Molly MacAlpin barndance

Also known as Carolan’s Dream, Molly McAlpin, O Carolan’s Dream, O’Carolan’s Dream.

There are 21 recordings of a tune by this name.

Molly MacAlpin has been added to 150 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Molly MacAlpin
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|: AB |"Am" c2 B>A A2 GA | c2 B>A "G"G2 cd | "C"e2 de dcBA | "F"A4 A2 de|
"Dm" f2 fg "C"e2 ef | "G"d^cde "F"a3 g | "Am"aged "G"dcAG | "Am"A6 :|
|: ef | "C"gede g3 a | "Em"gede g3 e | "Am"agab "G"ageg | "F"a6 ag |
"Dm"f2 fg "C"e2 ef | "G"d^cde "F"a3 g | "Am"aged "G"dcAG | "Am"A6 :|
# Added by heike .
X: 2
T: Molly MacAlpin
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|: EF |"Em" G2 F>E E2 DE | G2 F>E "D"D2 GA | "G,"B2 AB AGFE | "C"E4 E2 AB|
"A,m" c2 cd "G,"B2 Bc | "D"A^GAB "C"e3 d | "Em"edBA "D"AGED | "Em"E6 :|
|: Bc | "G,"dBAB d3 e | "B,m"dBAB d3 B | "Em"edef "D"edBd | "C"e6 ed |
"A,m"c2 cd "G,"B2 Bc | "D"A^GAB "C"e3 d | "Em"edBA "D"AGED | "Em"E6 :|
# Added by JACKB .

Nine comments

Not a barndance, of course, but an O’Carolan tune!

I only have this as sheet music I got from a fellow musician; don’t know where he got it from.
I added the chords because the F major chord in the forth bar is absolutely beautiful.
I love this tune, maybe one reason being that it is one of O’Carolan’s tunes that isn’t played too often. And in my mind, it is one of the most haunting and yearning tunes of his. We play it pretty slow, probably 60 = 1/4.

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Carolan’s Dream

In researching this tune for a recording I was making I read that this tune is credited to a man by the name of William Connellan who named it "Molly MacAlpin". It evidently was one of Carolan’s favorite melodies. He reportedly said that he would rather have written this tune than any of his own. For what it’s worth …

O’Carolan gets the credit for this one, but its a harp piece composed by William Connellan- Irish harper who lived in Scotland and this tune became part of the Scottish harp repetoire.

Is this really a barn dance? It’s one of the most beautiful tunes ever! Slow air or march for me.

E min Version

This beautiful air of O’Carolans’ sounds lovely in this key.

Posted by .

Wonder if Led Zeppelin liked this song…

The first line is very reminiscent of Stairway to Heaven

An Air

It is a very beautiful tune. I suppose, it is more an Aire, and not barndance. But somehow here’e not category for Airs. I wonder about that, though. And I love this tune. It is so charming and enchanting and easy to play.

Re: Molly MacAlpin

Hi all,

at Jeremy’s prompting I’ve edited the tune title from O’Carolan’s Dream to Molly MacAlpin. Not being the sharpest tool in the box I hadn’t realised I could do this!

Whitedwarf and Poldebrun have covered this already in the comments above but for additional information (never a bad thing) I have taken the following from the sleeve notes of Kathleen Loughnane’s album, Harp to Heart:
"Track 14 Molly MacAlpin - A much loved harp air, written by William Connellan, brother of Thomas Connellan, both harpers from Sligo. It is published in Bunting’s 1797 collection and the version played here is an adaptation of his arrangement. The air is known in Scotland as Gilderoy’s, a result of the Irish air being adapted to new words."

On the following track Kathleen plays two versions of the hornpipe Poll Ha’penny. The first evolved in the tradition from Connellan’s Molly MacAlpin while the second is Willy Clancy’s version.

For those interested in planxties / harp airs, Kathleen Loughnane’s recordings are well worth a listen.