This is part of the Top 40 of Sliabh Luachra project, an admittedly flawed and limited endeavor based on entirely subjective criteria. Please leave a comment if you have any questions, thoughts, protests, threats, etc, and click on the irishtune.info links for more information on each tune.

Many Sliabh Luachra musicians make no taxonomic distinction between non-reel 4/4 tunes; mostly they would be called hornpipes. The term “barn dance” does not appear in Johnny O’Leary’s book, and “fling” only appears in one instance, to assert that a tune is not a fling but in fact a slide! However, I find that these descriptors make it easier to discuss some of the interesting qualities in these tunes. In fact, I wish there were even more words available, for there seem to be quite a number of subcategories for which there are no labels. It doesn’t help that the definitions of the terms we do have are debated and amorphous. (If you really want to wreck a good session, ask the crowd the difference between a barndance and a fling!*) In any case, the differences are there, regardless of how we call them: dotted or undotted, or fashioned for set dances, step dancing, listening, or showing off! Not to mention the intruders from the reels, polkas, and slides that sneak into hornpipeland, and defectors that sneak the other direction. Best to start listening to the clips below, and make up your own mind about it all.
*If you ask me, which I know you haven’t, a proper barndance has 8 bars to each part and ideally has a “one-two-three-and” sort of emphasis in the melody (which mirrors the steps in the hornpipe figure of the polkas set), and sits between a hornpipe and a march in how it wants to be played. A fling is only 4 bars per part and wants to be played snappier, often with little flurries of triplets. The B part often finishes with a different ending on the repeat going back to the beginning. IMVeryHO!!

CONTENTS:

Bird’s
The Blackbird
Callaghan’s (1)
Callaghan’s (2)
Callaghan’s (3)
The Chancellor
Corney Drew’s
Cronin’s
Denis Murphy’s Old Timey Tune
Denis Murphy’s Quirky Fling
The Doon Roses
Fitzgerald’s
Frank Thornton
Freddy Kimmel’s
The Frisco
The Greencastle
The Harlequin
Johnny Cope
The Man from Glountane
Mike Sullivan’s
O’Keeffe’s set
O’Mahony’s
The Princess
The Road to Glountane
The Rose of Drishane
Shanahan’s
The Sherwood Rangers
The Smoky Chimney
The Sports at Listowel
Thadelo’s (1)
Thadelo’s (2)
Thadelo’s (3)
Thadelo’s (4)
Tom Billy’s
Tom Dahill’s Fiddle
An Tri is a Rian
Turkey in the Straw
Two Birds in a Tree
Walsh’s
What the Devil Ails You

Bird’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2434/

Cuz Teahan remembered this tune from his youth in Glountane. It was named after a man from nearby Knocknagashel known as “Bird” Murphy who was known for a concocting something called “bird-lime” which he would then apply to bushes in order to catch wild finches and other small birds (but to what end?). Later popularized by Cuz’s friend and protégé Jimmy Keane, though played in a slightly different setting from Cuz’s recording, and with the parts switched. A reel version can be found in Johnny O’Leary’s book which Johnny called Bill O’Keeffe’s after Pádraig’s brother.

Cuz Teahan plays Bird’s hornpipe on the album Old Time Irish Music in America.  He plays it in the key of A minor/C major, but I think he is playing along the C row of an old German concertina (with two reeds per note) and therefore fingering as if it were in B minor/D major. In any case, most people play it in Am/C nowadays. 

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The Blackbird

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/164/

This melody is popular throughout Ireland and beyond, and I can’t make the case that it’s in any way an especially Sliabh Luachra tune, but I really like Denis Murphy’s setting, so here it is! (He also plays the air version on The Star Above the Garter.)

Denis Murphy plays his setting of The Blackbird set dance, recorded by Kevin Delaney in 1972

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Callaghan’s (1)

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/267/

In the Sliabh Luachra tradition, any tune named Callaghan’s is very likely from the repertoire of Pádraig O’Keeffe who would have had it from his uncle Cal Callaghan, a huge influence on his music. This one is often called Callaghan’s High (a half-hearted attempt at differentiation from the zillion other Callaghan tunes) and is objectively the most beautiful hornpipe ever.

Callaghan O’Callaghan

Pádraig O’Keeffe plays Callaghan’s High hornpipe from the album Kerry Fiddles. (Pitch has been adjusted to aid learners.) 

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Callaghan’s (2)

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/268/

Settings of this one can be found in O’Neill’s book and in the Goodman collection, and Denis Murphy called it Tom Connor’s when he gave it to Breandán Breathnach. Of these three hornpipes, the Callaghan’s name clings most tenuously to this one, and is possibly misattributed.

Denis Murphy plays Callaghan’s aka Tom Connor’s hornpipe (pitch adjusted)

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Callaghan’s (3)

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2720/

Often called Callaghan’s Low, or Fiddler’s Green, and sometimes a contender for the Bank of Turf name. (I find it hard to imagine such a convoluted melody being notated into the cut of a bog, but you never know!) This one can be fun in a session with a player trying to pick it up on the fly; the third part can trick the unwary noodler into thinking the first part has returned until about the 5th bar, when it becomes VERY obvious!

Denis Murphy plays Callaghan’s Low

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The Chancellor

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/616/

Denis Murphy paired this with The Harlequin on an RTÉ recording. Both titles are “floaters”, that is, applied to a number of different tunes, which causes some confusion. They both seem to be used for “fancy” or “stage” hornpipes. Denis Murphy probably got this from Pádraig O’Keeffe, and I don’t think it was a common Sliabh Luachra tune before Pádraig started teaching it. He maybe picked it up from O’Neill’s book (where it goes by Father Dollard’s) or even during his time in Dublin. In any case, it has caught on.

Denis Murphy plays The Chancellor

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Corney Drew’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/3834/

O’Neill collected this from Sergeant Michael Hartnett who came to Chicago from “north-west Cork”, i.e. Sliabh Luachra. Corney Drew being a legendary figure of the earliest known generations of the tradition, this hornpipe could be one of the older tunes in the Sliabh Luachra repertoire.

Julia and Billy Clifford play Corney Drew’s from their album Ceol as Sliabh Luachra

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Cronin’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/414/

A favorite of the O’Keeffe bunch, this may be named for Paddy Cronin, but there are plenty of other Cronins out there so it’s not entirely clear. Another very likely namesake is Edward Cronin, the fiddle player from Limerick Junction, Tipperary, who moved to Chicago and supplied many tunes to Captain O’Neill. Breathnach collected it from Seamus Ennis, but noted explicitly that it is very much a Sliabh Luachra tune.

Paddy O’Connell, courtesy of the World Fiddle Day Scartaglin archives

Paddy O’Connell (a student of O’Keeffe’s from Cordal) and friends play Cronin’s, courtesy of the World Fiddle Day Scartaglin archives (pitch adjusted)

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Denis Murphy’s Old Timey Tune

not catalogued by irishtune.info

Now this one’s a real mystery! It doesn’t really sound like any other tune that I can think of. It’s not even really obvious what kind of tune it even is. Not really a reel, kind of barndancey in the mode of The Princess, or maybe a 4/4 march of some kind. Denis Murphy recorded it for Breandán Breathnach, but Breathnach did not subsequently include it in his collection. As far as I can tell, this is the only tune Murphy gave him which he didn’t include in the books. That might give us a clue about it. Breathnach did not initially record any barndance-type tunes in his project, and only later on did he start adding the full breadth of tune types. He may have thought this one was not sufficiently Irish to make the cut. It almost sounds like it could be an American tune, something Denis might’ve picked up during his time in the States? But a lot of Sliabh Luachra music has a similar mountain-music sound to it, so that could be a red herring. We also know Denis spent time marching with his local wrenboy group, and recorded some wrenboy marches that had a kind of wild, on-the-fly quality. Lots of theories, not much else! If anyone has some idea about what this tune is, where it comes from, what other melodies it might be related to, please get in touch!

Denis Murphy

Denis Murphy plays his weird tune (pitch adjusted)

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Denis Murphy’s Quirky Fling

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/3777/

Another weird little tune that Denis Murphy recorded for Breandán Breathnach. It seems to be a riff on Maggie Pickens. It’s a little hard to make out what the two of them say at the end of the clip but I think they are saying it sounds like a “Scotch” tune. The Monks of the Screw have a slightly different setting, and they associate it with Tom Billy.

Denis Murphy plays his quirky fling in the key of A (pitch adjusted)

The Monks of the Screw play their setting in the key of G from the album Brathar na nÓl

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The Doon Roses

not catalogued by irishtune.info

In Alan Ward’s pamphlet he makes reference to a two-part barndance version of Johnny Cope played by Joe Conway, a box player from Knocknagullane, Cork. He called that tune The Doon Roses, and though there is no recording of Conway’s version, this tune played by Tom Barrett makes a good case for being one and the same. Limerick accordionist Donie Nolan plays a different setting under the name Colm Danaher’s.

North Kerry fiddler Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett plays his setting of Johnny Cope aka the Doon Roses from the album Lios a’Cheoil

Donie Nolan plays Colm Danaher’s from his album The Banks of the Abha Bhán (Donie recorded this on a flat-pitched instrument—the clip has been adjusted to bring it up to concert pitch.)

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Fitzgerald’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/3569/

Presumably from the repertoire of William Fitzgerald, an early figure of Sliabh Luachra music. Starts off a lot like the reel McGovern’s Favorite, so watch out.

Paddy Cronin plays Fitzgerald’s from one of his Copley discs

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Frank Thornton

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2750/

Cuz Teahan composed this fling. Truth be told, probably one of the more questionable entries here—it’s more popular outside of Sliabh Luachra, but it’s a solid tune and sort of squeaks into this list on its own merit.

Mick O’Brien and Terry Crehan play Frank Thornton from the album May Morning Dew

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Freddy Kimmel’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/6711/

The Cliffords recorded this first and Billy Clifford asserts that it was his father that called this Freddy Kimmel’s. The existence of such a Freddy has never been verified; maybe there was some confusion with John J. Kimmel — it certainly sounds like the kind of tune he would have gone to town on, but again, no record exists of him playing it. What we do know is that a similar vaudville-style hornpipe called the Star of the East or The Second Star was printed in a number of turn-of-the-century tunebooks, including Ryan’s Mammoth Collection. (It’s attributed to a G. Tate in Köhler’s Violin Repository) The smart money says that Pádraig O’Keeffe learned the Star from Ryan’s or second-hand from Cal O’Callaghan and then adapted it to his taste, including the third part, then passing it along to his star pupils. Jackie Daly muddied the already thoroughly opaque waters by throwing that third part recklessly into the middle of De Danann’s recording of Johnston’s hornpipe. To really send your mind spinning, the Jimmy Hogan Trio recorded Johnston’s in the 50s and their third part is basically the same as the A part of this tune.

John and Julia Clifford play Freddy Kimmel’s from The Humours of Lisheen

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The Frisco

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/678/

A mysterious tune Denis and Julia played and attributed to Pádraig O’Keeffe. Aside from that, hardly anything is known! It shares a certain je ne sais quoi with the “stage”-style hornpipes in Ryan’s collection… maybe it’s another American tune that Cal O’Callaghan brought back for his favorite nephew.

Julia and Billy Clifford play The Frisco from Ceol as Sliabh Luachra

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The Greencastle

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2503/

There are a number of versions out there, but no one plays it quite like Johnny O’Leary, and his inimitable style grants this tune a spot on the list.

Johnny O’Leary plays The Greencastle from the album Dance Music From The Cork-Kerry Border

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The Harlequin

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2531/

This name has been applied to many hornpipes going back to the 19th century, but this particular tune doesn’t seem to have been popular anywhere until Denis and then Julia recorded it. They probably got it from Pádraig O’Keeffe, but where did it come from before that, I wonder?

Denis Murphy plays The Harlequin from his RTÉ recordings

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Johnny Cope

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/988/

Click here for more than you ever wanted to know about Johnny Cope!

Julia Clifford plays Johnny Cope from The Humours of Lisheen

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The Man from Glountane

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/3106/

Cuz Teahan named this tune after his old teacher, Pádraig O’Keeffe. Cuz’ authorship is somewhat in question, though. It bears a strong resemblance to a tune that can be found in old manuscripts of English country music, and appears in Ryan’s Mammoth Collection as “Cupido”. Cuz may have partly remembered it from his childhood in Kerry, consciously or not, and where memory failed, creativity took over. If this is the case, Cupido has disappeared from the Sliabh Luachra tradition, and The Man survives.

Cuz Teahan plays The Man from Glountane on the album Old Time Irish Music in America

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Mike Sullivan’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/655/

Johnny O’Leary called this Mike Sullivan’s and had this to say about why:

“And do you know where we got it? I was along with Denis Murphy behind playing in the Jug of Punch bar where Lil’s sister is married in Killarney [that is to say, Johnny’s sister-in-law was wed to the publican of The Jug]. And myself and Denis Murphy that opened the bar, I suppose about twenty-six years ago and Mike Sullivan, a man from Kilcummin, a fairly old heavy lad, a great set dancer, he walked up and came out with that hornpipe, we never had it heard. Denis held at it till he got it and I got it from Denis then and ‘Mike Sullivan’s’ we called it. He usen’t to play at all but he had every tune under the rising sun in his head.”

A version of this with sharpened thirds is widely played, known as Behind the Ditch in Páirc Anna, from the playing of Limerick/Beara concertina queen Ella Mae O’Dwyer.

Johnny O’Leary plays Mike Sullivan’s from his album Music for the Set

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O’Keeffe’s set

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/565/
https://www.irishtune.info/tune/1767/

A set of two “O’Keeffe’s” hornpipes on Johnny O’Leary’s album The Trooper, presumably indicating they came from Pádraig’s repertoire. The first is in O’Neill’s 1850 and 1001 collections. The second appears in Ryan’s collection as “City Life, A Clog”, and is virtually identical to “Showman’s Fancy” as recorded by James Morrison. Pádraig could have learned them from any of these sources.

Johnny O’Leary plays O’Keeffe’s set from The Trooper

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O’Mahony’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2459/

This primal hornpipe can be heard on The Star Above the Garter, and is found in a mid-19th century manuscript of William Fitzgerald’s music as Prenderville’s. Prendiville’s Bar and Grocery in Castleisland was a famed center of music and culture until its recent demise, and it boasted a placard claiming ‘estd. 1798’ so it’s not a stretch to imagine a connection.

Denis Doody plays O’Mahony’s from his album Kerry Music

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The Princess

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/6317/

This tune from Denis Murphy has fuzzy edges. It can be thought of as a barndance, hornpipe, even a polka, can resolve the A part various ways, and has two completely different B parts. Denis commented that he associated it with local musicians Hannah Sullivan and Mickeen Dawley and that it was a hornpipe of the kind played for the last figure of the polka set. It shares DNA with another tune called The Dolly Varden. One of those Sliabh Luachra tunes you could imagine hearing in an Appalachian holler or Louisiana bayou. The usual name contains a word for the Romani people that is considered offensive, so it is being omitted here. One story behind the name is that it was the name of a famous tall ship that hailed from Bantry Bay in the 19th century, but it also sounds like it could have been a stock character from some popular entertainment.

Denis Murphy plays The Princess in the key of A (pitch adjusted)

The Monks of the Screw play their setting of The Princess in the key of G from Bráithre an Óil

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The Road to Glountane

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2576/

Cuz Teahan wrote this one in remembrance of the long walk to his Glountane home from wild nights in Castleisland. Cuz called it a highland fling, but I’m not sure this type of tune would be characterized as such in Sliabh Luachra. It seems more like a member of the family of spare hornpipes reserved for the last figure of the polka set, or maybe an old-fashioned reel, even. Then again, maybe flings were once more popular thereabouts than they are now.

Cuz Teahan plays his tune The Road to Glountane

Maurice O’Keeffe plays The Road to Glountane. Interesting that he calls it a highland, contradicting my earlier assertion!.

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The Rose of Drishane

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/1705/

The version played by Pádraig O’Keeffe and his followers is almost, but not quite, identical to the setting in O’Neill’s book. O’Neill sourced it from Michael Hartnett, also of Sliabh Luachra, and all seem to agree on the name, so I suppose it was a popular and enduring tune in the tradition. On the other hand, Pádraig played it with The Smoky Chimney, and the two tunes are nearly adjacent in O’Neill’s, so it could be that he sourced them there. Or maybe a little bit of both, who knows? Drishane Castle is just a mile or so outside of Millstreet.

Pádraig O’Keeffe plays The Rose of Drishane

Paddy Cronin plays The Rose of Drishane (listed as The Green Banner) in a 1949 radio recording

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Shanahan’s

not catalogued on irishtune.info

O’Neill recorded this in his Waifs and Strays, collected from a manuscript of one Patrick Reidy, a dancing master living in London but originally from Castleisland, born there sometime in the 1840’s. Reidy attributed this melody (and a number of others which he provided to O’Neill) to Michael Buckley Shanahan, who he said was a ‘celebrated violinist’, the son of a piper born in Kilrush, County Clare, with a great reputation in Kerry and Limerick in the 1860s. So this tune may have made its way to Kerry from Clare originally, but long enough ago that it’s been naturalized by now!

Shanahan’s in O’Neill’s original notation. The second part is quite different from how it’s played now, at least in Sliabh Luachra!

Click to enlarge

Paddy Cronin plays Shanahan’s in 1949

Paudie O’Connor and John O’Brien play Shanahan’s from their album Wind and Reeds

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Sherwood Rangers

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2097/

Matt Cranitch learned this from a Pádraig O’Keeffe manuscript dated 1932 which would seem to give it impeccable Sliabh Luachra credibility. However, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy recorded it as one of a set of “old Donegal Germans” on their first album together, and it appears in Kerr’s Merry Melodies, 1880, under the Sherwood Rangers title. In fact it appears in earlier manuscripts of north-east English dance music. So it travelled far to get to Sliabh Luachra!

Dan Herlihy and friends play The Sherwood Rangers from the album The Night of the Fair

The band Sliabh Notes play The Sherwood Rangers from the album Gleanntán

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The Smoky Chimney

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/1787/

Another tune that seems to have had a wild ride in the course of its life. The first two parts appear in Ryan’s collection as The Ivy Leaf Reel and attributed to Zeke Backus, an American minstrel performer, and in O’Neill’s book as The Smoky Chimney and sourced from Edward Cronin. Pádraig O’Keeffe was recorded playing the four-part setting in 1949. It’s generally thought he added the extra parts, stealing his 4th part from Kitty O’Neil’s Champion Jig, another tune that appears in Ryan’s.

The Smoky Chimney at the Patrick O’Keeffe Festival in 2012. Photo by John Reidy of the Maine Valley Post

Pádraig O’Keeffe plays The Smoky Chimney

The band The Smoky Chimney play their eponymous hornpipe

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The Sports at Listowel

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/216/

This may be more of a North Kerry or West Limerick tune? Martin Mulvihill called this Breen’s, perhaps indicating it came from the repertoire of Jeremiah Breen, the fiddle master who ruled (figuratively) North Kerry in the late 19th century. It doesn’t seem to have been played by Pádraig O’Keeffe and his crew, so I suppose it belongs to the northern edge of the Sliabh Luachra tradition.

The band Sliabh Notes play The Sports at Listowel from their album Along Blackwater’s Banks

Donal De Barra plays a slightly different setting he calls The Wrenboys’ Hornpipe.

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Thadelo’s (1)

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/3754/

Johnny O’Leary had a whole passel of tunes from his friend Tim “Thadelo” O’Sullivan, and they all seem to have a similar vibe. I could try to articulate it but probably wouldn’t succeed. This one and the three that follow it on this list seem to have no other names. It’s crossed my mind that Thadelo may have actually made them himself; it wouldn’t be unheard of, but one would think O’Leary would have mentioned it if that were the case. This one and the next bear a striking resemblance to Turkey in the Straw, which you may be surprised to also see below.

Johnny O’Leary plays the first Thadelo’s

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Thadelo’s (2)

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2477/

Another Turkey-flavored tune from Thadelo. There are many Sliabh Luachra tunes that have a whiff of the Appalachian about them, and often this is attributed to the influence of Cal O’Callaghan who may have brought tunes and style back from a long stay in Ohio in his youth. However, Thadelo was probably a student of Tom Billy’s, and there’s no particular connection with the Callaghans of Doon, so maybe that American Old Time flavor came to Sliabh Luachra in more than one way.

Johnny O’Leary plays Thadelo’s #2

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Thadelo’s (3)

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/7015/

Of the four, this appears to be least popular, and doesn’t seem to have been recorded before Bryan O’Leary’s 2015 CD Where the Bog Is. Similarly to Ger the Rigger (also from Thadelo’s repertoire), this one could either be played in 4/4 time, or thought of as a type of notey, squared off polka. This line of thought leads to a loss of faith in the system of tune taxonomy, and ultimately, madness.

Bryan O’Leary and Colm Guilfoyle play Thadelo’s III (recorded on Eb instruments—pitch adjusted to aid learning)

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Thadelo’s (4)

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/3763/

These four Thadelos are of that type of tune often called barndances outside of Sliabh Luachra, but would be considered of the family of hornpipes best suited to the final figure of the polka set. Apparently Thadelo himself was much sought-after to accompany the sets.

Johnny O’Leary plays the fourth Thadelo’s

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Tom Billy’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/3639/

Another tune that Johnny O’Leary got from Mike Sullivan. This seems to be an adaptation of the set dance Madam Bonaparte into a more Sliabhey form (similar to what happened to the Orange Rogue to create The Trooper jig). I’m not sure how Tom Billy’s name came to be attached to it, though. Maybe Sullivan identified it as such. In that case, it could have been Tom Billy that did the adaptation, or someone farther up the line like Taidhgin an Asail or Corney Drew.

Tom Billy Murphy with his pupil, Nora Mai Herlihy from Park in Knocknagree, and her mother

Denis Murphy and Johnny O’Leary play Tom Billy’s on a recording for RTÉ

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Tom Dahill’s Fiddle

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/6321/

Composed by Cuz Teahan, but he certainly wasn’t breaking a sweat coming up with this bare-bones melody! He dedicated it to his friend and fellow Chicago musician Tom Dahill, but the name hasn’t stuck very well and most people just call it Cuz Teahan’s now.

Denis Doody plays Tom Dahill’s Fiddle (which he misremembered as Nehyl’s) on his album Kerry Music

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An Trí is a Rian

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2693/

The A part bears a strong resemblance to Miss McLeod’s reel, but then goes off on a new tangent. Pádraig O’Keeffe played this on the radio in 1948 in a set he called Quinn’s. Presumably they were two of the many he learned from his neighbor Séan Quinn. An Trí is a Rian is the name Denis Murphy gave to Breandán Breathnach, but Murphy wasn’t fluent in Irish, and Breathnach didn’t press him on the meaning. Either it was a mishearing of another Gaelic phrase, or perhaps a local idiomatic expression whose meaning has been lost.

Pádraig O’Keeffe plays An Trí is a Rian from The Sliabh Luachra Fiddle Master

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Turkey in the Straw

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/1980/

Played as an immensely popular reel back in the States, and in fact it appears in the reels section of O’Neill’s book, but in Sliabh Luachra it’s played more as a barndance, or one of those polka-set-hornpipes we’ve been talking about. Paudie O’Connor has a nice setting with a minor-key figure at the beginning.

Denis Murphy plays The Turkey in the Straw in the key of G on an RTÉ recording

Paudie O’Connor and John O’Brien play The Turkey in the Straw in D on their album Wind and Reeds (adjusted to compensate for the use of Eb-tuned instruments)

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Two Birds in a Tree

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/1986/

Pádraig O’Keeffe named this tune for its similarities to The Bird in the Bush reel. Decades later, Jackie Daly recorded it with a hornpipe setting of the Bird in the Bush, for the sheer rascality of it, no doubt.

O’Keeffe notation of Two Birds in a Tree printed in Treoir magazine

Julia Clifford plays Two Birds in a Tree

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Walsh’s

https://www.irishtune.info/tune/2033/

Probably named for (and sourced from) Pádraig O’Keeffe’s neighbor, Phil Walsh, a blind fiddler from Maol Mountain. It sounds like a pared-down version of The Friendly Visit.

Julia and Billy Clifford play Walsh’s in the key of A on their album Ceol as Sliabh Luachra

Jackie Daly plays Walsh’s on the concertina in the key of G from his album Music From Sliabh Luachra Volume 6

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What the Devil Ails You

not catalogued by irishtune.info

Denis Murphy recorded this for Breandán Breathnach, but otherwise I haven’t found any contemporaneous recordings. It does show up in Volume 1 of Goodman’s collection, so it seems it was played in Munster for many generations before Denis got a hold of it. I’m guessing it was one of those super basic tunes that everyone knows but never plays. In structure, it shares some characteristics with Anything for John Joe, The Bag of Potatoes, and maybe Rolling in the Rye Grass. It also shares the title with a number of similar tunes, usually melodies to a song that include the line.

A page from the Goodman collection

Denis Murphy plays What the Devil Ails You? (afterwards Breathnach says “kind of a set tune,” which often means “uncategorizable.”)

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