Week #221 ~ Carolan's Farewell to Music/ Carolan's Dream

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Carolan's Farewell to Music / Carolan's Dream. There may some confusion as to which tune(s) were meant on this posting... I suspect that the video of David Hansen's is the one.... but there are several tunes with very similar names!

    Here's a link to the Farewell to Music on thesession.org

    Here's a link to Carolan's Dream on thesession.org

    Here are some You Tube Videos:

    First, here's our own David Hansen with his previously posted arrangement! This is what he has to say about it:

    This should probably be called O'Neill's Farewell To Music. The tune I'm playing here is listed in O'Neil's as "O'Carolan's Farewell To Music" which is where I first learned the tune. In "The Complete Works of O'Carolan" a similar tune is called "Carolan's Dream". I play the O'Neill's tune and call it by that name. You can call it whatever you like.

  2. OldSausage
    Hey, isn't that "Stairway to Heaven"? Awesome!
  3. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is a lovely tune, which I first learned from a live recording of Dave Swarbrick and Simon Nicol. Swarb used O'Neill's name "Carolan's Farewell to Music", but it's more commonly called by the name used by Sullivan, "Carolan's Dream" (Sullivan has a different tune with the name "Carolan's Farewell to Music").

    I recorded it on my Embergher bowlback a few years ago:

  4. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    OS.... I've always thought it sounded a lot like Stairway to Heaven!
  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Beautiful melody, Barbara. David, a very fine delivery and super tone, and Martin, your bowlback does the air justice.
    Re the harpist's rendering, I can see (or hear) where you are finding "Stairway to Heaven", OS.
  6. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    This was apparently the last piece O'Carolan ever composed. He had previouly fallen ill when his doctor told him to give up drinking which was when he composed the Farewell To Whiskey. Towards the end of his life however he knew there was no cure and he was dying, so he composed the Farewell to Music for his generous patrons the McDermot Roe family. When it was done he set out on his final journey to their house, but it was a long hard road and he only arrived in the evening, weary and exhausted.
    The family urged him to rest and would have sent for a doctor but O'Carolan would have none of it.
    " I am not long for this world" he said, "but before I depart from it I have one last gift for you. Bring my harp!"
    So they sat him in his accustomed chair and brought his harp. He was an old, blind sick bard;hunched and wizened. but as soon as he felt the strings under his fingers again he summoned all his dying strenth and the years seemed to fall away from him. He straightened up and played O'Carolans Farewell To Music with the sure firm touch of youth. But the effort took its toll and as the last chord rang out he slumped back in his chair and his life slipped away before the strings stopped resonating.
    So O'Carolan's music literally lived on after him.
    "Hang up his harp" said his patron " he'll play no more." And the very same harp can be seen today hanging in the library of Tinity College Dublin and a likeness of the same harp used to grace all the Irish coins until they abandoned them and joined the Euro.
    ( This scene may not be exactly true but it is how I like to imagine it).
  7. cwboal
    OS and Barbara, you guys nailed it; you really can hear Stairway to Heaven in that!
  8. Sasquatch
    I really like this melody. It is very different compared to my normal playing style and type of music. I love trying new things though. Also love the the history of the song too. Thanks Maudlin Mandolin for sharing. Here is my attempt.

  9. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Nicely done Sasquatch. Here's the abc's of the version I play from the online O'Neill's site:


    T:O'Carolan's Farewell to Music 0700
    C:Turlough O' Carolan
    B:O'Neill's Music Of Ireland (The 1850) Lyon & Healy, Chicago, 1903 edition
    N#188 in O'Sullivan's Collection ): http://www.sosyourmom.com/occ/tunes.html
    "_VB"(AB)|c2(BA G2)(AB)|c2(BA G2)(cd)|e2(de) c2(BA)|(A4G2)(de)|
    f2(fg) e2(ef)|(d^cde) (a3^g)|(a=g)(ed c)A(B^G)|A4A2:|
    e2|(gede) (g2ga)|(ge)(de) g2e2|(a^gab) (a=geg)|b4(ab)(ag)|
    ^f2(fg) e2(e=f)|(d^cde) (a3^g)|(a=g)(ed c)A(B^G)|A4A2|]
  10. Marcelyn
    You're really branching out into a whole new style, Tim. The tremolo and pull offs work very nicely there.
  11. Sasquatch
    Thank you Marcelyn. I primarily play by ear and this is how I was hearing the melody based on David Hansen & MArtin Jonas renditions. I really want to learn to read music and grasp theory to better enable me to play these songs correctly. Still having fun trying to conquer them though.
  12. jonny250
    well played Sasquatch! i find it really hard to hear whats going on in this tune - but you seem to have got it sorted
  13. laura809
    Since I found a completely different tune by the name Carolan's Farewell to Music, here is my version of Carolan's Dream. David Hansen's version was exceptional, and a great job by Martin and Sasquatch as well.

  14. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Really great Laura. I may attempt this but it will be a shameless rip off of your version. Just trying to work out your chord progressions first.
  15. laura809
    Thanks James. I used the chords on the sheet music from the session link posted above if you want to save some time.
  16. Tavy
    Two lovely tunes, and some really nice playing going on here, keep up the good work all!
  17. dfalkiewicz
    I need get off my hiney and start submitting videos...........I found this Jimmy Page pdf link regarding Stairway and Carolan...........you may enjoy.

  18. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Having spent some time strumming along to Laura's version to work out the chords I've opted for a solo mandolin rendition! Thanks for the tip Laura, I'm new to ABC files and have yet to download the necessary software - I'll know next time.
    Needs a bit of polish (should have spent more time on the mandolin and less on the guitar), most notably an irritating habit of not hitting the F cleanly. That's what filming yourself is all about, a great learning tool. And why can't I sit still?

  19. Marcelyn
    What an excellent solo version, James. That's how I'd love to play it.
    And a super arrangement, Laura. You have such tasteful guitar backing.
  20. laura809
    That came out really nice James. I don't use ABC either, but thesession has a traditional sheet music option as well.
  21. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    James - a very delicate sounding version. You will not need software for abc conversion, just put Concertina.net Tune-O-Tron Converter page in your favourites.
    Laura a good solid arrangement as usual. I have also done Carolan's Dream with as many chords as I could fit in.
  22. jonny250
    very nice, laura, James and Maudlin the tune has a sort of medieval sound to it - can imagine you sat in an old castle somewhere playing. i started to learn the 'farewell to music' which seems to be a completely different song - and i gave up!!! well done to you all for persevering with this one
  23. OldSausage
    Sausage for breakfast this morning:

  24. Tavy
    Loved that OS: really nice tone you're pulling there!

    Here's my effort: there's a dodgy note I left in, and I'm not sure of the ending yet... but shows where I'm headed... mandolin lead with mandola backup.

  25. GKWilson
    That was beautiful David. That Jacobsen sounds haunting on this tune.
    Cheerios and sausage, the perfect breakfast.
    John. Once again I've fallen in love with your mandola.
    If I ever think I can't live without one we'll have to talk.
  26. Marcelyn
    Absolutely beautiful, David. I really love it.
    And Tavy, that's a wonderful duet. The mandola sounds so nice with that arrangement.
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