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Deep in the Harp of Texas: Original Compositions



The Origin of Irish Harp Music

A Historical Account


It was exactly ten thousand years ago this year, or if it wasn’t, it was still pretty long ago, that the ancient Texans took to the seas. For centuries, they had made their home on the range, where the buffalo (and the longhorn!) roamed. Yes, they worked hard on the range while the deer and the antelope just played, but in the evenings they sat around their campfires, ate their chili, and sang songs like this to the strains of the harp:

My Texas ’tis of thee,

Sweet land of tumbleweeds,

Of thee I sing.

Land where the cowboys ride,

Land of the longhorn pride,

From every pasture side,

Let cowbells ring.

 Now, the ancient Texans were an adventurous lot. After centuries of working the range, eating chili, and singing around the campfire, some of them got a hankering to go exploring. So, attired in their cowboy hats, chaps, and spurs, which they wore everywhere (even to church on Sundays), they loaded up their harps and set sail for uncharted lands. After many months of navigating the perilous sea, they arrived at an unknown, uninhabited, and unnamed island far, far away. But, since the ancient Texans were an industrious bunch, it didn’t remain unknown, uninhabited, and unnamed for long. In just a short while, they had explored it, populated it, and named it “Lyreland,” for in ancient Texan the word “lyre” actually meant “harp,” and they intended, after a hard day of working the range, to sit around their campfires in the evening, eat their chili, and sing to the strains of their harps, just as they had back home in Texas. Human languages change over time, though, and because of the Texas drawl “Lyreland” eventually came to be pronounced “Yreland” and then spelled “Ireland.” And that, my friends, was the origin of Irish harp music.

Unfortunately, in the passage of time, all the historical documents corroborating the foregoing account have been lost. Perhaps barbarian invasions are to blame, or maybe mice just ate the parchment on which they were written. I don’t know, but I do swear that the above story is true, and if it isn’t, I sure wish it were. In any event, you can pretend it is—I do.

The following collection of original harp music is written in the Irish (that is, ancient Texan) style. May you enjoy listening to them as much as I have writing and playing them, and may the spirit of the ancient Texans live on.

To listen to all selections successively, please use the following playlist:


To listen to an individual selection, please click on its title below:

The Texas Bluebonnets Score
The White-Tailed Deer of Texas Score
The Rolling Plains of Texas Score
The Texas Sage Score
The Bighorn Sheep of Texas Score
The Texas Panhandle Score
The Texas Mesquite Score
The Texas Mustangs Score
The Gulf Coast of Texas Score
The Texas Tumbleweeds Score
The Texas Coyote Score
The Texas Blacklands Score
The Texas Prickly Pear Score
The Texas Prairie Dog Score
The Texas Hill Country Score
The Texas Sunflowers Score
The Gray Wolf of Texas Score
The Piney Woods of Texas Score
The Redbud Trees of Texas Score
The Texas Armadillo Score
The Texas Valley Score
The Texas Firewheels Score
The Blackbuck Antelope of Texas Score
The Davis Mountains of Texas Score
The East Texas Dogwood Tree Score




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