Sunday, 2 May 2010

A few days away in beautiful Northern Ireland

Thought I would add a few magical pictures and faerie and folklore tales of beautiful Northern Ireland where I am for just a few days visiting family.
My mum-in-law has a wonderful book of faerie and folklore of the region and this following story is based on a place where we take a favourite walk when we are here....just down the road.
It was here at O'Cahans Rock in the Roe Valley in Limavady that Blind Rory, a composer, was said to have laid down, blind drunk, leaving his harp on the rock beside him. Friends found him sound asleep in his drunken stupor but heard the most beautiful sounds coming from his harp which was apparently being played by unseen fingers. The story went that these were the fingers of faerie folk and the tune was kept secret until a couple of centuries later when an englishwoman heard it being played by irish immigrants in a goldmining community in America after the great emigration of the Irish to the New World.
She persuaded the men to give her the tune and she sent it to her brother-in-law in Somerset in England who had just composed the lyrics for "Danny Boy". Until that time the tune had been known as "O'Cahans Lament" but this was the time it became known as Danny Boy or The Londonderry Air.
Every year the people of Limavady (where we are) hold a folk festival in celebration of the origins of this famous tune....the Danny Boy Festival.