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Caitlín Ní Uallacháin

Caitlín Ní Uallacháin was one of the personifications of Ireland in poetry and song. There is a whole nest of variant and different tunes titled Caitlín Ní Uallacháin (Anglicised as Cathleen or Kitty Nowlan), but we don’t have enough time or space to go into them all here. All we can do is look at four versions of the tune in Bunting’s manuscripts.

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An gearrán buidhe

The Yellow Horse is a curious little song air. We have three independent transcription notations of variants or versions of this tune, under two different titles, in Edward Bunting’s transcription notebooks from the 1790s. They are all three a bit tricky to understand.

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An londubh agus an chéirseach

The Blackbird and the Thrush is a very beautiful old tune. We have what may be a live transcription of a traditional harp performance, noted down by Edward Bunting in the 1790s. However, as usual with Bunting’s work, all is not straightforward, and he has messed us around a lot.

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