Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) was a blind Celtic
harper, composer and singer in Ireland whose great fame
is due to his gift for melodic composition. Often
called the last of the Irish Bards, even though there
were traditional Irish harpers living as late as 1792.
Carolan is considered a national treasure his
compositions are still often played during a session
and are also highly regarded. Focusing on Carolans
works first will bring you high rewards as a player.
By the way, though it is correct to say Turlough
OCarolan when giving the full name, when no first
name is given one should simply refer to him as
Although not a composer in the classical sense, Carolan
is considered by many to be Ireland's national
composer. Harpers in the old Irish tradition were still
living as late as 1792, and ten, including Arthur
O'Neill, Patrick Quin and Donnchadh Ó Hįmsaigh,
attended the Belfast Harp Festival. Ó Hįmsaigh did play
some of Carolan's music but disliked it for being too
modern. Some of Carolan's own compositions show
influences of the style of continental classical music,
whereas others such as Carolan's Farewell to Music
reflect a much older style of "Gaelic Harping".
Fanny Power ("Fanny Poer" or "Fannuidh Power"). AKA and
see "Fanny Poer," "Inghin ni Pudhar," "Madame Trench,"
"Miss Power," "Mrs. Trench (of Garbally)," "Planxty
Fanny Powers." Irish, Air or Planxty (6/8 or 3/4 time).
G Major (Complete Collection, O Canainn, O'Neill,
Sullivan, Vallely): D Major (Bunting, Haverty): C Major
(Thompson): A Major (O'Sullivan/Bunting). Standard
tuning (fiddle). AB (Vallely): AABB (most versions).
Composed before 1728 by blind Irish harper Turlough
O'Carolan (16701738) in praise of Frances, the
daughter and heiress of Carolan's patrons David and
Elizabeth Power of Coorheen, Loughrea, Co. Galway (for
whom see "Mrs. Power/Carolan's Concerto" and "David
Power"). O'Carolan called her "the Swan of the Shore"
from the fact that her father's residence was situated
on the edge of Lough Riadh (Rea). When Fanny married in
March, 1732, one Richard Trench of Garbally she became
the "Mrs. Trench (of Garbally)" or "Madame Trench" by
which title the air sometimes appears (although the
song was probably composed prior to the union, as in
the second verse Carolan says he hopes that he'll live
to dance at her wedding). She was long-lived and
provident, surviving to 1793, the mother of a future
Lady (Clancarty), and Baron, Viscount and Earl (William
Power Keating Trench, born in 1741 and created Baron
Kilconnel in 1797)
Source: Tune Archive
Although originally composed for Traditional Irish
Instruments, I created this interpretation of the
"Planxty Fanny Poer" for Flute & Celtic or Concert
Download the sheet music here: