Friday, October 09, 2015

"Bonnie Brown Girl" -- links and documentation

"My Pretty Fair Maid"

Also known as An Cailin Deasdonn, Óró Bog Liom Í, The Pretty Brown Girl.

Five settings in abc notation with PDF and MIDI files by user Caoimhin -- " am a fiddle player living in Springfield, Ohio. I am the founder and organizer of the Dayton Session as well as other various Irish Trad music events in the Dayton area." added tunes 12 to 2 years ago -- all are up-tempo similar to O'Neill's melody.

Documentation: Sean Williams of Evergreen State College in Washington state, who studied under storyteller Joe Heaney and knows a thing of two about Irish song traditions, says “The Pretty Brown Girl” is one of a number of “upbeat, somewhat salacious, Irish-language songs” in 6/8 time that deal with sex and love readily granted, in the context of humor.” (181-83).

Irish singers, Williams says in her introductory college textbook Focus: Irish Traditional Music, have an expression – “say a song, tell a story” (179). It means that “the important relationship between story and song cannot be overstated.” That’s true even with a confection like “The Pretty Brown Girl.”

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