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Chumha Eoghan Ruadh Ui Neill, Chief O'Neill's Favourite (Lament and Hornpipe)
"Chumha Eoghan Ruadh Ui Neill", or "Lament for the Death of Owen Rue O'Neill" is a composition by Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). Not to be confused with the melodies that were added to Thomas Davis' 19th century poem of the same name: “Soft as woman’s was your voice, O’Neill! bright was your eye, O! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?"
Eoghan Ruadh Ui Neill (1590-1649) was a member of the great O'Neill Clan of Ulster (Earl's of Tyrone). After the English conquest of his native Ulster he grew up in the Southern "Spanish" Netherlands (today's Belgium) and became a high ranking warlord in the Spanish Army. He later tried to regain his rights in Ulster.
The O'Neill in the hornpipe "Chief O'Neill's Favourite", was most probably Chicago police Chief and music collector Francis O'Neill (1848-1936). Usually played in the key of Dmajor, I play it in Gmajor to better suit the lament, which is in Gminor.
I recorded these two "O'Neill tunes" to celebrate the birthday of the great Dublin/Clare musician Eoin O'Neill.
Owen O'Neill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Roe_O%27Neill
Turlough O'Carolan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turlough_O%27Carolan
Thomas Davis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Davis_(Young_Irelander)
Lyrics of Thomas Davis' poem: http://www.bartleby.com/250/108.html
Francis O'Neill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_O%27Neill