Friday, April 20, 2012

"Rory O'Moore" / and a wonderful version of "March of the Kings of Laois" on TG4

A 19th-century Anglo-Irish music hall song by Samuel Lover, set to an old tune commemorating Rory O'Moore (Ruairí Ó Mórdha) of Co. Laois, who took part in the rebellion of 1641, known now as the March of the King of Laois. Gen. Benjamin Grierson set lyrics criticizing Stephen A. Douglas to the music hall version during the election of 1860.

Lissa Schneckenburger LIVE at KCAW in Sitka - Rory O'More.

Lissa Schneckenburger and Bethany Waickman perform "Rory O'More" live during the Good Day Radio Show, 11-12-10, at Raven Radio, KCAW in Sitka, Alaska.

Sung by the Wolfe Tones /w lyrics at ... cf. March of the King of Laois/O'Sullivan's March by Lorinda Jones, harp; Larry Green, fiddle; and Cathy Wilde, uillean pipes, at

Benjamin Grierson used it for a campaign song in 1860 - William H. Leckie and Shirley A. Leckie, Unlikely Warriors: General Benjamin Grierson and His Family (Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1984). 41-41.

In Meredosia, the task of writing verses for campaign songs, sung to old, well-known tunes, fell to Ben, who relished the assignment. He was especially proud of one entitled "Douglas's Record, or Political Gymnastics," set to the tune of "Rory O'More" and including this refrain: "O! Stephen A Douglas is a wonderful man / In political gymnastics he leads the van / Most notable feats he performs with great ease / On all sides of all questions everybody to please" [n38 Ben to Alice, June 1, 1860]

Sheet music for the song by Samuel Lover, for voice and piano (with an interesting accompaniment w/ block chords used as a drone) in The Ideal Home Music Library, Vol. 9, Sentimental Songs, ed. Albert Ernest Wier (New York: Scribners, 1913) at Also in Digital Tradition with MIDI file, ABC notation and mountain dulcimer tab available for those who want it. Lover was an Anglo-Irish songwriter - bio on Wikipedia.

And here's where the music hall tune comes from, the "March of the Kings of Laois," as performed on button box and keyboard in a pub session for RTE TG4's Geantraí show:

Lissa Schneckenburger's tutorial on singing with fiddle accompaniment, backing her voice with two-note chords ...

Schneckenburger's latest CD dance has Rory O'Moore plus a lot of contradance tunes:

1.Petronella 2.Lamplighter's Hornpipe/Suffer the Child 3.Jefferson and Liberty/Bert Ferguson 4.Lady Walpole's Reel/The Mountain Ranger/Nancy King 5.Eugenia's Waltz 6.Moneymusk 7. Huntsman's Chorus 8.Rory O'More 9.Fisher's Hornpipe 10.Jamie Allen FEATURING: Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle), Bethany Waickman (guitar, pump organ), Corey DiMario (double bass), Dave Cory (tenor banjo), David Harris (euphonium, trombone), David Kaynor (fiddle), Eric Merrill (viola), Jeremiah McLane (piano, accordion), Keith Murphy (guitar, piano), Stefan Amidon (percussion)


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Many web pages confuse the two Rory O Moore tunes. It's Samuel Lover's that is the music hall song, the jig and contra dance. The March of the King of Laois is very different. See for a discussion of the related Scottish pibroch.

- Kate Dunlay