I learned this from Joannie Madden in a whistle class at the Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School. She said that it mourns the destruction of Ireland’s forests.
This is a great tune - thanks for posting it. I don’t know if anyone can supply guidance on the tempo. At first sight it looks like a standard waltze but if it’s mourning the destruction of Ireland’s forests, maybe a lament is more in order where the tune is played like a slow air. I think that will be my take on it unless anyone has strong views to the contrary.
I agree Bannerman a slow air indeed or both. The long notes ,of which there are many, suggest fermatas as well as in (and) or out of tempo interpretation. Nice melody, who wrote it?
This tune is a famine song, it bemoans the fall of the house of Cill Chais and the plight of the servants who worked there. Definatley a slow air.