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Daily Archives: May 5, 2014

Leslie’s March (D)

This highland march, called “Leslie’s March (To Longmarston Moor),” is part of the ballet Oscar and Malvina (a.k.a. The Hall of Fingal) written by Maria de Caro and produced some time before 1793. The opera Oscar and Malvina was a long-running pantomime staged several times in London in the last decade of the 18th century […]

Smash the Windows (D)

“Smash the Windows” is a single jig, called Bris Na Fuinneogide in Irish.  It is an old one and has become part of a number of traditions: Irish, English, Shetland (Island of Whalsay), Prince Edward Island, American (esp. New England). While the melody appears in the manuscript copybook of English Fiddler John Fife, compiled between 1780 […]

Hag in the churn (Ador)

This jig is much more typically called “Hag at the Churn,” and is one of a number of “hag” tunes: “Hag with the Money,” “Hag in the Kiln,” “Hag at The Spinning Wheel,” “Hag’s Purse,” “Old Hag You Have Killed Me.” However, though today “hag” is a dysphemism for self-assured and unflappable women, in more magical times […]

The Maid(s) of Mt. Kisco (Ador)

This reel, “The Maid(s) of Mt. Kisco” is named after a town.  Mount Kisco is described as both a village and a town in Westchester County, New York State.  It is actually a small, but now very expensive town just north of NYC and bordering Chappaqua. One story,  according to Billy McComiskey, is that this […]

The Snowy Path (D)

“The Snowy Path” slip jig was composed by guitarist Mark Kelly, of Altan. Play it nice and clear and not too fast. This is a good tune to learn by ear.  The tune starts on F#.  You can listen to it on Altan’s CD Harvest Storm (1992), with a flute solo by Frankie Kennedy.  You […]

Crested Hens (Edor)

This tune is usually notated in waltz time (3/4).  It was written in 1983 by the French hurdy gurdy (vielle a roue) player Gilles Chabenat (b. 1963).  Like “Ashoken Farewell” it is often played but is not in public domain.  It was originally notated in 3/8 (as a bourrée a trois temps) and called “Les […]

The Frost Is All Over (D)

“The Frost Is All Over” has been an extremely popular tune for more than 400 years.  It has been around so long that it has many versions and many names.  Also, there are other tunes that will have (nearly) the same A-part or B-part, and if you find yourself among people who are from different […]

Blarney Pilgrim (G)

“Blarney Pilgrim” appears as tune #1099 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903). There are numbers of variations of this tune at sessions, and quite a bit of confusion over its tonal center – which is really of concern only to those backing/accompanying the tune. The melody was especially popular at sessions in the 1970s, and though a […]

Ashokan Farewell (D)

The tune known as “Ashokan Farewell” was composed by American fiddler Jay Ungar in 1982.  It is played during the farewell waltz at the annual Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camp in New Paltz, New York, run by the composer and his wife Molly. The tune is also used as the title theme of the 1990 […]

Danny Pearl’s Favorite (A)

This tune is “The Red Haired Boy,” a translation of the Irish title “Giolla Rua” – which is Anglicize as “Gilderoy” – and is said to refer to King James V.  It is called “An Maidrin Ruadh” (The Little Red Fox) in Bunting’s A Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland (1840). There is also […]