Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Ligoran Cosh

Bloomfield's "The Man in the Moon" from The Remains of Robert Bloomfield (1824) is noted as set to the "Irish" tune of Ligoran Cosh.

The tune, here called "Ligrum cus", appears in Volume V of Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs. The title, apparently corrupt Irish Gaelic, may be translated as "Let go my foot" and is taken to refer to excessive rents. However, earlier versions of the tune are given the Jacobite title of "Over the Water to Charlie" and appear in Bremner's Reels and Country Dances, 1759, and Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, 1788. Later reworkings may be found in James Hogg's Jacobite Relics. 2nd series, 1821, and in Allan Cunningham's Songs of Scotland, Vol. 3, 1825. Late in its history the tune was given an Irish name, "Ligrum Cus", or "Lacrum Cush", and used for drinking-songs such Ye lads of true spirit lay courtship to claret and I love to see bottles a'rolling. Where Bloomfield found the tune with the title he uses remains a mystery.

The man in the moon look'd down one night,
   Where a lad and his lass were walking;
Thinks he, there must be very huge delight
   In this kissing and nonsense-talking:
And so there must ('tis a well known case),
   For it lasts both late and early.
So they talk'd him down, till he cover'd his face,
   They tired his patience fairly.
Then up rose the sun in his morning beams,
   And push'd back his nightcap to greet them;
Says he, "As you boast of your darts and flames,
   My darts and my flames shall meet them."
He scorch'd them both through the live-longday,
   But they never once seem'd to mind him,
But laugh'd outright, as he skulk'd away,
   And left a dark world behind him.
Then the man in the moon look'd down in a pet,
   And said, "I believe I can cure you;
Though my brother has fail'd, I may conquer yet
   If not, I must try to endure you.
Go home," he cried, "and attend to my rules,
   And banish all thoughts of sorrow;
Then jump into bed, you couple of fools,
   And you'll both be wiser to-morrow."

And here it is, sung by my friend Stuart


James Aird.A selection of Scotch, English, Irish and foreign airs, adapted for the fife, violin, or German flute.Vol. V.Glasgow : J McFadyen, 1801.

1 comment:

  1. Marvellous - very much enhanced my appreciation and understanding of this piece. Any chance of a performance of 'Winter Song' 'Dear boy put that icicle down'?