O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 39

O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 39
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periodical Publisher
Regan Printing House, Chicago, 1913
periodical Editor
periodical Title
O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians
volume Number
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76 Iris/i Minstrels and MusiciansOCarolans funeral was a memorable event. The wake lasted four days,and he was buried on the fifth, in tile McDermott Roe vault at Kilronan Arciagh,County \Vestmeath. Lpwards pf sixt clergymen of (lifferent denominations, anumber of gentlemen from surrounding counties, and a vast concourse of countrypeople assembled to pay the last mark of respect to the great bard. Hospitalitywas lavish, a keg of vhiskev on either side of the ball was replenished as often asemptied, and the music of the harp was heard in every direction.Durihg his forty-five veai-s of itinerant rninstrelsv, he is said to have com-posed upwards of two hundred pieces of music, many of which have been irre-trievably lost, including all hut one of the fifteen addressed to Bridget Cruise.the object of his youthful yet hopeless attachment.county. OCarolan, who happened to be visiting his lordship at the same time,found himself greatly neglected, and complained of it one day in the presenceof the foreigner. When you play in as masterly a manner as he does, repliedhis lordship, you shall not be overlooked. OCarolan, whose pride was aroused,wagered with his rival that though he was almost a total stranger to Italian music,yet he would follow him in any piece he played, and he himself would afterwardsplay a voluntary in which the Italian could not follow him. The test piece hap-pened to be Vivaldis fifth concerto, which the foreigner played on the violin.The blind bard was victorious, and OCarolans Concerto was the result.The death of his wife in 1733, which was his first bereavement, threw agloom over his mind, that was never after entirely dissipated. Realizing that thesands of his life were fast running out, he commemorated his final departurefrom the hospitable home of his great friend, Robert Maguire of Tempo, CountyFermanagh, with the production of that plaintive melody, OCarolans Farewell.OCAROLANS FAREWELLelinivw -HIf LITlastening on his way and making a few hurried visits to cherished friendsin County Leitrim, he reached his destinationAlderford Housethe residenceof hif lifelong friend, Mrs. McDermott Roe, where he died on the 25th of March,1736. in the sixty-eighth year of his age. Shortly before his death, he calledfor his harp, and with feeble fingers wandering among the strings, he evolved hislast composition, the weirdly plaintive wail, OCarolans Farewell to Music.OOAROLAINS FAREWELL TO MuSICWith feeling I II. I; Turlogh OGarolan and His Times 77A harper who attended the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792, and who had nevermet the bard, had acquired more than one hundred of his tunes, it is said.Although half a dozen or so of his productions had been included in J. and W.Neales Collection of Irish Tunes, in 1726, and at least as many more were printedin Wrights Aria di Camera, two years later, nothing purporting to be a collectionof his compositions appeared until nine years after his death.Under the patronage of Rev. Dr. Delaney of Dublin, OCarolans son, whohad little musical genius, published by subscription a small edition of his fatherswork ; in 1747, but selfishly and unflhially omitted several of the best of them.OCarolan was the first of the Irish harpers who departed from the purelyIrish style in composition. Bunting says he delighted in the polished coniposi-tions of the Italian and German schools, yet he felt the full excellence of theancient music of his own country.Uniting in his person the fourfold avocations of his racepoet, composer,harper, and singerhe may well he regarded as the last true hard of Ireland;but he possessed none of their ruling spirit, for he was more festive than patri-otic. \Velcome alike to hall and cottage, lie spent his days in cheering theirinmates, as Bayle Bernard says, with his love songs and his planxties, and doubt-less did so all the more in being himself the happiest harper who has ever repaidthe loss of sight by the felicities of sound.Though nearly two centuries have passed on the wings of time since TurloghC)Carolan was gathered to his fathers, he still lives in his own deathless strains;and while the charms of melody hold their sway over the human heart, the nameof the great Blind Bard will he remembered aiid revered. As a fitting conclusionto this brief biography, we quote the expressive words of Charles OConor ofBelanagar, his loyal friend: Turlogh OCarolan, the talented and principalMusician of Ir Eland, died. May the Lord have mere on his Soul, for he wasa moral and religious man.V
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O'Neill, Capt. Francis
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O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians

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