Watch the An Ciarraioch Mallaithe online guitar lesson by Tony McManus from The Celtic Journeyman

Our first study is a song from Ireland called An Ciarraioch Mallaithe- in the Irish language which I don’t speak though I love listening to it. There’s a Scottish variation- the Scots Gaelic language. They are closely related minority languages.

This particular song is The Accursed Kerryman. Co. Kerry is in the southwest of Ireland and has its own take on traditional music. We’ll talk about jigs and reels over the course of this course but in Kerry it’s not so much jigs and reels, it’s slides and polkas- and songs like this. This an old style of singing with NO RHYTHM. So there’s no beat to get hold of but there is a beautiful melody and a chord progression that, if you followed the ideas of harmonising a scale in Dropped D tuning, those ideas will come into play, as will the ideas of internal dynamics where you have a melody leading chords that are arpeggiated underneath. That’s basically the structure of the arrangement of the song. It’s in dropped D tuning so get your bottom string down to D and lets look at The Accursed Kerryman

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