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Dave Ogden: Music

Mollie MacAlpine

(Dave Ogden)
January 16, 2011
traditional, arranged by Dave Ogden, Davitt Martin Music (ASCAP)

I first heard the lovely air "Molly MacAlpine" on the Gianne Yeats boxed set of traditional Irish harp airs that were collected by Edward Bunting at one of the last great harp competitions in old Ireland, the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792. Much of what we know of the harp music from ancient times would have been lost if young Bunting hadn't been there to note the tunes that were played during this competition. Molly MacAlpin was written by William Connellan, who lived in the generation before Turlough O'Carolan. According to Bunting, Carolan said he would rather have been the author of "Molly MacAlpine" than of any melody he himself ever composed (see Donal O'Sullivan's "Carolan, Life, Times and Music of An Irish Harper"). William Connellan was born circa 1645, and with his brother Thomas (born circa 1640 at Cloonmahon, Co. Sligo) was the author of several hundred airs, of which now less than a dozen survive. Vis a vis my comments on the track previous, there's a hornpipe called "Poll Hapenny" that's based on this tune. I play my '34 000-18 on this track, along with my circa 1840 Wrede flute with Noy headjoint.