My Wild Irish Rose

(1899)

 

Words and Music:  Chauncy Olcott

Arranged by Ruth Randle

 

With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, we thought a bit of Irish music might be appropriate for our March selection.  This is not one of those sprightly jigs or sad airs from old Erin. Many might call My Wild Irish Rose  an American-Irish tune, and so it is.

 

Chauncy Olcott (1858-1932) was born in Buffalo, NY of Irish parentage, and became one of the most popular Irish singers and actors of his time, both in vaudeville and on the stage.  As a composer, he wrote only a few songs, although he collaborated with others as a lyricist. This selection was from one of his shows entitled A Romance of Athlone, and has since become a favorite of barbershop quartet singers in America.

 

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Ruth did this arrangement from a copy of the original sheet music, published by M. Witmark & Sons (of New York and Chicago) with a copyright date of 1899.  As a special feature, she has included seldom-heard verses, as well as the chorus. Readers will note that the entire song contains no sharps or flats in the melody, although there are three color chords where the G# is used.  Ruth was so taken by the beauty of this song that she decided to arrange an extra "harmony" version of the chorus. This may be played as an accompaniment by a second dulcimer, if desired, or played solo as an accompaniment to singing the melody.  Separate MIDI sound files are available for both versions of the chorus, plus the combination of the two.

 

 

Playing Tips: 

This music sounds best when fingerpicked slowly; using inward strums on chords and melody notes.  It is, after all, a love song.

 

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Files:

 

My Wild Irish Rose_Melody.pdf

 

My Wild Irish Rose_Harmony.pdf

 

My Wild Irish Rose_Melody.MID

 

My Wild Irish Rose_Harmony.MID

 

My Wild Irish Rose_2 Parts.MID

 

 

 

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Danny Boy

(1913)

 

Music:  Old Irish Harp Song

Lyrics : Fred E. Weatherly  (1848-1929)

Arr: Merv Rowley

 

 

Few pieces of folk music have received more attention or have been researched more thoroughly than this one. Over 100 different titles have appeared with this music, including such others as Londonderry Air and Would God I Were a Tender Apple Blossom. This supports the opinion of many historians that the music itself is some of the most beautiful ever written.

 

To date, the best reliable information identifies the melody as a piece of ancient Irish harp music, entitled Aislean an Oigfear (Young Man’s Dream), dating to the 17th or 18th century.  Fred E.Weatherley, the lyricist of Danny Boy, was an English lawyer/composer. A more complete biography and summary of the history are given on the link listed below.

 

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The melody and chords are, of course, diatonic. The tune covers nearly two octaves, and requires all the I, IV, V and V7 chords, as well as the minors, Em, F#m and Bm.  

 

 

Playing Tips: 

This is another arrangement that should be played by soft fingerpicking with inward strums.  You should try to learn to play this one by heart, without the tab, so that you can concentrate on clarity and expression. 

 

Folks will want to sing along, no doubt... Erin go Braugh!

 

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Files:

 

DannyBoy.pdf

 

DannyBoy.MID

 

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Link to historical info:

 

http://www.standingstones.com/dannyboy.html

 

  Click to go to the TablEdit website and download their free demo version

If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

 
  Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader

Adobe® Reader® is a free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

 
 

At this time we will be using the .MIDI music files produced by TablEdit..

 

 

 


 

This website is brought to you by Merv Rowley, Ruth Randle, Elizabeth DiPietri, and Gail West
Please email gwest1955@aol.com with any website questions, broken links, etc.
Copyright © 2005