The jig entitled “My Darling Asleep” is #925 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903). The piper and pipe maker Leo Rowsome (1903-1970) used to recount a story in which Chief O’Neill (1848-1936) got this tune from Abram Sweetman Beamish of co. Cork, who called it “My Darling in Bed.” O’Neill thought that that title was just too suggestive, and instead entitled it “My Darling Asleep.” Due to O’Neill’s influence the latter name has stuck. In Irish it’s called Mo Muirnin ‘Sa Codlad. O’Neill discusses his tune collecting in his work Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby (1910), and it has a great deal of pretty fascinating background . . . well, I think it’s fascinating, anyway. The actual history of this tune is very murky, and it shows up in a variety of regions of Ireland. Together, these facts indicate that the tune is at least from the early 1800s.
This tune will work well in a variety of sets, but it’s important to keep the tempo steady. I used to play it with “When Sick is it Tea You Want?” and “Tripping Up the Stairs,” but like others in this area I now play it with other tunes. As it is a relatively simple tune, you should try to quickly get away from the dots and work on your Ear-Hand coordination, and in so doing more quickly build up the myelin around your axons (i.e., more easily recall the tune).
For the ABC click My Darling Asleep
My Darling Asleep, slow tempo (flute)
My Darling Asleep, med tempo (mandolin)
My Darling Asleep, the dots