The first sound recording of “Mason’s Apron” appears to have been by New York accordion player John J. “Dutch” Kimmel in 1915. Sligo fiddle master Paddy Killoran (1904-1965) recorded “Mason’s Apron” as a two-part reel in March, 1939. Some play it with an added third part. Some fiddlers play pizzicato notes during the tune as a variation, and it is sometimes played in G, for instance by Tipperary accordionista Paddy O’Brien; and flute player Matt Molloy has a much admired version. With some tunes the variations can become added parts, and the tune is transformed into a showpiece – often the case when it’s played on stage. This melody lends itself to creative variation, and many players have a hand in multiplying its parts, including Nigel Gatherer and Bobby McLeod. The Donnycarney banjo player Bernard “Banjo Barney” McKenna (1939-2012), of the Dubliners, has a five-part version. James Kelly has a six-part version on Traditional Irish Music (1998). Belfast fiddler Sean McGuire (1927-2005) plays it with twelve parts, which requires playing in third and fourth positions on the fiddle! Many fiddlers in other traditions have used the tune as a showpiece as well. The melody is in the Quebecoise tradition and titled “Le Tablier Du Macon.” There several American regional variations, where it might be listed as “Hell On the Wabash” or “Hell on the Potomac.” It also goes by the names “Lady Carbury” and “Miss Hope’s Favourite.” Breathnach (1976) says the tune was sometimes played in AEae tuning by Irish fiddlers.
For the ABC click Mason’s Apron
/ A / / Bm / E / A / / D / E A : |
/ A / / Bm / E /A / / D / E A : |
Mason’s Apron, the dots