Learn to Play the Irish Folk Song "The Lassie Who Had the Land"

by Jody Stecher

I heard "The Lassie Who Had the Land" on a recording of a spectacular singer I never met. Her name was Bridget Tunney, and she was from Ireland, from the part of Donegal that’s hard up against Fermanagh. She sang like a human bagpipe. She had a very hard edge to her voice on certain notes. When I heard this song it took a long time for it to make sense for me, both what it was about and musically as well. But I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Lassie Who Had the Land 8BARS
Click to enlarge.

A version one often hears starts a little differently, going to the 5 note on “of” in “of a bright May morning.” But I heard Bridget Tunney sing it down one more step (4), and that one just stuck with me.

Excerpted from Traditional Songs with Jody Stecher

Receive lessons, songs, advice, and news like this straight to your inbox