Given the antiquity of ‘Ireland’s oldest inhabited town’, it is not surprising that Ballyshannon has a musical tradition that stretches back for hundreds of years. The blind harpist and composer Rory Dall Ó Catháin wrote ‘The Hawk of Ballyshannon’ around 1640. Other sources date the composition as earlier. It is thought the tune was written as a tribute to the Fermanagh chieftain Philip McGuire. Ó Catháin is best-known for his composition of Tabhair dom do Lámh. The following story of the tune’s origin comes from Arthur O’Neill’s memoirs… (read more in Stracomer Press’ Songs Of Erne: Volume 1)
Listen to The Hawk Of Ballyshannon on Soundcloud.
The Hawk of Ballyshannon traditional arranged by Steve Cooney.