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Song on this album:

The Fiddler of Dooney

poem by William Butler Yeats

from The Wind Among the Reeds , 1899


WHEN I play on my fiddle in Dooney,
Folk dance like a wave of the sea;
My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet,
My brother in Moharabuiee.

I passed my brother and cousin:
They read in their books of prayer;
I read in my book of songs
I bought at the Sligo fair.

When we come at the end of time,
To Peter sitting in state,
He will smile on the three old spirits,
But call me first through the gate;

For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle
And the merry love to dance:

And when the folk there spy me,
They will all come up to me,
With "Here is the fiddler of Dooney!"
And dance like a wave of the sea.

 


This has been set to music many times by many people. The most popular folk tune in use right now is by fiddler Jo-Ellen Bosson, and can be heard on Castlebay's album, Bards and Blarney. The same tune is used by Gordon Bok on his album Return to the Land (Amazon link). Sean Doyle uses a different tune on his album The Light and the Half-Light: The Fiddler Of Dooney (mp3). The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Nelson uses a setting by Charles Martin Loeffler: Five Irish Fantasies: III. The Fiddler of Dooney (mp3).

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