The folk music of Ireland (also known as Irish
traditional music, Irish trad, Irish folk music, and
other variants) is the generic term for music that has
been created in various genres in Ireland.
"The Maid and the Barley" is a free setting of an
English tune known variously as “The Farmer”s
Daughter,” “Cold and Raw,” “The Northern Ditty,” or
“The Scotchman Outwitted by the Country Damsel.”
It appears in the collection “Pills to Purge
Melancholy” (1719-1720), edited by Thomas D’Urfey (c.
1653-1723). By the mid-17th century, the
disposition known as melancholy had passed its
fashionable prime and was regarded as something to be
to be purged.
Of several popular treatments (including
blood-letting!), the most widely embraced was mirth,
readily supplied by cheap pamphlets and song-sheets.
In 1661, the London publisher John Playford
brought out a collection entitled “An Antidote against
Melancholy.” The collection grew in subsequent
editions, culminating in a six-volume edition edited by
the colorful personality of Thomas d’Urfey, then
nearing the end of his life as singer, songwriter, man
about town, and friend and confidant of royalty from
Charles II to Queen Anne. Many of the songs were
taken from previous collections, although d’Urfey added
his own tunes, modified existing tunes, and added and
revised lyrics. D’Urfey was known chiefly for
his ribald lyrics, as well as a terrible stutter which
vanished only when singing or swearing. His work
belongs to the tradition of English bawdy, which favors
texts rich in double meanings.
Although this work was originally written for Folk
Instruments, I created this arrangement for Flute &
Concert (Pedal) Harp.