Road to Lisdoonvarna
I thought it was about time to practice a fiddle tune again. I think almost six weeks past by since I last recorded a fiddle tune. So I looked at the tunes in my book with 25 fiddle tunes and I immediately liked Road to Lisdoonvarna. The rhythm was a challenge at first because it’s in 6/8 but there are many 4th notes and the counting is not evident.
Here is an example of what the rhythm looks like. This is the first measure and you can see how the third 8th note of the first beat is tied with the second beat. So, it’s not very easy to count correctly. It was a rhythm challenge. And I first practiced it slowly with the metronome until it clicked and suddenly the rhythm wasn’t that difficult anymore.
My recording of road to Lisdoonvarna
I really did enjoy playing this song. I think the melody is very beautiful and the rhythm makes it very interesting. But I didn’t have much time to practice this song, especially not to get it up to speed. That’s why I look very serious and focused in the video. I should have practiced it a week more or so to have been able to play it more relaxed. Also, I didn’t add any embellishments like I heard some fiddlers do. I played it exactly like it is in the sheet music, so this would be the easy version! This fiddle song is from the same book for beginner fiddlers that has the other fiddle tunes that I’ve played before: 25 Famous Fiddle tunes and Songs.
History of Road to Lisdoonvarna
Lisdoonvarna is a small town on the western coast of Ireland, well known because it hosts an annual Matchmakers Festival and singles from all over the world go there in September. The name Lisdoonvarna comes from ‘Lios Duin Bhearna’, which means the lios or enclosure of the fort in the gap. In the 18th-century a surgeon discovered the beneficial effects of its mineral waters. So people came to Lisdoonvarna to bathe in the mineral waters and drink it. Becuase of the popularity of these mineral springs and the huge amount of people going, the “matchmaking tradition” started.
The tune Road to Lisdoonvarna originates from a Jacobite era song “All the Way to Galway” and at the end of the 19th century was associated with the matchmakers festival. Here is a beautiful recording of this fiddle tune by Dulahan Ireland.