Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls, The
DESCRIPTION: "The harp that once through Tara's halls The soul of music shed Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls As tho' that soul were fled." Tara's glory is fled, and the only sign that freedom still exists "Is when some heart, indignant, breaks."
AUTHOR: Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
EARLIEST DATE: 1851 (broadside, LOCSheet sm1851 490660)
KEYWORDS: harp music freedom nonballad
REFERENCES (7 citations):
O'Conor, p. 10, "Harp That Once" (1 text)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #855, p. 57, "The Harp That Once Thro' Tara's Halls" (1 reference)
Silber-FSWB, p. 320, "The Harp That Once Thro' Tara's Halls" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), p. 381, "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls" (1 text)
Donagh MacDonagh and Lennox Robinson, _The Oxford Book of Irish Verse_ (Oxford, 1958, 1979), pp. 32-33, "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls" (1 text)
Charles W. Eliot, editor, English Poetry Vol II From Collins to Fitzgerald (New York, 1910), #488, p. 819, "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls" (by Thomas Moore)
Bodleian, Firth b.28(8a/b) View 8 of 8, "The Harp That Once Throug Tara's Halls," R. March and Co. (London), 1877-1884; also Harding B 11(1155), "The Harp that Once Tara's Halls"; Firth b.26(381), "The Harp That Once in Tara's Halls"; Firth c.26(121), "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Hall"; Firth b.27(457/458) View 2 of 4, "The Harp of Tara's Hall"
LOCSheet, sm1851 490660, "The Harp That Once Thro' Tara's Halls," William Hall and S (New York), 1851; also sm1851 680650, "The Harp That Once Thro' Tara's Halls"; sm1851 491690, sm1879 02685, "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Hall" (tune)
LOCSinging, as105190, "The Harp That Once Thro' Tara's Halls," Thos. G. Doyle (Baltimore), 19C
NLScotland, RB.m.143(144), "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls," Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1875
cf. "The Highland Maid" (tune)
The Highland Maid (File: Ord297)
Old Ireland I Adore (File: OCon113)
The Last Ditch! or, Davis, Booth and Lee ("The Man who once did loudly boast") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 84)
The Soldier's Return ("Poor Nellie was a Soldier's Wife") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 145)
When I am on a Distant Shore (WolfAmericanSongSheets, p. 174)
Maryland's Appeal ("Oh, Maryland enslaved, opprest," by Helen Sumner) (WolfAmericanSongSheets, p. 192)
NOTES: This is one of the classic poems of Irish melancholy; Granger's Index to Poetry cites no fewer than fifteen anthologies. Ironically, it seems rare in tradition.
Tara, according to legend at least, was the seat of the ancient Irish high kings.
One source (Songs That Never Grow Old, 1909, 1913) credits the music to "Molly Astore," but this is presumably the name of the tune, not the composer. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.