Track 5. Reels - The Lady's Of Leinster - The Contradiction

from "At Home" by Gerry Harrington

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These two reels come from two different recordings I heard. The first recording is from the playing of Lad O’Beirne and Louis Quinn and the second from Michael Coleman and Tom Gannon. Brendan Mulvihill credits the first composition fiddle player Lad O’Beirne although Paul DeGrae  points out the tune is nearly note-for-note the same as “The Ladies of Leinster” as printed by O’Neill (DMI 691, MOI 1461), and by Mulvihill later in his own volume (No. 59). Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 4, pg. 1.
The great Sligo-born fiddler Michael Coleman recorded a three-part version of the reel, communicates Philippe Varlet, with fiddler Tom Gannon in 1922 for the New Republic label (it appears as part of a medley, and only the first tune, “The Prohibition,” is mentioned on the record label). Varlet also has a couple of private recordings of it made by Philadelphia/County Cavan fiddler Ed Reavy with his friend Neil Dougherty during the 1950’s. Editor Jackie Small (CRÉ V) states: “In almost all settings the tune has a very wide range, far beyond the first position on the fiddle. The version here is simpler by far, within the first position, and almost within the range attainable on the whistle or pipes—there is only the odd extra note for those wind instruments and musicians are long accustomed to overcome small problems like that. The version here is quite close to the first setting in O’Neill/Waifs, the basic setting of the tune, which O’Neill got in Aird’s Selection.” Source for notated version: manuscripts in the possession of Chicago Police Sergeant James O’Neill, originally from County Down—many from the playing of his father [O’Neill]; Aird’s Selection [O’Neill/Wiafs]. Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 135, pg. 73 (appears as “Gan ainm/No title”). Breathnach (CRÉ V), 1999; No. 161, pg. 79. Cranford (Brenda Stubbert’s), 1994; No. 12, pg. 5. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903/1979; No. 1503, pg. 278. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907/1986; No. 724, pg. 127. O’Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922; No.215. Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; pg. 54. Shanachie 79064, Matt Molloy – “Heathery Breeze” (1999).


from "At Home", released January 1, 2011


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Gerry Harrington County Sligo, Ireland

. Gerry's music was brought to a wider audience during the nineties through the release of two exquisite albums with accordion player Eoghan O'Sullivan, Scéal Eile and The Smokey Chimney. Gerry recorded the album “The New Road" with button accordion master Charlie Piggott. The latest work is a solo fiddle album titled “At Home” which includes music from Sliabh Luchra and Sligo. ... more

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