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Origin: On Midsummer Day / Lughnassad Song


27 Dec 97 - 12:03 AM
Ellen 30 Dec 97 - 03:37 PM
Selene 30 Dec 97 - 05:38 PM
MMario 22 Apr 03 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Nialla 23 Jul 08 - 03:52 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 08 - 04:20 AM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 08 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,Murtagh Doile (Guest) 03 Apr 09 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Stockbridge Chandler 11 Apr 09 - 04:10 PM
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Subject: On Midsummer Day
Date: 27 Dec 97 - 12:03 AM

There's a song in the DT file called On Midsummer Day, by Murtaugh.

I would love to know what the tune is, the song's history, who is Murtaugh, etc. if anyone can fill me in.

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Subject: Midsummer Day, Murtaugh
From: Ellen
Date: 30 Dec 97 - 03:37 PM

On the database is a song called On Midsummer's Day by Murtaugh. Does anyone know who Murtaugh is? Forgive my ignorance.

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Subject: RE: Midsummer Day, Murtaugh
From: Selene
Date: 30 Dec 97 - 05:38 PM

Hi all

I, too would like to know!


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Subject: RE: On Midsummer Day
From: MMario
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 01:04 PM

ON Midsummer Day

Tune? Anyone know what the tune is? it appears to be one of the "derry down" variants - but which one?

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Subject: RE: Origin: On Midsummer Day (Murtaugh)
From: GUEST,Nialla
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 03:52 PM

Hi All,

Murtaugh is Murtagh Doile of TDD. This song was actually written by Stock of TDD and was performed at the "Music in the Woods" concert performed in 1981 or 1982.


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Subject: RE: Origin: On Midsummer Day (Murtaugh)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 04:20 AM

I wonder what/who TDD is/was. Telephone devices for the deaf?
I hate abbreviations.
A slightly different transcription appears at, but it's very close to what we have and may be our source. The only difference I see is that the Digital Tradition abbreviates the refrain. Otherwise, spelling and punctuation are identical. Other versions on the Internet seem to come from the Digital Tradition. So, anybody know what TDD is? Filkers seem to really like abbreviations, but I don't.


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Subject: RE: Origin: On Midsummer Day (Murtaugh)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 02:04 PM

Here's the legend:

In Goidelic mythology, Nuada was one of the Tuatha de Danaan. He was a god of the sea, children and childbirth, the sun, beauty, healing, sorcery and poetry and writing. One of the four great treasures of the Tuatha de Danaan was his sword, Fragarach, which cut his enemies in half.
In the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh, Nuada lost his arm. Since he was no longer perfect, his kingship was taken by Bres. His brother, Dian Cecht, made him a living silver hand to substitute. Nuada became known as Nuada Airgedl�mh (Nuada of the Silver Hand). Bres had became a tyrant and so was exiled. Nuada returned to the throne and was killed by Balor, the grandfather of Bres.

Later, Dian Cecht's son, Miach, replaced the silver arm with Nuada's old arm; Dian Cecht killed him out of professional envy.

Alternative: Nudd, Ludd


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Subject: RE: Origin: On Midsummer Day (Murtaugh)
From: GUEST,Murtagh Doile (Guest)
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 02:51 PM

I am the "Murtaugh" actually Murtagh who is erroneously attributed as the author of "The Lughnassad Song" , the actual name of the above piece. At the "Music in The Woods" Concert , in Southern New England, in 1981, I was the front man for "The Bards" a musical group from the Tuatha De Danann (TDD), an Irish Pagan Tradition from Rhode Island. Several folks recorded the song and asked me about it, but never asked who actually wrote it. Someone probably posted it, and put my name on it in error.

It was actually written in 1976 or 1977 by Stockbridge (Stock) Chandler. Who put the words to a traditional tune.

As MMario above notes the music is based on one of the more traditional "Down Derry Down" variants. Which one I'm not sure, but can find out.

And as Joe above states, it's based on the Battle of Magh Tuiredh (Moytura) in Irish Mythology and the Coming of Lugh Long Armed.

I also believe some of the words are incorrect. I'll look for my copy at home and try to post with the corrections, if people are interested.

Thanks Nialla for informing me about this. I like to give credit were credit is due.


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Subject: RE: Origin: On Midsummer Day / Lughnassad Song
From: GUEST,Stockbridge Chandler
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 04:10 PM

Hello Everyone...

I am the Stock Chandler who wrote the song in question. It was written in 1976 as a Bardic accompaniment to the opening ceremonies of the first annual Lughnassad Festival of the Tuatha De Danann Tradition, located in Rhode Island. It is an original tune, and NOT a filk version of a traditional. Murtagh is correct in that the lyrics have a few errors, and the chorus is actually "Down, down derry down, down derry down, down derry down". If anyone is interested in the sheet music, you may contact me at

If I can figure out exactly how to post the music at this site, I will.



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