Tune of the Day: Graine Uaile
This Irish air is taken from O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, published between 1804 and 1810. In Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922), tune collector Francis O'Neill remarks:
This was the earliest setting of this famous old air which the editor could trace. A florid version entitled “Granu Weal or ma-ma-ma” obtained from McDonnell a renowned piper in 1797 is to be found in Bunting’s 3rd collection. The sub-title represents certain passages wherein a repeated note reinforced by concords on the regulators produced tones like ma-ma-ma. Grainne ni Mhaille, who flourished in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, was the most forceful character of her day. Her Irish maiden name became one of the allegorical titles by which Ireland is poetically known, and eclipses totally those of her two husbands, O'Flaherty and Sir Richard Bourke. In the course of time, the original Irish name became corrupted to “Granu Weal”, “Graina Uaile", “Grainu Mhaol”, and other forms.