Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Hi all!
Given the recent focus on centuries of key historical events in Ireland. I was looking for tunes with titles commemorating or related to this period as part of a project. In particular in 2021, I’m looking at titles which could relate to The Irish War of Independence.

I was hoping the good people at TheSession might be aware of some?

Some examples could be related: The Independence Hornpipe, Wind that shakes the barley (reel), home ruler hornpipe.

I’d also be interested in loosely related titles such as: The reconciliation, Pride of the North march.

All help greatly appreciated!

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Hi tradio, and welcome. I have to leave it to those who know to supply the tunes you ask for, but straight off, be careful by assuming that the titles of the tunes have any literal connection. I.e., of those fort three you mentioned, as far as I know "The Independence" was named after a ship, "The Home Ruler" was named after the composer’s wife, and "The Wind that Shakes the Barley", well the last I hear it was a Scottish composition (I may be wrong)

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Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

The reel "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" is most probably of Scottish origin, but there is an Irish song of the same title. As Gobby suggests, the titles of tunes are really no more than labels, although they undoubtedly may have had significance to the composer. Songs written about those events, telling an actual story, would be far more relevant, IMHO.

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Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Oh yes.. Thank Kenny. I forgot there was a song!

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Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Possibly the Flying Column, aka Farewell to Erin https://thesession.org/tunes/846 , relates to the War of Independence.

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Thanks all! I know the titles will only loosely link to the project. Flying column great. All suggestions welcome

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Charlie Lennon did a whole album of tunes commemorating the Easter Uprising; "Áille na hÁille – A Terrible Beauty: A Suite in Honour of the Heroes of 1916".

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

The Reconciliation is in O’Neill’s, which was published in 1907, obviously predating the uprisings in 1916 to 1922. Unless you can show that it has some vague relationship to the on and off conflicts throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, but there wasn’t much in the way of useful or long-lasting reconciliation. Titles alone are pretty ambiguous. For all I know (and I don’t know anything about the history of that tune), it could be named in response to reconcilation with the composer’s wife, or neighbor, or horse. You would need to ferret out the history of any given tune to connect it to the War of Independance.

The Foggy Dew, the Black and Tans, and a pile of other songs… not dance tunes….they have slightly clearer links.

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Independence…sheesh…spelling!

I was going to suggest Parnell’s March, but then did some half-arsed digging myself and according to my source (thesession, lol…I didn’t go nuts), it was found in Tadhg Crowley’s 1936 uilleann piping tutor, and Harry Bradley, who knows his stuff, suggested that it might have originally come from the Highland piping repertoire, and it also bears strong resemblance to a Newfoundland tune. A Newfoundland fiddler gave it a name, but said it had been a nameless tune floating around in the Newfie repertoire since the early 1900s. So there we are.

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Hi tradio
This link might be useful in your project. There are some quite informative comments

https://thesession.org/tunes/6673

All the best
Brian x

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

The Gun in the Thatch/Hand Me Down the Tackle, The Boys of Twenty-Five, The Galtee Rangers…

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

The reel ‘the plough and the stars’ by Larry Redican appears to take its title from a play by Irish writer Seán O’Casey, set during the Easter uprising of 1916 and first performed in Dublin in 1926. The Irish Citizen Army, which took part in the uprising in Dublin, originally used a flag featuring the stars of ‘the Plough’ constellation superimposed on an image of a yellow metal plough on a green background.

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

You should check any tune on this site (as well as thesession): https://tunearch.org/wiki/TTA.

If you scroll down to the link called "annotations" on any given tune, it tells you what’s known about the origins of that tune. It might (but doesn’t always) give you an indication of where the name originated and when and by whom (if known) the tune was composed.

It suggests Pride of the North, for instance, was most likely composed by James Hill, who was a well known 19th century Gateshead composer. "The North" probably refers to the Newcastle/Gateshead area.

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

There’s probably been a thread on this site about "Farewell to Erin" versus "Farewell to Ireland". The former is a 2-parted reel in D, listed in O’ Neill’s. The second tune is the well-known 4-parter in A mix, which seems to be based on "The Highland Watch’s Farewell to Ireland", a 2-parter, which I stumbled across in a collection by Dr. John Turner, who credits it to the Stewart Collection. This may have some relevance to the OP’s query, depending on when and what the Highland Watch was doing in Ireland.

Re: Tune titles related to War of Independence Period

Logically, any tune title relating to the Irish war of independence [ 1919 -1921 according to most online sources ] could only come at the soonest, during, but more likely, after the events had taken place. O’Neill’s, including both the tunes you mention, was published in 1907. "The Highlander’s Farewell To Ireland" appears in collections in Scotland printed in the late 1700s.
I think the point being made above was that "The Flying Column" - which would certainly be relevant to the post - was an alternative and later title applied to the reel originally known in O’Neill’s as "Farewell To Erin".

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