Sheet Music: Star of the County Down

TitleStar of the County Down
Alternate titlesDives and Lazarus
The Thresher
Cold blows the wind
The Murder of Maria Martin
If You Could Hie to Kolob
ComposerTraditional Irish
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyD minor
Time signature4/4
Tempo176 BPM
Performance time0:35
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (46 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (278 kB)
Date added2009-06-28
Last updated2009-06-28
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.0 (average)
Ballads, Celtic Music, Hymn tunes, Pentatonic, Traditional/Folk


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Sunday 28 June 2009

Tune of the Day: Star of the County Down

Traditional Irish ballad

This old Irish ballad is set near Banbridge in County Down, in Northern Ireland. The tune of the song, a pentatonic melody, is similar to that of several other works, including the almost identical English tune “Kingsfold”, well known from several popular hymns, such as “Led by the Spirit”. The folk tune was the basis for Ralph Vaughan Williams' Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus.

The song is sung from the point of view of a young man who chances to meet a charming lady by the name of Rose (or Rosie) McCann, referred to as the “star of the County Down”. From a brief encounter the writer's infatuation grows until, by the end of the ballad, he imagines wedding the girl.