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Tag Archives: History

The Ashplant (Edor)

The term “ash plant” or “ashplant” was once a very common term, and still is in some places.¬† It is a euphemism used by the young and the old. ¬†For the young it is a teacher’s stick which would be used to point out important locations on a map, to remind students of something written […]

Tenpenny Bit (Ador)

This jig has been around a long while, and has a number of titles. It’s tune tune #969 with¬†the title “Three Little Drummers”¬†in¬†O‚ÄôNeill’s 1850 (1903)¬†— i.e., O’Neill’s Music of Ireland — and tune¬†#189 and¬†with the same title¬†in O‚ÄôNeill’s 1001 (1907)¬†‚Äď i.e.,¬†Dance Music of¬†Ireland:¬†1001 Gems.¬† It is also called “Cock in the Heath” which is sometimes […]

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 […]

Jackie Coleman’s (D)

It is pretty common for tunes that carry a person’s name to simply be an homage, merely¬†indicating that that person liked the tune and played it¬†often. ¬†Yet, it is sometimes also¬†actually accurately a possessive-indicator, as it is in this case. Jackie Coleman (1928-2001), may he rest in peace, composed this tune around 1954. He passed […]

Anderson’s Reel (D)

This reel is named for the Sligo piper Michael¬†J. Anderson (1865-1947), who would eventually be called “Piper Anderson.” He was a flute player until he emigrated to the States as a teenager, where he learned to play and make the uilleann pipes.¬† His home, at 1459 Amsterdam Ave., New York City, ¬†became a popular gathering […]

The Wonder (G)

This hornpipe is on De Dannan’s CD Hibernian Rhapsody (1996), the second of two tunes on track 10 “New Century” and “The Wonder,” collectively called “George Ross’ Horn Pipes.”¬† This tune was recorded by the Wexford accordionist George Ross in the 1950s (which is apparently where members of De Dannan picked it up), but 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,‚ÄĚ where the first and last tunes are very […]

Jacky Tar (Edor)

I learned this hornpipe as “√Čamonn McGivney’s,” though there are not many around here who call it that. ¬†√Čamonn McGivney’s is a fiddler from Miltown Malbay, Clare co., and this is (apparently) his setting of a version of “Cuckcoo’s Nest” which is also a version of “Jacky Tar.”¬†This hornpipe is probably most widely known as […]

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 […]

An Comhra Donn (D)

The hornpipe “An Comhra Donn”¬†is light-hearted. ¬†I learned from a Belfast concertina player in the mid-1980s and brought to the KC sessions back in 2007.¬† The name is pronounced ‚ÄúAhn Cowrah Dune‚ÄĚ and translates from Irish to English as ‚ÄúThe Brown Box‚ÄĚ ‚Äď an Irish euphemism for a coffin. ¬†Comhra (coffin) is not to be […]