"The Meeting of the Waters" is a wonderful song that conjures up a sense of warmth and friendship and links them to a beautiful location. The words were written by Thomas Moore, one of the greatest Irish poets and songwriters of all time. Moore wrote numerous songs which have become Irish classics such as The Minstrel Boy, The Last Rose of Summer, and Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms.
Moore wrote the lyrics to "The Meeting of the Waters" in 1807 and only later set it to an old Irish melody with the rather curious title, "The Old Head of Denni"s.
The Meeting of the Waters is the name of a well known beauty spot in the Vale of Avoca in Co Wicklow in Ireland. As the name suggests, it’s the place where two rivers – the Avonmore and the Avonbeg – meet and flow into each other and form the River Avoca.
There are actually two spots in Avoca where the two rivers meet. One is at Woodenbridge and one is at Castle Howard. This led to some debate when the song was first published as to which spot was the subject of the song.
Moore cleared up the confusion in a letter to his friend Lord John Russell saying: “I believe the scene under Castle Howard was the one which suggested the song to me.”
It’s not hard to see why Moore was enchanted by the scene and felt inspired to write his song. It was, and still remains, beautiful and idyllic. However, it’s not just the natural beauty of the scene that gives the song its power and its appeal; it’s the evocation of love and friendship.
Although originally written for traditional folk instruments, I created this arrangement for Concert (Pedal) Harp, Flute & Oboe and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).