, 2006, p. 51