Butterfly (5) (The)
BUTTERFLY , THE. Irish, Harp Air (6/8 time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Bunting noted in his manuscript that this was either the second, third or fourth tune learned by beginning harpers. Ann Heymann notes that there is an old Irish belief that the butterfly represented a dead soul waiting to enter Purgatory, and that folklore has it that the spirit of a living person can also leave the body while asleep and travel in the form of the insect.
Source for notated version: Bunting's manuscript, noted from the ancient harper Patrick Quin of County Armagh, one of ten harpers in attendance at the Belfast Harp Festival, held in 1792 [Heymann].
Printed source: Heymann (Secrets of the Gaelic Harp), 1988; p. 55.
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