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This is a very old Irish tune, written by a fisherman and fiddler from the Northwest coast of Ireland, who, when out fishing with his mates one day, heard the tune mysteriously playing in the middle of the ocean. Believing it have an otherworldly origin, he named the tune after the, Pooka, an Irish water spirit.  Later speculation tied the tune to migrating humpback whales.  Either way, the tune is haunting.

This arrangement is spare and slow, using the harp to capture that otherworldly quality with slow rolls and harmonics.  Part of the haunting quality comes from the switching from C natural to C sharp, a repeated change that is easy to achieve with the spareness of the left hand.

For early intermediate and above.  One recurring lever change, Key of D. Two pages of music.  No fingerings or brackets.

The recording will give you an idea, but the piece should be played very rubato.

Listen to Song of the Pooka (software-generated mp3):

Here is another ballad for those of us bitten by the Tam Lin bug. I've added an introduction and ending to this lovely melody.  The accompaniment features ballad patterns and parallel motion.

Intermediate level. In A minor (key of C). Two pages of music plus text.  No lever changes, fingerings or brackets.

Listen to Young Tambling (software-generated mp3):

This tune is a great fit for any program about fairies, the mysteries of Celtic lore, or, best of all, the adventures of harpers.

Late beginner or early intermediate; A minor (key of C).  One and a half pages of music.  No lever changes, fingerings or bracket. Includes an interlude and text.

Listen to Thomas the Rhymer (software-generated mp3):

A rollicking reel, so fun to play!  I've shared the love between two hands, making it achievable even for advanced beginners.  There are some cool downward rolling chords for that spooky effect, and also some fun grace notes (leave them out until you can play the melody well without them).

In A minor (key of C); one page of music; no lever changes, fingerings or brackets.

Listen to The Tamlin Reel (software-generated mp3):

This version of the Tam Lin ballad has an unnamed maiden walking her father's grounds when a figure appears and demands to know why she is there. When she questions him he reveals himself to be the only child of Lord Robinson, and that he was stolen away by the faeries.

Verse one is simply accompanied, to let the lilting tune sparkle.  Verse two features a moving ballad accompaniment in the left hand.

Accessible to early intermediate players.  Two pages of music in A Dorian (the key of G).  No lever changes, fingerings or brackets.

Listen to Lord Robinson's Only Child (software-generated mp3):

In the old days in Celtic lands, the people believed that when a once-healthy infant wasted away, the fairies had stolen the healthy baby and left a changeling in its place. The tune has a lovely lilt, and is arranged so beginners can easily enjoy it.  It features a gorgeous descending bass line, and the second verse is played up an octave and features a few easy grace notes and broken chords.

Key of G, no lever changes, beginner level.  Includes fingerings and brackets.

Listen to Highland Fairy Lullaby (software-generated mp3):

The Mountain of the Women, Sliabh na mBan (Slievenamon), is a nearly 2400-foot mountain in County Tipperary, Ireland. The mountain is named after the ancient fairy women or Feimhin, who enchanted the famous hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill, along with all of his followers.

This intermediate arrangement features a lilting introduction and interlude, grace notes, and a  few harmonics (optional). Key of G; no lever changes.  4 pages.

Listen to The Mountain of the Women (software-generated mp3; harmonics do not sound)

In an unusual twist on the typical fairy/mortal love story, this song is sung by a forlorn fairy who met a young mortal girl while she was out cutting bracken (ferns) and fell in love.  When her family discovered her secret lover, they locked her away.   Now he sits on the hillside, pulling the bracken, despairing over her.  This arrangement plays up the pining tone with some jazzy chords and also includes some fun running left-hand patterns.

A Dorian (Key of G). Intermediate; no lever changes; includes notes and words, 2 pages of music.

Listen to The Fairy Love Song (software-generated mp3)

Composed by Turlough O'Carolan, The Fairy Queen is a sprightly tune with a regal attitude.  This arrangement adds to the playfulness by giving the left hand some of the same qualities.

Intermediate; there are triplets and sixteenth notes, as well as grace notes in the right hand. No lever changes; a few suggested fingerings. Key of G; 2 pages.

Listen to The Fairy Boy (software-generated)

Composed by Samuel Lover in the 1840s, The Fairy Boy expresses the grief of a mother who believes her child has been stolen by malevolent fairies, leaving a sickly child to waste away in his place. It in the Dorian mode.

Late Intermediate; there are running sixteenth note passages, grace notes and harmonics. No lever changes. A Dorian (key of G); 2 pages.

Listen to The Fairy Boy (software-generated)