Tune of the Day: Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady
Turlough Carolan was a blind, itinerant early Irish harper, composer and singer whose great fame is due to his gift for melodic composition. He was the last great Irish harper-composer, and is considered by many to be Ireland's national composer.
The melody we present today has also been called “The Bold Rover” and “The Lady of the Tavern”. The exact incident behind the song has not been recorded, but it has been suggested that the landlady in question may have been Bridget Waldron, who was evidently a parsimonious sort. One day as Carolan sat playing the harp, he heard the butler unlocking the cellar door. When he asked the man for a cup of beer the man refused, saying he would offer nothing without orders from the landlady.