Anúna – Jerusalem

PDF File Download: Anúna – Jerusalem NAF Tab

Original Composer: This arrangement is by Michael McGlynn. He notes on his website that the original melody came from County Wexford, in Ireland. The song itself seems to be a very old ‘traditional’ that I have yet to trace an exact origin for (And likely never will, if it’s old enough to be lost in the mists of time!)

Technical notes: Requires the use of cross-fingerings, half holing on the lowest hole and one upper octave notes. Some very swift and tricky passages in general. Play on an NAF in the key of C if you wish to accompany the original track.

About: I first heard this very beautiful choral piece featured in the TV series The Tudors during season 2, as we see Anne Boleyn incarcerated and preparing for her execution. It wasn’t included in the official soundtrack release for the series, but can be found on Anúna’s self-titled 1993 album, Songs for a Celtic Christmas and also their ‘Best of.’

The wonderful Anúna ladies sing the chorus in ‘layers’ of sound; one singer begins, then a moment later another begins, and after another moment a third starts and you get an incredible, almost echoing/reverb type effect. I can’t help but think how awesome it would be to do this piece in a flute circle, and recreate the effect…:)

On Playing: Lyrics are included within the tab, as it would be very difficult to follow otherwise! My first advice, as with any tab but especially with this one, is listen to the song multiple times and tackle it in short chunks when learning to play. If you can use a program such as Audacity to slow it down and hear it more clearly, it’ll really help you.
The melismatic ‘clusters’ of three notes assigned to one syllable that occur repeatedly within each line (e.g. as in ‘Je-ru-sa-le-e-e-em‘) are very swift and can be quite tricksy. The half hole on the lowest note is always in sequence with the note above or below, so isn’t too hard to hit. There are two or three cross fingerings, so it’ll help break you out of the routine of the ‘normal’ NAF scale!
The other verses of the song are included at the bottom of the tab, after each of which the chorus of ‘Jerusalem, my happy home…’ is repeated. When listening to the track you’ll find the phrasing of the notes changes slightly in some verses which you’ll have to pick up for yourself.

Listen to the track on YouTube:

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