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Carraroe (D)

Irish Dance Music (1933/1973/1995)

Irish Dance Music (1933/1973/1995)

This light-hearted jig is a member of a large family which includes “The Blue Bonnets Over the Border,” “The Scotsman Over the Border,” “Mist on the Meadow,” and “The Mist in the Glen,” among many others.  The co. Limerick fiddler Martin Mulvihill (1919-1987) called this “The Portrowe Jig” in his First Collection of Traditional Irish Music (1986).  The tune seems to have been first recorded in the set “Carraroe > Lambert’s Jig” on Irish Dance Music (1933) by the Ballinakill Traditional Dance Players. It can be found on the 1973 Folkways anthology (taken from 78rpm records made between 1922 and 1948) entitled Irish Dance Music, with notes by Reg Hall of Smithsonian Folkways and reissued on CD in 1995 — by the way, “Lambert’s Jig” is another name for “Rambling Pitchfork.” Reg Hall writes that Fr. Tom Larkin created the group in 1922 in order to play “for local public ceilidh dances, bringing together fiddle and flute players, all men, small-farmers and ear players, from the tradition of country-house dancing.” Though not stated by Hall, the creation of the Ballinakill Traditional Dance Players was also part of a larger movement to displace jazz music in Ireland, which was very sucsessful. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, in his O’Brien Pocket History of Irish Traditional Music, writes that “[b]y far the most dynamic ensemble to play on 2RN [the first radio broadcasting station in the Irish Free State, on air from 1926 to 1933] in its early years was the Ballinakill Traditional Dance Players from east Galway.”  Lastly, though the band usually gathered at the home of Anna Rafferty (piano), which was Carraroe House, in Ballinakill, east Co. Galway, the tune predates them by decades.

For the ABC click Carraroe

Carraroe, slow tempo

Carraroe, med tempo

Carraroe, the dots

The Carraroe Jig, in D

The Carraroe Jig, in D

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