Here is a simple, but profound story.
There are three natural phases:
The first phase of "Remembering a lost love" tells about someone who once was at the centre of the storyteller's life. The melody recounts in flowering terms some of the most wonderful moments experienced during that time.
In the second movement, we have moved to the "Regret about the lost love". Here we are reliving the pangs felt in missing this precious person. Did we not appreciate the Other as fully and as completely as we might have? Oh, how we are so sorry about the person who has now gone away, and will never come back.
In the third movement, we are in the present. Now is the time of "New hopes". Time moves on, and new persons have appeared on the horizon. We can move to new and happy moments. Hopefully we have learned something, to make the next adventures yet richer and even more complete.
Back in 1873, P.J. Joyce had recorded four accounts and related melodies in various parts of Ireland, which tell this story in somewhat similar ways. One can identify a resemblance to the three movements in my more elaborate version. Joyce's first two melodies in major key emphasized the initial phase of the story, the next movement in minor key recounted the second aspect, and the last melody, again set in major key, evoked the last and concluding element of the story.
Here as one continuous recording are the four versions that were collected by P.J. Joyce:
And here is my interpretation, both as a piano and as an orchestral version: Due to the limitations imposed by the artificial rendering, I definitely prefer the first, the piano-only version. Some day I hope that we shall have a natural recording for this piece, which will render better justice to the orchestral version of the story.
MP3s and sheets are here.