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The Lilting Banshee (Ador)

O'Neill's 1001

O’Neill’s 1001 (1907)

The tune we know as “The Lilting Banshee” is listed as “The Miller of Glanmire” in O’Neill’s Dance Music of Ireland (1907) – called “O’Neill’s 1001” because it has 1001 tunes in it, or called “not the yellow one, the other book.” In fact, this tune has many names, and what it’s called will depend on the session you go to and the company you keep.  Now, a banshee is one of many Irish/Scottish female fae (i.e., supernatural).  When someone is about to die a banshee will be heard keening, or be seen washing that person’s blood-stained clothes (or armor).  Keening is a kind of wailing, so there’s not much lilt in it.  This title must have come out of a game of oxymorons — just like “Crested Hens.”  I’m expecting someone to come up with a tune and call it “Goat Feathers” so we have a whole sub-genre of oxymoronics.  If no one else does, I’m going to.  If this tune was called the “Keening Banshee” there’d be no issue, of course, but it’s not.  The tune probably dates to the mid to late nineteenth century.  In sets it works well with “Out on the Ocean” and “Connaughtman’s Rambles.”

If you want the ABC for this tune, click Lilting Banshee

Lilting Banshee, slower tempo (mandolin, Eddie Edwards)

Lilting Banshee, med-slow tempo (mandolin, Eddie Edwards)

Lilting Banshee, med tempo (fiddle, David Agee)

Lilting Banshee, med-fast tempo (fiddle, Glen Pekin)

Lilting Banshee, the dots

Lilting Banshee

Lilting Banshee




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