An Comhra Donn hornpipe

Also known as Am Comhra Donn, An Comhra Don, The Brown Box, The Brown Chest, The Chorus Of Waves, O Murchu’s, O’Murchu’s.

There are 11 recordings of a tune by this name.

An Comhra Donn has been added to 109 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: An Comhra Donn
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FG|ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BGdB AFDE|FEED E2FG|
ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BGdB AF (3EFG|F2D2 D2:|
|:fg|ag (3fed gfec|dcde fdAF|GA (3BAG FADF|Efgf e2fg|
ag (3fed gfec|dcde fdAF|GA (3BAG (3FGA EG|F2D2 D2:|
ABC
X: 2
T: An Comhra Donn
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
FG|ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFDE|FEED E2FG|
ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFEG|F2D2 D2:|
fg|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GA BG FADF|Efgf e2fg|
|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GABG FAEG|F2D2 D2|:
ABC
X: 3
T: An Comhra Donn
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
FG|ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFDE|FEED E2FG|
ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFEG|F2D2 D2:|
fg|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GABG FADF|Efgf eAdf|
|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GABG FAEG|F2D2 D2|:
# Added by JACKB .
ABC

Seven comments

An Comhra Donn

Here’s another tune I’ve gotten off a record by The Chieftains. The title means "The Brown Chest" in Gaelic. It’s on The Chieftains (1), and I give it here as they played it on that recording, but on An Irish Evening they play it slightly differently under the name O’Murchu’s Hornpipe. I prefer to play it like the version on the latter album, and I give that transcription here, with headers and all in case you care to plug it into a converter to see which version you like better:

X: 1
T: An Comhra Donn
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Dmaj
FG|ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFDE|FEED E2FG|
ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFEG|F2D2 D2:|
fg|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GA BG FADF|Efgf e2fg|
|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GABG FAEG|F2D2 D2|:

Anyway, I like the feel of this tune. It has a spring to it, so to speak, and seems like a rather light-hearted little ditty to me. It’s paired with Murhpy’s Hornpipe on The Chieftains’ afore-mentioned album,and the two go very well together, An Comhra Donn coming in before and after Murphy’s. Well, the notations for both versions have been fine-tuned to my personal satisfaction, and I hope it attains the same from you.

Lovely tune! I just picked up a book and CD of 50 solos by Sean Keane, and that one jumped out at me just this morning as I listened. Thanks for this version too.
Helen

An Comhra Don

An Comhra Don or The Brown Box was a euphemism in Ireland for a coffin.I just thought I’d mention that.David meredith

There is a hornpipe called a Donegal German which is very akin to this one.

Sandy Bell’s Ceilidh

This tune is on an album called Sandy Bell’s Ceilidh. It’s a compilation of tunes from various artists that used to play at Sandy Bell’s Pub in Edinburgh back in the 70s.

Is there a story behind the title?

Does anyone know why this tune is called "The Brown Coffin"? That’s how Google Translate renders "An Comhra Donn" (Running it the other way gives the same thing, with a slightly different spelling, which I assume is the result of modern spelling standardization). Is there a story hiding there? Has the meaning of "comhra" shifted over the years? Maybe a regional difference? Or is it just Irish cheer at wakes and funerals?
It really seems strange to have such a cheerful, bright tune be titled this way. I’d like to know if there’s some reason.