Southwind is a traditional Irish fiddle tune. I’ve been looking into the origin of the song but not much is know about it. It was written by Freckled Donal Macnamara early in the 18th century. He was homesick for his homeland in County Mayo and then composed this song. That’s probable why the song sounds a bit sad to me. The song has a special pattern for a dance: a dotted quarter note followed by an 8th note and a quarter note. This definitely makes the dance interesting. I think it’s a very nice melody and easy to play and sing.

According to thesession.org this is the lyrics of the song:

“South wind of the gentle rain, you banish winter weather
Bring salmon to the pool again, the bees among the heather
If northward now you mean to blow, as you rustle soft above me
God speed be with you as you go and a kiss for those that love me

From south I come with velvet breeze, my word all nature blesses,
I melt the snow and strew the leas with flowers and warm caresses;
I’ll help you to dispel your woes, with joy I’ll take your greeting
And bear it to your loved Mayo upon my wings so fleeting.

Ny Connaught, famed for wine and play, so leal, so gay, so loving
Here’s my fond kiss I send today borne on the wind in its roving.
Those Munster folk are good and kind, right royally they treat me”

The version that I’ve recorded is an arrangement by Loralyn Staples and André van Harem. Loralyn Staples is a violin teacher who created many videos to help us beginners to start fiddling. I really liked her arrangement because it came with piano accompaniment at full speed and also an accompaniment at a slower speed to practice at first.

Here is a nice version of Southwind on violin and guitar. Gives me some ideas and inspiration for when I can play the violin better. :-)

2 thoughts on “Southwind – Irish Fiddle Tune

  1. My dad loves this melody but cannot seem to find a video or a recording of someone singing the lyrics. Can you suggest where we might look?

    Thanks!

    Janet Black

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