Patrick Burns (b. 1969) is an American composer and music educator.  He has written extensively for wind bands at all levels.  He founded the Bloomfield Youth Band in New Jersey when he was 17, and continues to direct that group today.   He teaches at Montclair State University and New Jersey City University.  His compositions, which range from beginning band to professional level,  have been performed on at least 3 continents.  He has received commissions from around the country.  He is much in demand as a guest conductor and clinician.

Burns offers his own program notes on Count Not the Hours, which he wrote based on a tune attributed to Francis O’Neill:

Count Not the Hours was commissioned by the Franklin Avenue Middle School Band (James Frankel, Director), Franklin Lake, New Jersey, as a retirement gift for outgoing Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edward J. Sullivan.  The piece takes its title from an Irish jig of the same name.  The melody is here set as a waltz and therefore presents itself much less forthrightly than O’Neill’s original tune.

Patrick Burns main website. – includes a full biography and information on all of his music.  You can also leave the website open and just listen as it automatically plays a random sampling of Burns’s music.  He’s written a lot of it, and it’s all good!  For our purposes, though, check out especially the “music” page, where you can download a free recording of Count Not the Hours in the grade 2 section.

Also check out Patrick Burns’s YouTube channel, which has performances of the great bulk of his music.  Here, for instance, is Count Not the Hours as performed by the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Wind Ensemble.

Have a look at the original tune (pdf).  Or learn to play it on guitar.  It appears to be just a fiddle tune with no lyrics attached.