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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
AmyLove Origin: Red Haired Man's Wife (more info needed) (27) RE: Origin: Red Haired Man's Wife (more info needed) 13 Dec 16

Description of the track on Six Days In Down (Bob Brozman/John McSherry/Dónal O'Connor/Stephanie Makem) (found here )

8. Bean An Fhir Ruaidh
(trad, arr Brozman / Makem / O'Connor)

Instruments: vocals, two Kona Hawaiian guitars

'Bean An Fhir Ruaidh' ('The Red Haired Man's Wife') is a story of a man's unrequited love for a married woman. Many versions of this song exist throughout Ireland but, in the most well-known version, the lyrics are attributed to the writings of Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, the Ulster poet, and Riocaird Bairéad, a writer from Bangor Erris, County Mayo. The nineteenth-century Tyrone novelist William Carleton noted that his mother was once asked to sing the English version of the song. She said, 'I'll sing it for you, but the English words and the air are like a quarrelling man and his wife – the Irish melts into the tune but the English doesn't.'

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