Simon Chadwick - Old Gaelic Laments

Track 8: Féachain Gléis / Cumha Bharúin Loch Mór / Cumha an Deibhinnsi


  This set of three tunes is from Edward Bunting’s manuscripts. The first tune, which is a fragmentary tuning prelude, was collected from the most interesting of the old tradition-bearers that Bunting interviewed, Denis O’Hampsey. On the very next page, is the start of the next tune, a lament for the baron of Loughmoe, also titled Cumha Caoine an Albannaigh, or Scott’s Lamentation, and said to have been composed by John Scott in 1599, and also collected from O’Hampsey's playing. I think it is eminently resonable to think that these two items belong together, though we cannot prove it for certain; but there are a number of circumstantial points that make it seem reasonable.

  I am being more daring in appending the third tune in my set. This is also called the Lamentation of Youths, and is said to be a lament composed by Harry Scott in about 1600. I have long thought that Scott’s Lamentation should have a ceol mor style variation set, and in a moment of whimsy I wondered if the Lamentation of Youths would do the job.

  I first heard these tunes on Ann Heymann’s CD, Queen of Harps, which was the first Gaelic harp recording I ever got, only a few months after I got my first harp, and Ann’s blue tutor book, and started studying the old traditions.


© Simon Chadwick 2012 -