What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

Understandably, Wikipedia has no definition but I would sincerely like to know just what a humour is in the context of a tune name. I apologize if this post seems a tad ignorant but those who never ask - never learn.

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

Mood/feeling/impression/vibe.

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Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

‘Humour’ is a word with a fascinating history - see entry 2 in Merriam-Webster:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humor

But maybe it’s time for an update. I love the definition you give, @Aaron.
I must say, I rather like the idea of a tune called ‘The *vibes* of Ballyloughlin’ or wherever.
Alternatively, ‘The Humours of Chipping Sodbury’. πŸ™‚

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

I wonder whether ‘The Humours Of…" ever used to be part of a tune title in any tradition outside that of Irish music. I can’t think of any among the older Scottish or English tune titles I know, though I am in no position to claim that they don’t exist. I can think only of the odd recent one whose title clearly reflects its composer’s involvement with Irish music. If the expression was historically there in Irish Gaelic, one might expect it to be in Scottish Gaelic as well: if not, then maybe not: any Gaelic experts out there?.. πŸ™‚

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

As an extension to aaron’s definition it can mean the vapours or airs of a place. Often associated with either healing, as in a place of recovery with fresh air etc or a smoggy filthy atmosphere being the "foul humours" (-of London, Manchester etc ).

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

Nicholas wrote, "I can’t think of any among the older Scottish or English tune titles…"

There was a broadside ballad printed in the 1860s called "The Humours of Glasgow Fair" ("Glasgow Fair" being the annual trades holiday). Additionally, in Hamilton’s Universal Tunebook (Glasgow 1844) there is a tune named "Where are You Going, Sweet Robin"; underneath is stated "The song The Humours of Glasgow Fair is sung to the above air (for the curious, the music can bee seen at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1189785/Workshops/bmg/bmg16/BMG16.pdf).

There are a couple more ("The Humours of Nairnshire" and "The Humours of Cullen") that I know of in Scotland, but that’s it. There are some English ones (e.g. "The Humours of Burrow" and "The Humours of Covent Garden," an 18th century mock-heroic poem, but also a tune).

To me, this suggests that the term was in use outside of Ireland, but for some reason it resonated more there, and produced the plethora of Irish tunes and songs we are blessed with today.

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

Thanks for the info, Nigel πŸ™‚.

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

I think it was more popular in Ireland because it was part of that delicate & clever sense of mock-heroic humour that’s so characteristic of Irish songs like ‘Mullingar’ etc - but maybe that’s just me. πŸ™‚

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r7KqAEVGpg

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

In Ireland, Fun ! or, Duh Craic !
πŸ˜‰
f4

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

There’s also The Humours of Spennymoor, a relatively modern composition.

Re: What’s a humour as in "The Humours Of Glendart"?

The ‘oirish’ never throw anything linguistic away. ‘Humours’ came over with the Elizabethans. This quote from Wikipedia about Ben Jonsons play "Every Man in his Humour" gives the ‘flavor’: Every Man in His Humour is a 1598 play by the English playwright Ben Jonson. The play belongs to the subgenre of the "humours comedy," in which each major character is dominated by an over-riding humour or obsession. Wikipedia