The Magic Lute

The Magic Lute. You can hear some of the 22 Great Pieces on SoundClick You will have to scroll down a bit to find the pieces

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Turlogh O’Carolan was the John Dowland of Ireland. Blinded by Smallpox at the age of 18, he left the trade he was learning and began to learn the harp. People who were blind generally were musicians at that time. The problem is that most of the harpers were born blind, which put Turlough O’Carolan at a huge disadvantage. While playing at a patrons house, he was taken aside. You will never catch up with these other harpers he was told, so you must do something to distinguish yourself, perhaps write some music. That night he sat down and wrote “Sheebeg Sheemore.” He is now probably the most beloved Irish composer. Like John Dowland, he had many patrons, he wrote pieces with those people’s names in the title, and he drank. When you hear “Carolan’s Farewell to Music” you will be amazed at how his music seems to be written for the lute. In addition there are many wonderful arrangements from the ancient Skene Manscript. Most selections have one or more variations. This is a CD you must have. The CD is performed by Allan Alexander on a seven course lute made by Jacob Van Lennep.



  • Kilt Thy Coat Maggie - Skene Manuscript

  • My Lady Laudian's Lilt - Skene Manuscript
  • Carolan's Farewell - Allan Alexander
  • Kitty Magennis - Turlough O'Carolan
  • Carolan's Farewell to Music - Turlough O'Carolan
  • Leslie's Lilt - Skene Manuscript
  • Down in Yon Banks - Skene Manuscript
  • The Truth Above - Very Ancient Hymn
  • Sally Gardens - Traditional
  • Captain Kain - Turlough O'Carolan
  • Eleanor Plunkett - Turlough O'Carolan
  • Th eTwo William Davises - Turlough O'Carolan

  • My Own True Love - Allan Alexander
  • Sa Marrie as we have Bein - Skene Manuscript
  • Peggie is Over ye Sie Wi Ye Souldier - Skene Manuscript
  • Flowres of the Forrest - Skene Manuscript
  • Ladie Rothemayis Lilt - Skene Manuscript
  • Carolan's Lament - Allan Alexander
  • Pretty We'll Begann Man - Skene Manuscript
  • Canaries - Skene Manuscript
  • Aderneis Lilt - Skene Manuscript
  • Pantalone - Skene Manuscript