The Dawn Tune Notes

A favorite with accordion players Joe Cooley, Kevin Keegan, Paddy O’Brien and Joe Burke, The Dawn was recorded in America as early as 1929. Dublin piper Leo Rowsome recorded it with The Music in the Glen in London in 1947. Here again, Murphy’s phrasing is complex and exquisite. His source for the tune was Joe Cooley who played it around Clare in the early 1950s.

This tune appears to have been predominantly an accordeon tune, again possibly due to the influence of the Joe Burke's (Gael Linn) recording in the late 1950s. There is also a Kilfenora setting of The Dawn in Clare. Paddy Murphy normally played The Moving Cloud and The Dawn together and in that order. Both the tune and fingering are relatively straight forward, despite the fact that most of the first part of the tune is played along the bottom register.


In bar two, the D crotchet is generally ornamented by Paddy with a run consisting of D (l/h/s), top D (r/h/s), B (r/h/s) and D (l/h/s). All notes are got on the draw giving a D, DB, D, grace note run. This would correspond to the same type of grace note pattern contained to The Moving Cloud, but simply an octave higher. The same holds for the D crotchet in bar six. However, these grace note runs and open single Ds should be used alternatively rather than consistently.

In bar four, the ABC triplet is played completely along the middle row while the B, DB, A, run corresponds with that already discussed in Part I of The Moving Cloud. The BCD triplet in bars six and eight are played with the draw C natural on the inside row (l/h/s). This is because the direction of the bellows cannot change in the process of playing the triplet.

Part I concludes with the normal double-stop.


Unlike Part I of The Dawn, which was played almost completely along the middle row, with the exception of bars six and eight, Part II is played mainly along the inside row.

The C natural crotchet in bar six is played on the inside row (l/h/s) while the only note on the middle row (r/h/s) of the last group of quavers is D. All of the last bar in Part II is played along the middle row, with the characteristic double-stop to conclude.

The E cut in bars one and four is done as already explained, with the F sharp, the direction of the bellows remaining the same for both dominant and cutting note. The same gracing as that already described in The Moving Cloud, Part III, may be applied to the D crotchet at the end of bar two. The F sharp, E, D triplets in bar three are all got on the inside row with the only change in the bellows direction occurring on the D which is a press, whereas the F sharp and E are draw notes, the F sharp on the r/h/s and the E on the l/h/s.

The C natural crotchet in bar six, which is got on the inside row l/h/s may be graced in one of two ways, as opposed to being played as a single note. Firstly, it may be played as a C, E, C triplet (with the E being played on the draw middle row r/h/s). Likewise, Paddy would use the characteristic C, DB, C grace note run. We have already seen examples of these runs in Kit O’Mahony’s Jig (Part I) in The Moving Cloud (on the D and E crochets) as well as in the first part of the present tune (the bottom D, bars one and six, Part I). The principal factor governing the grace note run is that the direction of the bellows cannot be changed.

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