BANKS OF CLAUDY
It is time to take a short break from the repertoire of Denis O' Hampsey to look at a harp
setting that is probably from Hugh Higgins, a harper praised by Arthur O' Neill for his
proficiency on the instrument. Edward Bunting says in the English index to his 1840 The
Ancient Music of Ireland that he got this version of the air from Higgins at the Belfast Harp
Festival in 1792. The notation which led to the published setting appears on page three of
MS29 of the Bunting collection held by Queen's University, Belfast. The following titles
appear at the top of the page.
'or Banks of Claudy or Plan of Boccurough'.
The Boggeragh Mountains (an Bhograch) lie north of Macroom in Co. Cork, which Eachlann
Ó Catháin (Echline O' Kane) says was the birthplace of Cornelius Lyons. Claudy is a town
on a tributary of the river Foyle called the Faughan which was itself once called 'an
Chlóidigh' (the washer). The title 'Banks of Claudy' comes from the lyrics of the English song
which refer to the river.
Banks of Claudy