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Melodia composta secondo Edward Bunting (in "The Ancient Music of Ireland") dall'arpista cieco irlandese "Ruairi Dall" O Cathain (c. 1570-c.1650) nel 1603 mentre era in visita presso la nobiltà scozzese. Alcuni tuttavia ma erroneamente, attribuiscono la melodia al bardo Turlough O'Carolan.

Francis O'Neill un altro grande collezionista di antiche melodie celtiche scrisse di "Ruairi Dall"" Proud and spirited, he resented anything in the nature of trespass on his dignity. Among his visits to the houses of Scottish nobility, he is said to have called at Eglinton Castle, Ayrshire. Knowing he was a harper, but being unaware of his rank, Lady Eglinton commanded him to play a tune. Taking oftence at her peremptory manner, Ó Catháin refused and left the castle. When she found out who her guest was her ladyship sought and effected a speedy reconciliation. This incident furnished a theme for one of the harper’s best compositions. “Tabhair Damh do Lámh,” or “Give Me Your Hand!” The name has been latinized into “Da Mihi Manum.” The fame of the composition and the occasion which gave birth to it reaching the ear of King James the Sixth, induced him to send for the composer. Ó Catháin accordingly attended at the Scottish court, and created a sensation. His performance so delighted the royal circle that King James I familiarly laid his royal hand on the harper's shoulder. When asked by one of the courtiers if he realized the honour thus conferred on him, to their consternation Rory replied: 'A greater than King James has laid his hand on my shoulder.' Who was that man?' cried the King. 'O’Neill, Sire,' proudly answered Rory standing up "

Jeremy Main scrive invece "One of the blind harpers Rory Dall was dumped in the ditch while travelling between gigs in Scotland by his hostess for the evening, who took him for a blind beggar. The said hostess (a Lady Eglington) was told what she had done when she got home, so she fetched the harper home in style cleaned him up and apologised most fulsomely. To show he had no ill-will, he produced one of the finest harp airs "Da Mihi Manum" - Give Me Your Hand. The Latin text has been lost, and there'll be fame in the harp world for any archivist who finds it."

maclise-harper.jpgRuaidhrí Dall (Rory Dall ovvero Rory il cieco) era probabilmente di nobili natali (del clan O'Neil) originario dell'attuale Londonderry (Nord Irlanda); trascorse molta parte della sua vita in Scozia dove morì proprio nella casa di Lady Eglinton, evidentemente diventata sua mecenate. Secondo gli studiosi è l'autore della melodia The Derry Air, (Londonderry Air) diventata la nota Danny Boy.


Tutti questi aneddoti e altre storie circolate confondono spesso i due arpisti Rory Dall O'Caghan (c1570-c1650) e Rory Dall Morrison, (1660-1714) che vissero per lo più in Scozia in un'unica persona. Da alcuni studiosi Rory Dall Morrison ovvero Roderick Morison è considerato di origini scozzesi, e fu l'ultimo bardo che compose in gaelico scozzese suonando con la clarsach, la tipica piccola arpa scozzese. E qui si riapre la discussione su tante controverse attribuzioni di belle melodie al di qua o aldilà del "the channel"


Nel tempo è sopravvissuta solo la melodia peraltro riportata in molte raccolte settecentesche "The melody's popularity was long-lived, as attested by its appearance in many collections throughout the 18th century, including Wright's Aria di Camera (1730), Neal's Celebrated Irish Tunes (c. 1742—a revised date from the oft-given 1721 or 1726, this based on watermark research—see the appendix to the 2001 edition of O’Sullivan’s Carolan), Burk Thumoth's Twelve English and Irish Airs (c. 1745-50), Thompson's Hibernian Muse (c. 1786), Brysson's Curious Selection of Favourite Tunes (c. 1790, and Mulholland's Ancient Irish Airs (1810)."(secondo Fiddler's Companion)


ASCOLTA La melodia è spesso suonata nei matrimoni irlandesi (con l'immancabile battuta: da non confondere con il brano "give me your house" più adatto per un divorzio irlandese) continua