My Lagan Love polka

Also known as The Belfast Maid, The Fairy Mistress, Leánan Sídhe, My Laggan Love.

There are 32 recordings of a tune by this name.

My Lagan Love has been added to 101 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: My Lagan Love
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
(3G/A/B/| c2 (GF/E/)| C2 (B,>C)| (E2 FE)| (C3 C)| (C4| C3)||
G| A2 (3_BAB| c2 (GF/E/)| C2 (B,>C)| (E2 FE)| (C3 C)| C3 ||
(C/C/)| (EF) (A>G)| (3GFE (FA/B/)| c2 (F (3A/G/A/ )|B2 c2|
_e (c2 B)|c2 (GF/E/)| C2 (B,z/C/)| (E2 FE)| (C3 C)| C3 ||
# Added by rwwt .
ABC
X: 2
T: My Lagan Love
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
3de/f/| g3d cB/G/| F3G Bc/d/|c3B (G>G| G3)d/e/ fe/f/|
g3d cB/G/|F3G Bc/d/|c3B G>G|G3G Bc|
e3d dc/B/|c4 ef|g3c ed/e/|^fg g_b g=f|
g3d (3cBG|F3G Bc/d/|c3B G>G|G4||
# Added by JACKB .
ABC

Ten comments

Notes on the setting

This is an air, not a polka. The setting is taken from Roche’s Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3, where it is marked "from Hughes". There is supposed to be a fermata ("birdseye") at the end of each of the last three lines.

The meter as given is noticeably "crooked". That the rhythm is meant to be free is supported by the listing of this tune in John Loesberg’s "An Irish Tunebook", vol. 2 (Ossian, 1999), where the tune is given on four lines, with no time signature or division into measures:

L: 1/4
K: Cmaj
G A _B c4 G2 F/E/ C _B z/ C E F/E/ C C C2 ||
G A _B/A/B c2 G2 F/E/ C _B2 C E F {FE} C C C2 ||
C/C/ E F A2 G G/F/_E/ F z/ A/_b c2 F A/G/A/ =B c2 ||
_e/ c _B/ c2 G2 F/E/ c _B z/ C E F/E/ C C C2 ||

Again a fermata appears over the final note on each line.

Posted by .

This tune was recorded on the Horslips album "Book of Invasions" where it was given a slightly unorthodox treatment. I won’t bother add it to the recording database as it’s hardly what we think of as Irish traditional music. In my younger days, I listened to all sorts of quasi traditional/ folk rock musics before realising that the real thing was best.

John

My Lagan Love - other versions

I believe this is the same song Niamh Parsons does a stunning unaccompanied rendition of on her CD "Heart’s Desire". It’s a great version to listen to for a lesson on ornamentation and pacing!

My Lagan Love

Definitely not a polka. My Lagan Love is a song best sung unaccompanied without meter and with ornamentation unique to each singer. It is a song I sing. I found it from an out-of-print copy of Herbert Hughes collected Irish songs and the old 1950’s era record of the singing of harpist Mary O’Hara. Hughes says in his notes in the 1904 publication in "Songs of Uladh" (yes a hundred years ago) about this tune:"I got this from Proinseas mac Suibhne who played it for me on the fidil. He had it from his
father Seaghan mac Suibhne, who learned it from a sapper working on the Ordnance Survey in Tearmann about fifty years ago. It was sung to
a ballad called the "Belfast Maid," now forgotten in Cill-mac-nEnain."

Hughes set the tune to a poem, My Lagan Love, written by his friend Joseph Campbell. It is the Lagan river in Belfast that is referred to.

If anyone is interested in all the verses, send me a message.

Alice Flynn

A Polka????

How can we said the my lagan love is a polka??? It’s a very beatiful air that has a lot of versions. The last I heard and for me the best is the The Corrs one. It’s very touching. I almost cry listening to it

Nobody said it was a polka. It was placed in the polka category because Jeremy doesn’t want airs posted to the site and some people can’t accept that policy. They post airs in whatever category has the same meter as the one they’ve used to notate the air. This one was notated in 2/4. Polkas are 2/4. Therefore this air is a polka. Twisted logic, but it solves the "problem" of how to circumvent the ban.

Polka? Why Not?

I wear my steel-toed Redwings to dance to this one.
They’ve got jingle toe taps too.
It’s especially good played full-bore on a chemnitzer.

Posted by .

I actually pasted the ABC into BarFly, took out the slurs, sped it up, and played it as a polka. It sounded terrible.

Dance outside the box, Gary. Listen to it through a bottle of Redbreast.

Posted by .

My Laglan Love

Stumbled into this exquisite tune by way of "Champions of Ireland; Harp" 2003, cd, played by Lynn Saoirse. Played slow, sensuous, lots of pith, too much added synthesizer for my taste, but the harp work is lovely….on my way to learn it now on double strung harp!