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Jim Besser

Theme Of The Month, August 2015: The Music Of Turlough O'carolan

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Well, I can once more record, though neither the equipment nor the space is very good for sound. So be it, for now. I want to get these out of the way before I leave on a trip in the morning; no time for lots of takes or more practice and polishing. Still, I won't disown any of these. All on a treble English.

First, Princess Royal. This is the Morris dance version from the village of Bampton, which I've played for so many years that I'm sure it doesn't exactly match the tune as I got it from the Bacon book. In fact, it's slightly different each time I play it. (I'm wondering why I put in so many "twiddlies" this time around; I don't usually. :unsure:) The bits of harmony in the second slows are something that just crept in somewhere along the line.

Bampton Princess Royal


As has been noted, Princess Royal became such a "pop" tune that even its authorship (like that of Shakespeare's works) has been disputed. But it's not the only Carolan tune that's been recycled. Here's one that's heard more often than you might think:

Planxty Scott


Because these days it's much better known as a Northumbrian tune:

Sir John Fenwick's the Flower Among Them All


Interestingly enough, the most likely candidates for the person named in the title both had lifetimes overlapping Carolan's. But the title here suggests to me that the tune was used for a song, and as with Bold Nelson's Praise!, the composition/renaming could have occurred long after the protagonist's death.

Last (for today) is O'Carolan's Farewell to Music, to which I've added harmonies (but not "chords" B)):

O'Carolan's Farewell to Music

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Planxty Thomas Burke, played on a Jeffries G/D 30 button Anglo.

 

Too busy right now to get beyond a very simple unarranged arrangement. And I always have trouble with smooth tunes; this one, it strikes me, sounds best with a smooth, flowing sound.

 

That is one of my favourite tunes. I remember my old clip played on a C/G some years ago.

Thomas Burke ( O'Carolan tune )

As it happend it was uploaded on August 12th.

--

Taka

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Planxty Thomas Burke, played on a Jeffries G/D 30 button Anglo.

 

Too busy right now to get beyond a very simple unarranged arrangement. And I always have trouble with smooth tunes; this one, it strikes me, sounds best with a smooth, flowing sound.

 

Thanks Jim, I'd forgotten about this lovely tune, so I had a go at it myself, this morning.

 

My arrangement starts with Hammered Dulcimer, but my English Concertina soon joins in. :)

 

Planxty Thomas Burke

 

Cheers,

Dick

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Oh, wait! Here's one. I've been playing it for years for a border morris dance and had forgotten it was a Carolan tune.

 

Charles O'Connor

 

 

Wow. I've heard that played for Border - was it you? - and never figured it as an O'Carolan tune. Nice!

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Dick, Taka, Jim - all really nice.

 

Jim - that's more or less the Princess Royal I play for my Morris side. When I play for others doing the jig I use the major version, which isn't as interesting, IMO

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Wow. I've heard that played for Border - was it you? - and never figured it as an O'Carolan tune. Nice!

Thanks. The dance is "Just In Time," by Mike Miller of the Bassett Street Hounds. You probably saw us or them do it at Dog Days. I've never seen anybody else do it.

 

Edited to add: Five dancers with sticks in circular symmetry.

Edited by David Barnert

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Love this theme! So many favorites -- Charles O'Connor, Henry McDermott Roe (1st air), Carolan's Draught, Princess Royal... What to add?

My favorite! Loftus Jones, a tune I know (or once knew), pretty well. Apparently, however, in the months since I las recorded or posted on C Neg and I'd forgotten what pushing that little button does to my brain and fingers. N tries later, I deleted all attempts and started again with Carolan's Concerto -- and then only came up with one short recording with a minimum of fumbles.

 

At any rate, here it is! Once through.

 

https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/cs-concerto-1x

 

Sarah

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Love this theme! So many favorites -- Charles O'Connor, Henry McDermott Roe (1st air), Carolan's Draught, Princess Royal... What to add?

My favorite! Loftus Jones, a tune I know (or once knew), pretty well. Apparently, however, in the months since I las recorded or posted on C Neg and I'd forgotten what pushing that little button does to my brain and fingers. N tries later, I deleted all attempts and started again with Carolan's Concerto -- and then only came up with one short recording with a minimum of fumbles.

 

At any rate, here it is! Once through.

 

https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/cs-concerto-1x

 

Sarah

 

Very nice. NOt an easy tune!

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N tries later, I deleted all attempts and started again with Carolan's Concerto -- and then only came up with one short recording

Wow. Bravissima!

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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Thanks! Carolan tunes are worth the effort, no?

I'd love to get a bunch of the McDermott Roe family pieces under my fingers.

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Carolan's Welcome

 

Played here on Hammered Dulcimer, English Concertina, Fiddle & Tin Whistle.

Composed by Turlough O'Carolan, he had it listed simply as #171.
It was actually The Chieftains who gave it the title we all know it by today, for they adapted it as theme music on the occasion of Pope John Paul II's historic visit to Dublin in 1979 & the title has been used universally since then.
It appears on The Chieftains 9 album: Boil the Breakfast Early.

 

Cheers,

Dick

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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And here's a version of "Eleanor Plunkett" on a 30-button C/G Herrington Anglo:

 

http://youtu.be/Pqagr-xMN28

 

 

Gary

Very nice!

 

! I just bought your "75 Irish SessionTunes "book and have been working my way through it. It is very helpful and shows me smoother than I had been doing on my own.

 

I highly recommend the book!

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I was going through the list of O'Carolan tunes the other day and, on a whim, picked this one to try. I'm glad I did, it's a lovely tune.

 

According to a thread on thesession.org, there is some controversy about whether O'Carolan was actually the composer of Blind Mary. The conclusion of the discussion was ... well ... inconconclusive

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Meeting of Frosty Dulcimer Friends (Danville, Pa) monthly Jam Session with 2 concertina players in attendance.

 

Fanny Power with c.net Bob(RWL) on English Concertina and Daria on Hammered Dulcimer

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKuF9fSXlQI

 

Looks like this is concertina/hammered dulcimer month. Several postings with both instruments featured!

Edited by Daria

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Very interesting and lovely dulcimer playing Daria! I'm not that familiar with these instruments but your style sounds a bit like listening to a cimbalom of Hungarian provenance to my ears... (very full and rich, thereby creating a wall of decay). Really like the sort of alienating effect on this kind of music... (or maybe I have it completely wrong, and this approach isn't uncommon at all?)!

 

Anyways, did I say that I like it a lot? :)

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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Very interesting and lovely dulcimer playing Daria! I'm not that familiar with these instruments but your style sounds a bit like listening to a cimbalom of Hungarian provenance to my ears... (very full and rich, thereby creating a wall of decay). Really like the sort of alienating effect on this kind of music... (or maybe I have it completely wrong, and this approach isn't uncommon at all?)!Anyways, did I say that I like it a lot? :)Best wishes - Wolf

Oh yes, a cimbalom is a type of hammered dulcimer. Tuning different but quite similar in appearance and tone.

 

Thank you for your comments.

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