The Gentle Maiden waltz

Also known as A Child Of Dreamland, An Maigdean Ceannsa, The Bare-Headed Poor Old Man, I Am A Long Time Here, Is Fada Annso Me, It Is My Deep Sorrow, Owen Coir, When The South Wind Blows.

There are 13 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

The Gentle Maiden appears in 3 other tune collections.

The Gentle Maiden has been added to 12 tune sets.

The Gentle Maiden has been added to 83 tunebooks.

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Five settings

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Nine comments

It’s really a slow 3/4 air - would have been better entered as a waltz. Lovely tune, though. There’s a song to it, “Mavour (n) een’s The Flower Of Killarney”. (I don’t know the correct spelling.)

“The Gentle Maiden” ~ it has been notated in the past as 6/8, but ~

I agree with nicholas, I don’t think that does it justice. It is also played as a waltz too… Here is your transcription, no changes to the notes or chords, as 3/4:

M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: air / waltz
K: G Major
|: F2 |
“G” G3 A G2 | “D7” F2 E2 D2 | “G” d6 | “C” e2 f2 g2 |
“G” d3 c B2 | “am” A2~G |1 “am” E3- | E4 “D7” :|2 “G” G3- | G4 ||
d2 |
“G” d2 e2 f2 | g4 g2 | g6- |“C” g2 f2 e2 |
“G” d3 c B2 | “am” A4 G2 | “am” E6- | E4 “D7” F2 |
“G” G3 A G2 | “D7” F2 E2 D2 | “G” d6 | “C” e2 f2 g2 |
“G” d3 c B2 | “D7” A4 G2 | “G” G6- | G4 ||

“Gentle Maiden” ~ Edward Bunting

The source for the following transcription is Edward Bunting. His notes are that he collected it in 1839 from a Miss Murphy, Dublin. Bunting’s transcription was in 6/8. All I’ve done is to change that to 3/4, the notes and repeats remain his…

R: waltz / air
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
Q: 70
K: G
|: F2 |
G2 A2 G2 | F2 E2 D2 | d4 d2 | e2 f2 g2 |
d2 c2 B2 | A4 G2 | E6- | E4 F2 |
G2 A2 G2 | F2 E2 D2 | d4 d2 | e2 f2 g2 |
d2 c2 B2 | A4 G2 | G6- | G4 :|
|: d2 |
d2 e2 f2 | g4 g2 | g6 | g2 f2 e2 |
d2 c2 B2 | A4 G2 | E6- | E4 A2 |
G2 A2 G2 | F2 E2 D2 | d4 d2 |
e2 f2 g2 | d2 c2 B2 | A4 G2 | G6- | G4 :|

“The Gentle Maiden” ~ lyrics

“The Fiddler’s Companion” ~ Andrew Kuntz

GENTLE MAIDEN, THE (An Maigdean Ceannsa). AKA and see “When the South Wind Blows,” “Is Fada Annso Me” (I am a long time here), “It is my deep sorrow,” “The Bare-Headed Poor Old Man,” “Owen Coir.” Irish (originally) ~

A song set to the melody was recorded by John McCormick in 1940 and later by Frank Patterson:

There’s one that is a pure as an angel,
As fair as the flowers of May,
They call her the gentle maiden
Wherever she takes her way.
Her eyes have the galnce of sunlight,
As it brightens the blue sea wave
And more than the deep sea treasure
The love of her heart I crave.

Though parted afar from my darling,
I dream of her everywhere,
The sound of her voice is about me,
The spell of her presence there.
An wheather my prayers be granted,
Or wheather she pass me by,
The face of the gentle maiden
Will follow me till I die.

“Gentle Maiden” ~ and someone other than Bunting taking it for a stroll

M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: Waltz
K: G Major
|: D2 |
G2 GA G2 | F2 (3EFE D2 | d2 B2 d2 | e3 f g2 |
d2 c2 B2 | A4 G2 |1 E6 | D4 :|
2 G6- | G4 d2 ||
d2 e2 f2 | g2 (3fgf g2 | e3 f g2 | g2 (3fgf e2 |
d3 c B2 | A4 G2 | E6 | F4 D2 |
G3 A G2 | F2 E2 D2 | d3 B d2 | e2 f2 g2 |
d2 c3 B | A4 G2 | G6- | G4 ||

Note: I forgot to change the ‘Q’ for the previous Bunting transcription, which should have been doubled to read Q: 140.

The Gentle Maiden, X:5

This is the version transcribed in “O’Neill’s Music of Ireland” (1,850 melodies) - #282, p. 49. Although it is only slightly different, I post it to keep the record complete.

Re: The Gentle Maiden

I always knew this tune as a waltz - and I thought it was French (“La valse des roses”, “La rose des roses” or “la valse des croissants”). Back in the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s it was the signature tune of the folk festival at Saint-Chartier, France: Les Rencontres des Luthiers et Maîtres-Sonneurs. It signaled the last dance of the night, at sunrise, and musicians and dancers would process through the village to this tune, and start hammering on the shutters of the Bar-Café-Tabac, demanding to be served breakfast. The proprietor would open up with his customary bad grace and produce the jugs of unpleasant stewed coffee and the crates of warm, aromatic croissants (hence the third of the tune titles).
The treatment of the tune was much punchier, less lyrical and it was played slightly faster than anything I’ve found on the Internet so far. A French waltz generally takes shorter steps than we are used to in Ireland and Britain. A waltz played at “normal” speed is usually referred to as “une valse anglaise” regardless of origin.