Robin Lewando – one of our most prolific contributors – has sent in two really beautiful tunes, and I’m using the title of the second one – The Glen of Aherlow – as an excuse for putting up the photograph above, which shows what a spectacular place it is. The Glen is in Co Tipperary, which is the largest landlocked county in Ireland, situated between the Knockmealdown, Galtee and Silvermines Mountains. It’s a place full of history.
Robin starts with a slow air Árd Tí Cuain which comes from an old Gaelic song of exile:
By myself I’d be in Ard Ti Chuain
Where the mountains stand away
And ’tis there I’d let the Sundays pass
In a quiet glen above the bay
But my heart is weary all alone
And it sends a lonely cry
To the land that sings above my dreams
And the lonely Sundays pass me by.
Robin then adds the reel The Glen of Aherlow:
The reel was composed by a famous traditional musician, Sean Ryan (1919–1985) who was born in Nenagh, Tipperary but wrote most of his music when living in the village of Rosenallis, Co Laois, in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. We are fortunate to have some surviving documentary film of Sean’s playing – here are two sets (which finish up with the Glen of Aherlow reel) from 1982:
Anyone who wants to know more about the history hiding away in the Glen of Aherlow can look up these two posts from our sister site, Roaringwater Journal: