The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls

I had the pleasure of hearing Cormac De Barra sing and play at the 2013 St. Louis Tionól. He’s a wonderful resource for the songs and a link to the great harping tradition in Ireland.

According to the

From In the poem, written while Ireland was still under an unwelcome British rule, Thomas Moore lets Tara symbolize the seat of Irish government and the rule of Ireland. The harp, the traditional musical instrument of Ireland, symbolizes the Irish people, culture and spirit.

Glynis Casson and harper Cormac De Barra perform the song in Woodford House, Dublin.

The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls

The harp that once through Tara’s halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls
As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory’s thrill is o’er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more!

No more to chiefs and ladies bright
The harp of Tara swells;
The chord alone that breaks at night,
Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks,
To show that still she lives.


3 thoughts on “The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls

    • Kate, thanks for pointing out that I had not included the citation. I found it on I try to list the resources I have used when researching whenever I can. I have now corrected the post.

  1. Pingback: The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls by Thomas Moore | The Bard on the Hill

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