Track 11. Air – The Banks Of The Danube

from "At Home" by Gerry Harrington

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about

I got this air from a recording of Padraig O’Keeffe “ The Sliabh Luachra Fiddle Master”. Once a very popular song by Thomas Campbell, set to a variant of the air "Captain O'Kane" which was composed by Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). There is an interesting story of how this tune entered the Sliabh Luachra region of Ireland's tune repertoire, told by Tim Britton, confirmed by Paddy O'Brien. It seems that the renowned regional fiddler Padraig O'Keeffe played the melody that he had learned, as he did many of his tunes, from an uncle named Cal Callaghan. Callaghan, the story goes, lived for several decades in a Scottish settlement in southern Ohio and learned many tunes there, some of which he taught to his nephew Padraig on his return to Ireland. At some point the title was lost or changed, for O'Keeffe called "The Wounded Hussar" by the title "Banks of the Danube." However, such was O'Keeffe's influence that the tune and others were absorbed into Sliabh Luachra repertoire and are now considered 'traditional' tunes of the region. The Wounded Hussar,” a song attributed to Alexander Campbell in Smith’s Irish Minstrel (Edinburgh, 1825), was also printed in Serenne’s Songs of Ireland without words (Edinburgh, 1854). O’Neill (1922) says that the name printed with the music in the Smith volume was “Captain Henry O’Kain who died of his wounds on ‘the banks of the dark rolling Danube,’” and links it to Carolans’s “Captain O’Kane” printed by Hardiman in Irish Minstrelsy (1831), where it is given: “Captain O’Kane of O’Cahan of a distinguished family, a sporting Irishman well known in Antrim in his day as ‘Slasher O’Kane’.

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from "At Home", released January 1, 2011

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Gerry Harrington County Sligo, Ireland

. Gerry's music was brought to a wider audience during the nineties through the release of two exquisite albums with accordion player Eoghan O'Sullivan, Scéal Eile and The Smokey Chimney. Gerry recorded the album “The New Road" with button accordion master Charlie Piggott. The latest work is a solo fiddle album titled “At Home” which includes music from Sliabh Luchra and Sligo. ... more

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