"I took many a lump, but ’twas all in good fun"

Guerrieri: Clog Dubh Rag (2009) (PDF, 4 pages, 264 Kb; MIDI here)

This month’s rag (previously: 1, 2) celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in typically loud and chaotic fashion. The Clog Dubh Phádraig, the “Black Bell of St. Patrick,” is now in the National Museum in Dublin. William Wilde (Oscar’s father) described it thus in his 1867 book Lough Corrib, its Shores and Islands:

It was believed in the locality that this bell was a present from an angel to the saint, and was originally of pure silver, but that it was rendered black and corroded, as at present seen, “by its contact with the demons on Croaghpatrick, when the Apostle of Ireland was expelling them thence.”

One legend connects the bell with Patrick’s driving the snakes out of Ireland—the snakes were so persistent in their harassment during Patrick’s mountaintop hermitage that he finally threw the bell at them, which scared them sufficiently that they didn’t stop slithering until they were in the sea. (Hence the C strain, which makes liberal use of “Banish Misfortune” from the Petrie Collection.)


  1. I can’t help noticing, in a very cursory ear-glance, slightly impaired by beer and tremendous jetlag, that your MIDI “performer” is somewhat careless not only about your dynamics, but also your pedal markings, and I’m only talking about the first 4 bars! Please slap him or her around for me, please.

  2. Of course, if I played it, it would be too much pedal, all the time. When, oh when will technology allow me to split the difference? *sighs into own beer*

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