O’Rourke’s Feast waltz

Also known as O’Rourke’s Noble Feast, Planxty O’Rourke, Pléaráca An Ruarcaigh, Pléaráca Na Ruarcach, Pleraca Na Ruarcach.

There are 4 recordings of a tune by this name.

O'Rourke's Feast has been added to 8 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: O'Rourke's Feast
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D | GG/A/B/c/ dBG | ccc c/d/ec | dBd e/f/ge | f/g/af g2 d |$ gab abg | fge dcB | cAd BGd |
eee f2 d |$ g>gg gBd | gfg afd | e>ee e/f/ge | dBG G2 |$ D | DGG G2 D | GG/A/B/c/ dBG | EAA A2 E |
AA/B/c/d/ ecA |$ d>dd dec | B>BB BcA | G>GG G2 A | GFE D2 D |$ DEF GBD | GFG AFD | d2 c B/c/dG |
F/G/AD G2|]
ABC

Three comments

O’Rourke’s Feast

This is actually an air, but that category doesn’t appear in the list. I encountered the tune as "Plearaca an Ruarcaugh" on the 1973 album "Tin Whistles" by Paddy Moloney and Sean Potts. Thanks to helpful folks here, after creating part of the score by ear, I was directed to the abc notation on ibiblio.org and finished the scoring. You will find much about the rich history of this early Eighteenth Century piece at ibiblio.org.

"A number of sources credit this tune as an O’Carolan composition "Planxty O’Rourke""

There are two "Planxty O’Rourkes" attributed to Carolan, and this is neither of them (despite the "pléaráca " in the title). O’Sullivan lists it as "The O’Rourke’s Feast" and has this to say, among other things:

"So far as is known, this is the only case in which Carolan composed an air for the words of another poet. [Joseph Cooper] Walker states as follows (p.303):
‘One of Carolan’s earliest friends was Hugh MacGauran, a gentleman of the county of Leitrim, who had a happy poetical talent, and excelled particularly in the ludicrous species of poetry. He was the author of the justly celebrated song "Pleraca na Ruarcach or O’Rourke’s Feast which he prevailed on our Bard to set to music. And the air is worthy of the words. The fame of this song having reached the immortal Dean Swift, he requested of MacGauran a literal translation of it, and was so charmed with its beauties that he honoured it with an excellent version.’


MacGauran’s words (via Bunting):

Pléaráca na Ruarcach i gcuimhne gach uile dhuine
Dhá dtiocfaidh is dá dtáinic is dá maireann go fóill.
Seacht bhfichid muc, mart agus caora
Dhá gcasgairt don ghasraidh gach aon ló.
Ceád páil uisce bheatha is na meadra dhá líonadh,
Ag éirghe ar maiden is againn do bhí an spóirt.
Briseadh do phíopa-sa sladadh mo phóca-sa,
Goideadh do bhríste-sa loisgeadh mo chlóca-sa,
Chaill mé mo bhaireád, m’fhallaing agus m’fhileád,
Ó d’imthigh na gairéid, ár seacht mbeannacht leó.
Cuir spraic ar a’ gcláirsigh sin, seinn suas a’ pleáráca sin,
An bucsa sin, ‘Áine, agus greadóg le n-ol!

Swifts version (not literal translation):

O’Rourk’s noble fare
Will ne’er be forgot
By those who were there
Or those who were not.
His revels to keep,
We sup and we dine
On seven score sheep,
Fat bullocks and swine.
Usequebaugh to our feast
In pails was brought up,
A hundred at least,
And the madder our cup,
O there is the sport!
We rise with the light
In disorderly sort,
From snoring all night.
O how I was trick’d!
My pipe it was broke,
My pocket was pick’d
I lost my new cloak.
I’m rifled, quoth Nell,
Of mantle and kercher,
Why then fare them well,
The de’il take the searcher.
Come, harper, strike up;
But, first, by your favour,
Boy, give me a cup:
Ah! this hath some savour.