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Writer’s Room: Old Irish Folk Tunes

Love the music of ‘Copper?’ Series writer and music buff Kevin Deiboldt talks setting a scene with the perfect old Irish folk tune.

At the end of episode four, we needed a song for the Irish Tenor (played by the talented Ryan Tilley) in Eva’s Paradise to sing. One that would take the audience up and into Eva’s room, setting the tone for her scene with Molly. As a huge music buff, I got kick out of things like this – the chance to sift through old Irish folk tunes. The one Kyle (Bradstreet, writer of episode four) ended up selecting was a mournful song called “Avenging and Bright” by Thomas Moore. It was written in 1811 as a poem, and set to the melody of an old Irish air “Crooghan A Venee.”

Avenging and bright fall the swift sword of Erin
On him who the brave sons of Usna betray’d! —
For every fond eye he hath waken’d a tear in
A drop from his heart-wounds shall weep o’er her blade.

By the red cloud that hung over Conor’s dark dwelling,
When Ulad’s three champions lay sleeping in gore —
By the billows of war, which so often, high swelling,,
Have wafted these heroes to victory’s shore —

We swear to avenge them! — no joy shall be tasted,
The harp shall be silent, the maiden unwed,
Our halls shall be mute, and our fields shall lie wasted,
Till vengeance is wreak’d on the murderer’s head.

Yes, monarch! though sweet are our home recollections,
Though sweet are the tears that from tenderness fall;
Though sweet are our friendships, our hopes, our affections,
Revenge on a tyrant is sweetest of all!

Based on the ancient tale of Diedre and the betrayal of the Sons of Usneach, it has been used by the Irish as a patriotic number ever since Moore penned it (to criticize George IV for not supporting Catholic emancipation). And though we do not hear the song in its entirety, I think it does a nice job – even in melody – of foreshadowing what’s to come.

Have questions or comments for Kevin? Leave them below! And for more of Kevin’s ‘Copper’ musings, check out his personal blog, Ithaca Mafia., and follow him on Twitter at @Kluv32.

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