Were you at the rock
One of my favourite slow airs, I believe the gaelic translates to Were Yiu At The Rock.
The "Rock" meaning the Mass rock.
Under penal law it was illegal for catholics to celebrate mass - punishment was forfeiture of all land, goods and so forth. The priest was hung - till near death , revived , drawn behind a horse/cart along the ground and then "quartered" by being pulled apart by 2 - 4 horses. Hung, drawn and quartered.
Were you at the rock was a euphemism for - were at mass. Many words like the word Éire were banned.
We have here a book about songs that opens with the paragraff containing the line "people were hung - in living memory - for singing about Ireland" . It was printed in 1970.
This also appears on Deanta’s "Ready for the Storm"
This also appears on Deanta’s album "Ready for the Storm" whose entry currently doesn’t have a live link to this tune.
An raibh tu ag an gcarraig
An raibh tu ag an gcarraig? Were you at the rock?
An raibh tu ar an gcarraig? Were you on the rock?
Listed as a waltz, never heard of it as such, only as an air.
The midi is not an air either, is there a reason for this?
Try transcribing the tune yourself, and you’ll see why.
Seamus Ennis, quite possibly one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF3fW4Nox9U
"…and many such symbolic songs can be accepted on either or both of two levels - the actual or the symbolic. One cannot accept, though, the attempt by the over-scrupulous to show that almost every love song is in reality a religious song. A song like ‘An raibh tú ar an gCarraig?’ (‘Were you at Carrick?’) could be interpreted as a symbolic song about the Mass-rock, as long as it is realised that it is first of all a love song…"
Tomás Ó Canainn, Traditional Music in Ireland, ISBN 978-0946005734.
Recording under a different name
Swiss folk/death metal band Eluveitie have a recording of this tune as the track "Otherworld".
It is the intro/first track on their album "Everything Remains (As It Never Was)".
The actual tune is performed by Uilleann piper Brendan Wade.
"Try transcribing the tune yourself, and you’ll see why. "
It seems though that the classification as a waltz, as well as the note lengths here are totally arbitrary.
A tin whistle version here
Re: An Raibh Tu Ar An GCarraig
Anyone also finding the note lengths above a bit arbitrary should have a look at the setting printed by O’Neill as ‘Have you seen my Valentine’ (taken from a version by Bunting). It’s easy to find so I won’t add it here.
This reveals the simple and beautiful contours of the tune quite well, and is also a good starting point to understanding the Ennis version.
There’s another version, under the title used by Bunting, here:
An Raibh Tu Ar An GCarraig, X:2
Closely based on the mid 19th c. version printed by P. W. Hughes. A nice, simple setting.
An Raibh Tu Ar An GCarraig
A version transcribed from Patrick D’Arcy’s CD, Wallop the Spot played on the low whistle. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes with the use of falling slides and a plethora of other effects that I can’t work out drawn from his Goldie Low D … but I love it. Wonderful playing!