Sheet Music: The Minstrel Boy

TitleThe Minstrel Boy
Alternate titlesThe Moreen
The Son of God Goes Forth to War
ComposerTraditional Irish
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyG major
Time signature4/4
Tempo108 BPM
Performance time1:35
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (88 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.3 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.3 MB)
Date added2010-05-14
Last updated2010-05-14
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.2 (average)
American Civil War, Celtic Music, Film music, Funeral music, Marches, Patriotic, Traditional/Folk


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Friday 14 May 2010

Tune of the Day: The Minstrel Boy

Old Irish patriotic song

While the lyrics to this patriotic song were written by Thomas Moore, the melody is an old Irish air known as “The Moreen”. It is widely believed that Moore composed the song in remembrance of a number of his friends, whom he met while studying at Trinity College, Dublin and who were killed during the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

The song gained widespread popularity and became a favorite of many Irishmen who fought during the American Civil War and gained even more popularity after World War I. It is notably associated with organizations that historically had a heavy representation of Irish-Americans, in particular the police and fire departments of New York, Boston and Chicago and those of various other major US metropolitan areas, even after those organizations have ceased to have a substantial over-representation of personnel of Irish ancestry. The melody is still frequently played at funerals of members of such organizations.

The tune is used as the theme of John Huston's 1975 film The Man Who Would Be King, starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine. It is also heard in several other films, including Black Hawk Down, and in some episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.