Why Humours?

Why Humours?

Why are there so many Irish trad tunes called "The Humours of …"? Is that a reference to … smell? So, e.g., The Humours of Ballyconnell is a tune about what the village (or borough) of Ballyconnell smells like?

There seems to be hundreds of these "humours" tunes.

I’ve played the GHB for a few decades and never came across a tune for the GHB that started with The Humours … . It seems to be a peculiarly Irish phenomenon.

Can anyone enlighten me?

Re: Why Humours?

"The Humours of Ballyconnell is a tune about what the village (or borough) of Ballyconnell smells like?"

Smells like, tastes like, looks like, sounds like, feels like…

There have been numerous threads concerning this question before:
https://thesession.org/discussions/search?q=humours

I suppose it might be a usage that was peculiar to a certain epoch of Hiberno-English, or maybe one that was part of Standard (British) English during an even earlier period, but fell out of favour, persisting only in some outlying dialects.

Re: Why Humours?

Oh thanks. I should have done a Search before wasting everyone’s time, but many thanks. I shall read what has already been said.

Re: Why Humours?

I’ve come across what may be similar expression in titles of some Norwegian tunes. I’m told by a Norwegian speaker that ‘Stemning’ means something like ‘atmosphere’ - i.e. suggesting the characteristic ambience of a place. The band I’m in do a really nice tune by Egil Storbekken called ‘Stemning frå Steigjela*’ - though I haven’t been able to identify Steigjela on a map, so couldn’t say what its ‘stemning’ might be.
[* if you’re interested:
http://www.rudemex.co.uk/library/Scandinavian/Stemning%20fr%C3%A5%20Steigjela.pdf

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