E one sharp minor tunes
As these tables have been designed to be used in reference to the 2001 edition of
Carolan's music, informative alternative titles have been inserted.
The sign ♪ indicates that a lyric can be associated with the tune. D J O' Sullivan is not
always reliable in his ability to match lyrics to tunes.
The sign * indicates that the ascription of the song or tune to Carolan is either doubtful or
The sign + indicates that the surviving lyrics associated with the tune are not, or are
probably not, by Carolan.
A total of 29 tunes are estimated as belonging to Bunting's key of E one sharp minor. Of
the 29 items listed in the table, 8 of them (less than a third) have lyrics associated with
them. However, it is not certain that Carolan sang many of them. The song Mrs Cole (15)
could also have been played in the key of D one flat. If Miss MacDermott (87) ever
possessed a lyric by Carolan then it would require the key of D one flat to fit a f-Γ vocal
Numbers 57, 68, 100, 113, 145 & 207 clearly exhibit the style of an instrumental tune.
Numbers 49, 76, 87, 108, 135, 160, 171, 172, 181 & 184 were also probably instrumental
The most common range for E mode tunes are gg-b, gg-d and bbb-b. The most frequent
vocal range is ee-b followed by ee-d. Where I believe it likely enough that Carolan sang
certain items, I have placed the relevant pieces in a key which would suit his voice.
A number of these tunes (most notably 76) might originally have been in the key of D and I
have placed some of them here mainly on the basis of the scale of the published version.
The same goes for When She Cam Ben She Bobbit (250) which seems to have been
composed using ficta notes. Most versions of this tune, "rightly" or "wrongly", use an A
mode scale. With the top note removed, John Nugent (107) may have been in the key of
A natural and not unrelated in its original range to John Jameson (61).
The Clergy's Lamentation (207) is probably a D mode tune but since it appears in Neale in
the key of E one sharp, I have kept this assignment. The Lament for Charles MacCabe
derives from a mode which may originally have possessed an E final but which may relate
closely to a transpositional partner mode possessing an A final which in turn would relate it
closely to the tonality of the key of D natural. Thus, all the Carolan laments, barring the
satirical Squire Wood (213), are either in the key of D natural or relate closely to D mode.