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Music from the West.                   211
introduced into his 'Les deux nuits'—to which Moore bent himself to write a national and patriotic melody—and which Burns fitted with some of his smoothest words:
Had F a cave on some far-distant shore. There is no need to present it, with its extreme simplicity of intervals in a strain thrice repeated, and with the episode which breaks this. I mention it with another purpose, because, strange to say, neither Moore (who failed in (The Exile of Erin,' after Campbell had written it), nor Burns—neither Hibernian bard nor Scottish ploughman treated the simple tune so well in song as did an English peer, Lord Thurlow,—the Lord Thurlow over whose volume of verse Moore himself and Byron are said to have sat up at midnight, screaming with ridicule. Be the rest of his volume ever so good, ever so bad, there are few things in English better for music than the two opening verses. And since mention of words for music has been made, I cannot leave the subject of Irish melody without calling attention to the wonderful verbal productions which have been written to some of the original melodies of Ireland. Ah our world over, popular minstrels have somehow
harboured a distracted idea that they were becoming
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III