O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 37

O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 37
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periodical Publisher
Regan Printing House, Chicago, 1913
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periodical Title
O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians
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THE FMRY QUEENsIPLANXTY OROURKE(ORourkes Noble Feast)- -: - . . _* .. __ _:_72 Irish Minstrels and Musiciansplace assigned him at the table. In all respects he was a genuine representative ofthe bards of old.It was during his peregrinations that he composed all of the two hundred airswhich have immortalized his fame. He thought the tribute of a song (withmusic of course) due to every home in which he was entertained, and he seldomfailed to pay it: choosing for his subject either the head of the family or the love-liest of its branches.Moderatek. -! Fir L LJ4ini r - :i tL _______I j rOne of OCarolans earliest friends was Hugh MacGauran. a County Lei-trim gentleman, who had a happy poetic talent, and excelled particularly inludicrous species of poetry. He was the author of the justly celebrated song ofPlearaca na Ruarcach freely translated as ORourkes Feast, which heprevailed on the bard to set to music. The fame of the song having reached theears of Dean Swift, he requested of MacGauran a literal translation of it inEnglish. The Dean was so charmed with its beauties that he honored it with anexcellent version of his own. MacGaurans original coniposition in Irish appearsto have been lost, but OCarolans Planxty ORourke composed about 1721,has been preserved.Turlogh OCarolan and His Times 73Minstrelsv. A humorous instance of this weakness has been handed down. Aself sufficient gentleman surnamed ODowd or Dudv, as it was sometimes pro-liounce(i, once criticising his English, asked him why he attempted a languageof which he knew nothing. Oh I know a little of it was the reply. If so,said the egotist, can you tell me the English for Bundhoon? Yes, said thehard with an arch smile, I think the pro perest English for that word is BillyDudv. This grotesque repartee turned the laugh against the critic who wasever after nicknamed Billy Bundhoon.OCarolan seldom exercised the keen satirical powers he possessed, althoughoccasionally they were aroused by inhospitalityto him the only unpardonablesin. At the house of a parsimonious lady who was sparing in her supply of()Carolan s favorite beverage, a butler named OFlynn, who objected to hisfreedom of the \vine cellara customary privilegehad his name preserved fromoblivion in the coupletWhat a pity hells gates are not kept by OFlynn!So surly a dog would let nobody in.The incident which led to the birth of OCarolans Devotion was a chancemeeting with a Miss Featlierstone of County Longford, who was on her way tochurch at Granard one Sunday in the year 1719.Your servant, Mr. OCarolan, she saluted.I thank you. \Vho speaks to me? he replied.It is I, sir, one Miss Featherstone.Ive heard of von, Madam : a young lady of great beauty and much wit.The loss of one sense prevents my beholding your beauty; and I believe it isa happy circumstance for me. for I am assured it has made many captives. Butyour wit, Madam! I dread it.Ha(l I wit, Mr. OCarolan, this is not a (lay for its display. It should giveplace to the duty of prayer. I apprehend that in complying with this duty, vongo one way, and I go anotherI wish I could prevail with you to quit your wayfor mine.Should I go your way, Madam, I dread you yourself would be the chief.)hject of my devotion.After some bantering of this nature, Miss Featherstone invited the bard tovisit her house, assuring him of a hearty welcome, and admonishing him to prayfor her at his church. Very gallantly OCarolan respofl(led Could I withdrawmy Devotion front yourself, I would obey; hut I vill make the best effort I can.Adieu, adieu.Adieu to you, OCarolanbut rememberThe event justified his fears. Instead of praying for Miss Featlierstone,he neglected his religious duties to compose a song on her, which has beendescribed as humorously sentimental, but in had English. The music, however,was of a high order.Irish hospitality and his mode of life led to his fondness for the flowinghowl as it does almost invariably with his humble brethren of the present day.Inordinate gratifications bring their own punishment and from the consequence0 Carolan was not exempt. Physicians assured him that unless he correctedhis habits, his mortal career would soon come to an end. He determined toabstain thereafter from the forbidden vet delicious cup. Tie wall(lere(l about thetown of Boyle. County Rosconimon. at that time his principal residence, dejectedWith spi,J .--> .-r f I LL I J> I I LLJ J r .f::i-j ra JAlthough O Carolan (lelivered himself hut indifferently in English, liedid not like to be corrected for his solecisms, Hardiman tells us in his Irish
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O'Neill, Capt. Francis
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O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians

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