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Daily Archives: May 6, 2014

The Sporting Pitchfork (G)         

“The Sporting Pitchfork”  is the second of the well-known “Pitchforks” on the Glackin/Keenan album Doublin’ (1978), the first being “The Rambling Pitchfork” — and the album/CD is a real gem!  While the first (double) jig of the set refers to an itinerant farm-laborer, this one refers to a friendly farm-laborer, a sport (however you picture such a […]

The Rambling Pitchfork (D)

“The Rambling Pitchfork” was made popular by the Felix Doran’s acetate recording in 1949, now available on the CD The Master Pipers,Volume 1 (2003). The title “Rambling Pitchfork” refers to an itinerant farm-laborer, in the same sense that “hired gun” refers to a mercenary – i.e., the main implement of one’s occupation is used as […]

Glass of Beer (Baeol)

This reel, “Glass of Beer,” has a number of variations.  One of them, listed as “Pick Your Partner,” is #1391 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903), and #635 in O’Neill’s 1001 (1907).   The idea that “Pick Your Partner” is a variant of “Glass of Beer,” or vice versa, is for many people a rather easy one, depending on […]

The Teetotaler’s (G)

This tune is most often called “The Teetotaler’s Reel” in Irish sessions, but is also popularly known as “The Temperance Reel” among old-time and bluegrass players, and is much less popularly known as “Prohibition, My Foot!”  This tune starts off like a few others, and doesn’t really distinguish itself until the third measure, where it […]

Road To Lisdoonvarna (Edor)

The slide “Road To Lisdoonvarna” was popularized on this side of the pond (the States) by Grey Larsen (b. 1955) & Malcolm Dalglish (b. 1952), on their album Banish Misfortune (1977). They played this tune in a set of four: “The Road to Lisdoonvarna/Trip to Sligo/Dennis Murphy’s Slide/O’Keefe’s Slide,” where the first and last tunes are very […]

The Kaiser (D)

“The Kaiser” slide is called “Going to the Well for Water” on Jackie Daly’s Music from Sliabh Luachra (1977), and John Doody’s Kerry Music (1978), called “Going for Water” on John & Julia Clifford’s Humours of Lisheen (1977), and on the compilation CD Round the House and Mind the Dresser (2001) it’s played by Julia Clifford […]

Fairy Dance (D)    

This reel, “Fairy Dance,” is in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903) in the “Miscellaneous” section.  The flute player Steph Geremia has a nice version on her CD The Open Road (2010), at the end of a set she calls “The Conspiracy.” It is also on The Chieftains 4 (1974), the second tune on track one (after “Drowsy […]

(The) Leslie’s Reel (A)    

The tune “Leslie’s Reel” has a set of versions, though I don’t know which came first.  One close version is called “Monymusk,” named after a town close to Aberdeenshire, Scotland; another version is called “The Teileann Reel” (or “The Teelin Reel”) named after the village of Teileann in co. Donegal – a small coastal village on […]

Killavil (D)

“Killavil”  is a (double) jig from co. Sligo. Killavil is a parish south of Sligo, and the birthplace of the great twentieth century Irish fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945).  The name is probably an endocentric compound (or perhaps just a copulative compound) of “cill” (church) and “abhaile” (home, or lit. homeward), and so means something like “Home-Church” […]

Phroinsias Uí Mhaonaigh (G)

This mazurka, “Phroinsias Uí Mhaonaigh” is, like all mazurkas, played something like a fast waltz.  The title translates, well transliterates really, simply as “Francie Mooney’s.”  It is the second mazurka on track 2 of the Frankie Kennedy and Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh 1982 recording Ceol Aduaidh (i.e., Northern Music), as well as on an old cassette that […]