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Free Mountain Dulcimer
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Each set includes tab sheets
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This month's Free
In honor of St Patrick's day, this month's free tab is an arrangement of traditional Irish aire, "The Dawning of the Day" (Irish: “Fáinne Geal an Lae”, literally "The bright ring of the day"), composed by the harpist Thomas O'Connellan sometime around 1682. O'Connellan's story was similar to that of Turlough O'Carolan, in that both men had lost their sight at a young age, and subsequently made their living as traveling musicians, performing and composing "planxtys" and other tunes in return for food and lodging. O'Connellan seems to have spent much of his time traveling in Scotland, and a number of his tunes reflect that influence, including Molly MacAlpin, (aka Carolan's Dream).
The original O'Connellan aire has been modified over the years, and there are a number of variants. In 1847, an Irish-language song with the same name “Fáinne Geal an Lae” was published by Edward Walsh in "Irish Popular Songs" and later translated into English as "The Dawning of the Day". This song is often played as a march, and is one of the first tunes that many students of Irish music will learn. Here's a link to a YouTube video of a traditional version of the song being sung by the Irish tenor John McCormack.
The song gained even more notoriety when Irish poet and novelist Patrick Kavanagh introduced his poem "On Raglan Road" to Luke Kelly of the well-known Irish band "The Dubliners", who paired it with one of the existing variants of O'Connellan's original melody. Here's a link to a YouTube video of that song being sung by Loreena McKennitt.
In 2003, singer/songwriter Mary Fahl wrote a new set of lyrics for the tune depicting the events of 9/11 to honor the sacrifice of the firefighters and other first-responders who died trying to save the victims of those attacks. Here is a link to a YouTube video of Mary Fahl singing her version.
Enjoy - and Happy St Patrick's Day!
One morning early I walked forth, by the margin of Lough Leane
The sunshine dressed the trees in green, and summer bloomed again
I left the town and wandered on, through fields all green and gay
And whom should I meet but a maiden sweet, at the dawning of the day.
No cap or cloak this maiden wore, her neck and feet were bare
Down to the grass in ringlets fell her glossy golden hair
A milking pail was in her hand, she was lovely, young and gay
She wore the palm from Venus bright, by the dawning of the day.
On a mossy bank I sat me down, with the maiden by my side
With gentle words I courted her, and asked her to be my bride.
But she said, "Young man don't bring me blame", and swiftly turned away
And the morning light was shining bright, at the dawning of the day.