Submitted in response to a request. Naturally, it’s not a reel, but an air, or melody of a song. This version sort of evolved while playing the pipes.
The that this is set, it brings me back to an air. I just can’t get it to feel like a reel.
" I just can’t get it to feel like a reel."
That would be a good thing.
Does anyone have the history of this song?
A three-verse version of the song “Carrickfergus”:
The song goes as follows, including a second verse I heard John Doonan the piccolo player sing in Durham in the 1970’s - I’ve never heard it sung or recorded elsewhere:
I wish I was in Carrickfergus, only for nights in Ballygrand,
I would cross over the deepest ocean, only for nights in Ballygrand;
But the water is wide, I cannot get over,
Nor have I wings, that I might fly -
O bring to me a handsome boatman,
To ferry me over to my love and die.
My childhood days now are surely over,
Those happy hours I spent so long ago,
And all my friends and my kind relations
Have all passed on now like the melting snow,
But I’ll spend my days in the endless glory,
Where the grass is green and my bed is free -
O to be back now in Carrickfergus,
Where the mountain road winds down to the sea.
But in Kilkenny it is reported,
On (or,There are) marble stones there as black as ink:
With gold and silver I did support her,
But I’ll sing no more till I get a drink;
For I’m drunk today and seldom sober,
A handsome rover from town to town,
O I am sick now, my days are over,
Come all you young men, and lay me down.
Someone told me that under British rule both Carrickfergus and Kilkenny were garrison towns, and that there is a kind of local black rock found at the latter.
Alternative version of Carrickfergus (D major)
T: 55b. Carrickfergus
z2"D"d2 d2>c2 | "em"B4 E4- | "A7"E2F2 G2A2 | "D"F2>E2 D4- |
"bm"D2D2 E2F2 | "em"G2>F2E4- | "A7"E2D2 D2>E2 | "D"D8 :|
z2 A2 d2e2 | "D"f8- | "bm"fdef "em"g2f2 | "A7"e2>c2 A4- |
A2A2 d2e2 | "D"f8- | "bm"fdef "em"g2f2 | "A7"e8 |
z2d2 d2>c2 | "em"B4 E4- | "A7"E2F2 G2A2 | "D"F2>E2 D4- |
"bm"D2D2 E2F2 | "em"G2>F2E4- | "A7"E2D2 D2>E2 | "D"D8 |]
Air vs. a Reel
I honestly think that this song is an Air verses a Reel, it’s very lamenant of wanting to be somewhere you can’t be at the point in time.
This is another 2nd verse version that I wrote for the piece. I had always loved the song but felt that the 2 verses sort of went from A to Z without knowing why he got there.
I had sung the other 2nd verse version, which is nice, but still did not give a reason for him ending up a drunkard..
So this is my offering to the song.
After I wrote, I pulled the song up on Wikipedia, and fond that there was some allusion to such a legend…
I have heard the middle verse, as posted by nicholas 12 years ago, sung by a number of people, tho’ not necessarily on any recordings: just in sessions. That may be because the 3-verse version is on the Mudcat website, and people got the lyrics from there.
As for the "black stone" near Kilkenny, it is indeed marble and very beautiful.