An Comhra Donn hornpipe

Also known as Am Comhra Donn, An Comhra Don, An Comhra Na DTonn, Andy’s, The Brown Box, The Brown Chest, The Brown Cover, The Chorus Of Waves, O Murchu’s, O’Murchu’s, Pibddawns Huw.

There are 15 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Murphy’s (a few times).

An Comhra Donn has been added to 5 tune sets.

An Comhra Donn has been added to 148 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: An Comhra Donn
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FG|ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BGdB AFDE|FEED E2FG|
ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BGdB AF (3EFG|F2D2 D2:|
|:fg|ag (3fed gfec|dcde fdAF|GA (3BAG FADF|Efgf e2fg|
ag (3fed gfec|dcde fdAF|GA (3BAG (3FGA EG|F2D2 D2:|
X: 2
T: An Comhra Donn
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
FG|ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFDE|FEED E2FG|
ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFEG|F2D2 D2:|
fg|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GA BG FADF|Efgf e2fg|
|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GABG FAEG|F2D2 D2|:
X: 3
T: An Comhra Donn
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
FG|ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFDE|FEED E2FG|
ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFEG|F2D2 D2:|
fg|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GABG FADF|Efgf eAdf|
|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GABG FAEG|F2D2 D2|:
# Added by JACKB .
X: 4
T: An Comhra Donn
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: FG |ABAF A2 de |fefa f2 ed |B2 Bd AFED | E2 EF E2 |
| FG | ABAF A2 de | fefa f2 ed |B2 Bd AFEF | D2 DE D2 :||
|; de |faaf a2 ed | d2 de f2 fe | fdfa bafa |e2 ef e2|
| de | faaf a2 ed | dcde d2 cB | ABdB AFEF | D2 DE D2 :||

Sixteen comments

An Comhra Donn

Here’s another tune I’ve gotten off a record by The Chieftains. The title means "The Brown Chest" in Gaelic. It’s on The Chieftains (1), and I give it here as they played it on that recording, but on An Irish Evening they play it slightly differently under the name O’Murchu’s Hornpipe. I prefer to play it like the version on the latter album, and I give that transcription here, with headers and all in case you care to plug it into a converter to see which version you like better:

X: 1
T: An Comhra Donn
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Dmaj
FG|ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFDE|FEED E2FG|
ABAG FAde|fgfe dcdA|BcdB AFEG|F2D2 D2:|
fg|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GA BG FADF|Efgf e2fg|
|agfd gfec|dcde fdAF|GABG FAEG|F2D2 D2|:

Anyway, I like the feel of this tune. It has a spring to it, so to speak, and seems like a rather light-hearted little ditty to me. It’s paired with Murhpy’s Hornpipe on The Chieftains’ afore-mentioned album,and the two go very well together, An Comhra Donn coming in before and after Murphy’s. Well, the notations for both versions have been fine-tuned to my personal satisfaction, and I hope it attains the same from you.

Lovely tune! I just picked up a book and CD of 50 solos by Sean Keane, and that one jumped out at me just this morning as I listened. Thanks for this version too.
Helen

An Comhra Don

An Comhra Don or The Brown Box was a euphemism in Ireland for a coffin.I just thought I’d mention that.David meredith

There is a hornpipe called a Donegal German which is very akin to this one.

Sandy Bell’s Ceilidh

This tune is on an album called Sandy Bell’s Ceilidh. It’s a compilation of tunes from various artists that used to play at Sandy Bell’s Pub in Edinburgh back in the 70s.

Is there a story behind the title?

Does anyone know why this tune is called "The Brown Coffin"? That’s how Google Translate renders "An Comhra Donn" (Running it the other way gives the same thing, with a slightly different spelling, which I assume is the result of modern spelling standardization). Is there a story hiding there? Has the meaning of "comhra" shifted over the years? Maybe a regional difference? Or is it just Irish cheer at wakes and funerals?
It really seems strange to have such a cheerful, bright tune be titled this way. I’d like to know if there’s some reason.

Re: An Comhra Donn - Meaning of the tune name

According to this page (http://worldmusiccentral.org/2004/04/14/comhra-na-dtonn-a-book-and-cd-about-irish-traditional-music/), "Comhra Na Dtonn" means "Conversation of the Waves". Seems like the original title may have been "An Comhradh Na Dtonn", which was simplified over time to "An Comhra Na Dtonn" (alternative title listed above) and further to "An Comhra Donn". Dinneen (1927 ed.) gives the definition of "comhradh" as "conversation, speech, dialogue, talk", and "tonn" means "wave". Note the other alternative title listed above "The Chorus of Waves", which is in the same vein.

Re: An Comhra Donn

It’s my opinion that this tune is the ancestor of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. They are unmistakably similar.

An Comhra Donn, X:4

This is the first tune played on Out The Gap by Sharon Shannon Track 6 titled Thunderhead. It is a setting of Comhra Donn but quite different to what is already posted above If anyone with better ears than me wishes to correct any of the notes please feel free to note any errors on my part.. The second tune is listed on Irish Tune info no 3449 as Gan ainm but I am trying to get a name . If anyone out there knows it I would appreciate it. The keys is different as I think she plays it in e flat.

Re: An Comhra Donn

Sorry meant Irish tune info 3349.

Re: An Comhra Donn

CORRECTION to X4.
second last bar of first line second part should be bafa not bada. Sorry for misprint.

Re: An Comhra Donn

The misprint in the tune has now been corrected . Thanks .

Re: An Comhra Donn

Lonnie the Harper has an interesting point about the tune’s resemblance to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I don’t know if there’s anything to that or not, but here’s another (possibly accidental) point of contact: The Battle Hymn of the Republic is also called John Brown’s Body. Compare that to The "Brown" Coffin.

Re: An Comhra Donn

One of my first and favorite tunes. Yes, it does have a spring to it as someone said, but I still tend to think of it as a funeral march. Beautiful piece IMO.

Re: An Comhra Donn

Better Irish is probably An Comhrá na dTonn…conversation/chorus of the waves.
The pronunciation is the same.