The Dawning of the Day

The Dawning of the Day (Irish: Fáinne Geal an Lae) is an old Irish air composed by the blind harpist Thomas Connellan in the 17th Century. An Irish-language song with this name (Fáinne Geal an Lae) was published by Edward Walsh (1805-1850) in 1847 in Irish Popular Songs and later translated into English as The Dawning of the Day. The melody of this song was used by Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh for his poem, "On Raglan Road". Raglan Road has been performed by a number of notable artists including: The Dubliners, Sinéad O'Connor, Luke Kelly and Mark Knopfler. This is a style of poem called an Aisling where the poet encounters a mysterious beautiful woman who symbolises Ireland. In this case, she upbraids him as a frivolous rake and points to the approaching dawn (of freedom from English rule).