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Category Archives: American Tunes

Dusty Windowsills (Ador)

Though common in Irish sessions, this three-part jig was actually composed by Johnny Harling (b. early 1960s), a flute player from Chicago.  Two somewhat conflicting stories have been put forth about the title. According to the least plausible one, this jig was inspired by the Kansas song “Dust in the Wind” and originally titled “Dust on the […]

Julia Delaney’s (Ddor)

Julia Delaney was the sister-in-law of our beloved Captain Francis O’Neill — she was the sister of O’Neill’s wife Anna (née Delaney).  The tune is from around the turn of the last century, and most likely composed in the Chicago area. The reel “Julia Delaney’s” (or just “Julia Delaney”) was the fourth track of the Bothy […]

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 […]

Heather Breeze (G)

“Heather Breeze” is #779 in O’Neill’s 1001 (1907), and it is related to the tune “Crossing the Fields,” in O’Neill’s Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922).  This tune too goes by many names: “Coppers of Brass” (in Tipperary and Kerry), “The Heather Bloom” (in county Monaghan), “The Heathery Braes of Ballyhealy” (in Leitrim), and […]

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 […]

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 […]