6Moore, Thomas, et al. Irish Melodies, and Other Poems,: with A Melologue upon National Music. J. Cumming, 16, Lower Ormond Quay, 1840.

The harp has for centuries served as a symbol of Ireland.

According to Nicholas Allen, "Moore's melody is invisible music. The harp is no longer, as neither are the halls, whose company is mindful more of Heorot than of Meath. Moore's tactic is a form of adaptation, the very particular traditions of kingship and society represented by Tara articulated in the Victorian values of fraternity and feeling. This combination of lost cause and found language propelled Moore's career as an international entertainer. His melodies were sung from Ireland to the Americas. In his song, Tara is a portable space, a reliquary in which to put the emigrant's dreams of home. This nostalgia is sometimes misunderstood as a passive longing. In Moore's ballad, Tara is a prompt to think that some pasts might yet be recovered." (Allen, Nicholas. "Literature and the Landscape of the Past." In: O'Sullivan, Muiris, et al. Tara: From the Past to the Future : Towards a New Research Agenda. Wordwell, 2013, p. 566.)

The "Harp that Once..." is not the only tune identified with Tara, as there is also this familiar musical theme.