O’Arranmore barndance

O'Arranmore has been added to 5 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: O'Arranmore
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmin
A|: d>efe dAA>F | G>FGA c3A | d>efe dAG>F |1 G>FDD D3A :|2 G>FDD D2zc ||
|: c>AFG A>BAF | c>AFA c3A | d>efe d>AAF |G>FDD D3z:|

Three comments

Not a barndance, but a song air. This comes directly a book that a friend gave to me:

"The Song Lore of Ireland."
New York. The Baker and Taylor CO. 1911.

The book has it without repeats, but the notation matches.
It does make a nice little dance tune with the repeats and with a change in the "puncuation" marks.

I don;t think it is Dminor, but I needed one flat for this so I chose minor.


Lovely little air. Thanks.

Re: O’Arranmore

This is a beautiful and interesting tune. Thomas Moore composed lyrics to it thus:

Oh! Arranmore, loved Arranmore,
How oft I dream of thee,
And of those days when, by thy shore,
I wander’d young and free.
Full many a part I’ve tried, since then,
Through pleasure’s flowery maze,
But ne’er could find the bliss again
I felt in those sweet days.

How blithe upon thy breezy cliffs
At sunny morn I’ve stood,
With heart as bounding as the skiffs
That danced along thy flood;
Or, when the western wave grew bright
With daylight’s parting wing,
Have sought that Eden in its light
Which dreaming poets sing; —

That Eden where th’ immortal brave
Dwell in a land serene,—
Whose bow’rs beyond the shining wave,
At sunset, oft are seen.
Ah! dream too full of sadd’ning truths!
Those mansions o’er the main
Are like the hopes I built in youth,—
As sunny and as vain!

Redfern Mason in the source cited, The Song Lore of Ireland (New York, 1911), has this to say about it:

"The Hypodorian mode—which is really the minor mode in its oldest form—is of peculiar spirituality. It may be adapted to any key. Perhaps there is no more beautiful example of a melody in this old mode than " O Arranmore." It is sweet and sad and Moore’s words are full of a tender sorrow. From the flat in the signature and the commencement of the air on D, a superficial observer might jump to the conclusion that it was in the key of D minor. But, if that were the case, there would be a C sharp in the melody, whereas the C remains natural throughout. It is the flat seventh of Gregorian music. "

I’ve used this air as a setting for a poem of A. E. Housman. Anyone interested can find a score and audio file (computer generated as a demo using choral ahs even though the score is for a single singer) at:


Whatever merits my version my have or lack, I think it’s surprising how well the melody fits Housman’s lines.