Traditional Music From The Kingdom Of Kerry

By Jimmy Doyle And Dan O’Leary

Added by Kenny .

Seventeen comments

Doyle & O’Leary

A great record of Kerry music on box and fiddle - just the 2 of them, no accompaniment. All slides, polkas, 2 sets of jigs and NO REELS ! Very unusual, and possibly unique for a traditional Irish recording.
"ceolachan" recently posted a slide from this record, and tells me that the 2 musicians had no names for many of the tunes, so felt forced to make them up. Listings are more or less as on the sleeve notes, except I’ve put in "The" before a few names. "Murphy’s" is actually a set of slides ,so I’ve put "slides" in the title otherwise it’ll show up on umpteen recordings where the tunes don’t actually appear. "ceolachan" reckons it might be Denis Murphy, and that seems a reasonable assumption to me.
"ceolachan" has the 1st polka on track 3 as "Bill Sullivan’s".
Catalogue number is Shanachie 29007, and it was recorded in 1977.

Posted by .

Great stuff!

Just listened to my ancient tape of this recording the other day. Wonderful music indeed.

Jimmy Doyle & Dan O’Leary ~ lifted by their music

Thanks for posting this Kenny, I hadn’t my record here and appreciate this greatly. It has taken me a long pause to contribute. I love this recording, as I fell in love with the Doyle’s and Dan O’Leary’s playing too. There is some sadness attached to this for me, including a ‘falling out’ of sorts. This is one of my absolute favourite recordings, but there are ‘attachments’ too. I love the fact it is ‘reel free’…not that I don’t love reels too, but I sometimes get fed up with having them shoved down my gullet at a session, one after the other at neck break speeds and with little real lift other than manic out of control flow…and out of the ‘groove’…

I loved the Doyles, dad Jimmy, the lads, the whole family. What a kick, and such an exuberant, hospitable, sweet bunch. They offered to put me up in the house but in my old stubborn way I insisted on the tent, no matter what the weather, out in the field, and I could write and play a little out on my lonesome ~ HA! His lads, then very young, were always my wake-up call, what a kick, and sometimes we’d picnic and chat out there in the rain under the cover of the tent.

Anyway, the falling out, one hopefully now settled, except for the ever present ache I feel in my heart. Jimmy only had one recording of his father on a cassette, also a button box musician, but someone had recorded a radio programme over it by mistake, maybe even more than once. I mentioned I’d known of some work to recover trace sounds in recordings and offered to take the cassette to Dublin, and to make other inquiries. So, they entrusted it to me. I did go to the folklore department and a friend there, but he said it was hopeless, recovery of trace sounds didn’t include things already wiped over in re-recording on magnetic tape, like reel-to-reel and cassette. I realized also I was thinking of the then early stages of digitization. I did contact some folks in North America too, including at the Smithsonian, same response. So, I packed the tape up and posted it back to the Doyles explaining my failure to make anything of it, and an apology that I wasn’t able to find a way to recover his father’s playing.

Guess what, all this was the same time as I was in a desperate fight with immigration about going to North America. Anyway, trust the post, it never got to them, and I never heard anything since, though I did write them once more when I got back to America, also evidently lost. Then, coming back here, when we were living up at the head of the Mealagh Valley, nine miles outside of Bantry, I chased Jimmy up playing in Killarney. He remembered me, but was reticent. I didn’t remember at first, when he said something about his dad’s recording, my flavour of dyslexia working its damnation on my memory, PAUSE ~ REWIND, and then, like a branch snapping in a woods at midnight, it came, and I felt like shight. He’d never gotten the tape back or any of my communications, so he hadn’t known, for years, what had come of his precious recording, the one someone in the family, I think one of the boys, had accidentally recorded over. I felt awful, did my best to remember and explain, feeling really bad and stumbling the whole time, bu I think we parted on reasonable terms, but I still feel that agony of having disappointed them and I will always feel badly about it.

Damn, guilt. Jimmy was and is a sweetheart and we had some good times together. When I first met him it was when Dan O’Leary had died, the fiddler that had always been the pair, Jimmy and Dan, inseperable, boon mates. Smoking again, that’s without a doubt what took Dan from us at least 20 years before he should have. It brought Jimmy’s music to a crashing halt, and for too long. That also lessened the craic and the dancing thereabouts. The music they made together was lively and spirited and you couldn’t help but be moved by it. Looking him up in Killarney I was glad to find him back playing again, and it lifted my spirits. He is a damned fine musician in the Sliabh Luachra / Kerry style. Dan was too, and he’s one I would have liked to have learned the fiddle from.

I am better for having known their music, and any screw ups there or failures are totally my own fault. It is criminal that this recording is no longer available. Maybe if enough of us bother the folks at Shanachie we can get them to contact Jimmy and get this fine recording out again, and maybe even add a few more tracks to it for the CD release.

Sliabh Luachra gems ~

1.) "Music from Sliabh Luachra Volume 1: Kerry Fiddles"
Padraig O’Keefe with Denis & Julia (Clifford) Murphy
Topic 12T 309 / TSCD309 - Ossian OSSCD10

2.) "Music from Sliabh Luachra Volume 2: The Star of Munster Trio"
Julia (fiddle), John (piano accordion) & Billy Clifford (flute)
Topic 12TS310 - Ossian 45

3.) "Music from Sliabh Luachra Volume 3: The Humours of Lisheen"
John (piano accordion) & Julia Clifford (fiddle)
Topic 12TS311 - Ossian OSS 14

4.) "Music from Sliabh Luachra Volume 4:
Irish Traditional Flute Solos and Band Music from Kerry and Tipperary"
Billy Clifford (flute), et. al.
Topic 12TS312 - Ossian OSS 11

5.) "Music from Sliabh Luachra Volume 5: Johnny O’Leary -
Music for the Set"
18 tracks - Topic /Ossian OSSCD 25
Recordings made 1976-77 -
" ~ this recording - also features his daughter Ellen on whistle
and fiddle players Mick Duggan and Maurice O’Keeffe ~ "…

6.) "Music from Sliabh Luachra Volume 6: Jackie Daly -
Traditional Accordion and Concertina Music from Sliabh Luachra"
Topic 12TS358
Released on CD by Ossian: OSSCD 30 & Green Linnet: GLCD3065

"The Rushy Mountain: Classic Music from Sliabh Luachra 1957-77"
- a compilation of tracks from the six albums in the Topic series "Music from Sliabh Luachra volumes 1-6"…

"Padraig O’Keefe: The Sliabh Luachra Fiddle Master"

"Denis Murphy: Music from Sliabh Luachra"

"The Star Above the Garter"
Denis (fiddle) & Julia Murphy/Clifford (fiddle)

"Ceol As Sliabh Luachra"
Julia (fiddle) & Billy (flute) Clifford

"An Calmfhear/The Trooper" - Johnny O’Leary"
17 tracks - Gael Linn CEFC 132 / CEFCD 132, 1989

"Johnny O’Leary of Sliabh Luachra: Dance Music from the Cork-Kerry Border"
Craft Recordings, Dublin - CRCS01
28 tracks - Craft Recordings - (CD) CRCD01, 1995

"Denis Doody Plays Kerry Music"
Mulligan - LUN 019, 1978

The Kingdom Of Kerry - Cronin’s Jig ?? (tune #6)

Hello -

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the "Kingdom of Kerry" from my accordion teacher.

I have beening trying to learn tune#6 which is called ‘Cronin’s Jig’ on the album art. I can’t seem to find any real references to this jig. I’m am fairly new to this, and I’ve been struggling to learn it by ear. Any suggestions where I might find some sheet-music or ABCs to help me ??


There is a piano accompaniment on track 12, backing an accordion solo. Any idea who it is?

“Jimmy Doyle & Dan O’Leary: Traditional Music From The Kingdom Of Kerry”

From the back of the jacket, from the top down - - -

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Jimmy Doyle and Dan O’Leary play Irish music in the pure Kerry style. They are masters of that idiom that stresses the lively rhythms of the slide and polka as danced in Eastern Kerry. Kerry music maintains a rich full bodied tone and strident drive that give it unique character and those qualities are markedly apparent in Dan and Jimmy’s playing.

Shanachie 29007 ~ 1977 Shanachie Records

Album notes and musically notated tunes played on the album are included inside.

Produced by Richard Nevins and Daniel Michael Collins
Recorded at Crescent Studios, Limerick, Ireland
Jacket art by Brian Mor O’Baoigill
Notes and musical notations by Jean Stewart
Chording and orthography by Jennifer Williams

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I have made attempts, and will again, to see if I can get permission from Shanachie and Jean Stewart to add here the extra notes that came as an insert inside the LP’s jacket.

I’ve been looking at notes and being reminded of this past frustration. For one, there’s no ‘Contact Us’ for Shanachie, which has gone through a number of changes over the year. And, it may be that we no longer have the presence of the Jean Stewart who wrote the notes and did the transcriptions. I think I’ll risk it, and hope that it will be O.K. And if it isn’t, well, it can always be removed in the future. So, in time, I’ll transcribe Jean Stewart’s contributions and views and add them here for the benefit of others. I soooo wish this lovely collection of tracks would be brought back into circulation so it could give pleasure and guidance to others… ~ ‘c’

“Jimmie Doyle & Dan O’Leary” - by Jean Stewart, the LP’s insert, Shanachie, 1977

Recently I saw a classified ad that appeared in The Irish Post, sandwiched among a half dozen "Irish-gentleman-wishes-to-meet-attractive-middle-aged-lady" ads. It read "Kerryman wishes to meet … " etc. At the risk of overinterpreting a simple statement, the ad seems an eloquent expression of a sense of cultural identity, obviously the man purchasing advertising space regarded as highly significant the information packed away in the single word "Kerryman." What’s more, the rest of Ireland seems similarly at pains to set Kerry apart. There’s a cultural stereotype which caricatures that county’s people as bumpkins (and worse) … The image in fact seems very close to America’s 18th-century conception of "the Irish" in general. "Kerry jokes" abound throughout Ireland, in the classic —- and shameful —- mold of our own Polish jokes. When I asked a folklorist friend —- an Irishman who knows Kerry well —- what he makes of this phenomenon, he ascribed it at least in part to the "everybody has to have a scapegoat" phenomenon. He pointed out that as an isolated packet, Kerry "got" the English language later than the rest of Ireland, resulting in an especially thick —- some would say "picturesque" —- dialect with distinctive regional idioms and constructions. Add to this the sort of city-slicker-vs.-country-bumpkin dynamic —- especially prevalent whenever the two cultures come into direct contact with each other, as they do every year when the superlative Kerry football team comes to Dublin to compete —- and I suppose a certain degree of "cultural racism" is predictable.

Whatever the stereotype, Kerry is different, wonderfully so. You don’t have to be an anthropologist to appreciate it: you can hear it in the speech, the music, you can see it in the dance. Even the temperament seems different to me; after weeks spent adapting my own very American social expectations to the courteous reserve of the Irish, I found Kerry people unusually warm and, like their music, straight forward …

But what do I mean by "straightforward music?" Let’s compare the tunes and playing style of Dan O’Leary with that of, say, the great Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman (whose playing has come to be identified with mainstream "Irish" music at its best); the two quantities have about as much in common as Jascha Heifetz [ classical violin ] and Walt Koken [ old-time fiddle & banjo ]. Kerry music has none of the elaborate indirection of the Coleman stylists; its tunes are simple, learnable statements, unobscured by triplets, rolls, etc. Kerry musicians seem less concerned with backup than I’ve generally come to expect of Irish musicians, who usually appear to be more comfortable with a rhythm accompaniment (piano, guitar, banjo). Indeed musicians here provide their own "rhythm section": even unaccompanied fiddle has such a strongly rhythmic pulse that it sometimes reminds me of Scots fiddling or even Scots piping. (Listen to O’Leary’s solo cut, Side A, Track 4. That polka could almost be a piping march!) Probably this has something to do with the fact that in Kerry, tunes are mostly functional: there seems to be little tradition for "listening" (as opposed to dancing) music, apart from the airs introduced by certain well-traveled musicians like Julia Clifford and her legendary teacher Padraig O’Keef[f]e and perhaps by the pipers, who may have predated the advent of fiddle in Kerry. This close functional tie between music and dance usually results in the development of highly rhythmic musical forms, whatever the culture; hence in Kerry the fiddle adopts a strong, loud rhythmical style suited to its dance function. Certainly strong fiddle-playing must have been doubly important in the days of early dance instrumentation —- fiddle and melodeon, usually —- the latter being a one-row accordion with a thin, light tone rather like that of the fiddle. In fact it could be argued that this comparatively quiet dance instrumentation might be partially accountable for the development of such a noisy dance: the Kerry Set is punctuated by much stamping by the men, which serves to underscore the beat.

In addition to the rhythmic properties (about which more later) and its clear unornamented melodies, the Kerry musical tradition is characterized by the fiddle’s long biting bowstrokes and absence of vibrato. The repertoire itself is totally distinctive, consisting primarily of slides and polkas, which seem to function much as jigs and reels function elsewhere in Ireland, as the basic tune and dance forms. Their frequency of occurrence in Kerry corresponds to their occurrence in the Kerry Set, in which the polkas predominate by a ratio of 4 polkas to 1 slide and 1 hornpipe. (A full set consists of 6 figures, starting with the 4 polkas danced by a set of 4 couples, followed by the slide —- which tends to be regarded as the heart of the set —- followed by a hornpipe.) Rhythmically the slides and polkas resemble jigs and reels in that they are constructed on variations of 3/4 [?] and 4/4 time, respectively: the technical differences are rather subtle (although the ear knows after one measure!). Slides are apparently identical to single jigs, with melodies which often seem to group themselves most naturally in 12-beat (12/8) phrases. To my ear they set themselves apart from jigs in their characteristic pattern of short and held notes, which accounts for their distinctive lilt. As for polkas, they seem close enough structurally to reels to raise the question of which came first. The polkas seem a simpler form of tune [as] they have fewer notes (more quarter-notes, fewer eighth-notes [ - Jean Stewart notates polkas in 4/4 rather than 2/4 ]), with a strong emphasis on the root of the scale as well as the third and fifth intervals. In fact both slides and polkas strike the listener as simpler forms —- and their style of delivery reinforces that impression: they’re played broadly, without embellishment and with a kind of rhythmic snap. If the word weren’t so unpopular, you might describe them as sounding more ‘primitive’ than jigs and reels … Indeed, one highly credible theory holds that the Kerry music played by such "old-style" players as Dan O’Leary and Jimmy Doyle represents an earlier evolutionary form of music than most of what we find throughout the rest of Ireland … We’ve come to equate "traditional Irish music" with the complex sophistication of the Sligo style of with a somewhat homogenized general ‘idea’ of "Irish music" fostered by Irish Musician’s organizations both in Ireland and the States, sometimes overlooking authentic (and often much more interesting!) regional idioms, as Alan Ward has pointed out … It may be that the forerunners of Ireland’s jigs and reels have been quietly carrying on their own tradition for centuries, unnoticed, in the form of the Kerry slides and polkas.

But it would probably be much more accurate and to the point to confine the foregoing generalities about Kerry music to the particular district that spawned Dan O’Leary and Jimmy Doyle: Sliabh Luachra, "The Rushy Mountain" bordering Kerry and Cork [musn’t forget Limerick & Tipperary]. Certainly the richest and best-documented in Kerry, the musical tradition in Sliabh Luachra can boast one monumental figure in the history of Irish music —- Padraig O’Keef[f]e —- as well as several lesser known lights. Indeed it seems nearly impossible to separate the general character of Kerry music from the particular influence of O’Keef[f]e, so powerful and pervasive has been his legacy. There’s no question that O’Keef[f]e (1888-1963) encouraged, if he didn’t originate, a style of fiddling which incorporated long bowstrokes, some use of open-string drones (notably the G and the D), and frequent use of octaves in twin fiddle-playing. Other effects associated with O’Keef[f]e (correctly or no) include the scarcity of ornamentations (trebling, rolls, etc.), the occasional use of special tunings for certain tunes, and [a] general tendency to tune the fiddle below concert pitch.

Be that as it may, O’Keef[f]e was a powerful, even mythic figure in his day … An inspired musician, he was also [a] brilliant and eccentric character, given to drink and garrulous discourse. He maintained an impressive roster of students —- including both Julia (Murphy) Clifford and her borher Denis Murphy —- and spent most of his life as an itinerant teacher, traveling from house to house. He was 26 when Dan O’Leary was born near Killarney, and his teaching area encompassed much of Sliabh Luachra. Dan however studied with another teacher, a similarly colorful character who also exerted a powerful influence on the development of a Sliabh Luachra fiddle style, perhaps second only to the legacy of O’Keef[f]e: Tom Billy.

Born in Ballydesmond in 1879, Tom Billy was both blind and lame. Nonetheless he had a great many students scattered over a wide territory; he traveled by donkey to each student’s home. Dan describes the routine of learning a new tune from his teacher as follows: "He would play the tune and I would write the notes down (by their letter names [ABCs!]), then I would play the tune back and he would listen and tell me what was wrong." Tom Billy himself had learned from one Patrick Tarrant of Knocknagree ("They played a lot together," Dan says, "more than any two"), about whom I have found nothing … He may or may not be "Paddy Tarrant" the nephew of fiddler Din Tarrant of Ballydesmond. As far as I can determine, Tom Billy was never recorded; Alan Ward speculates that his playing was probably representative of the general Sliabh Luachra style, possibly sweeter in tone.

Dan O’Leary (b. 1914 [d. 1977-78?, lung cancer ]) and Jimmy Doyle (b. 1944) both come from the townland of Gibb, near Killarney. Dan describers Jimmy’s family as "the most musical family I know around this side of the country": his mother played the fiddle, his father and both brothers played accordion, and his sister is a good singer. Jimmy learned the accordion from his neighbor (Dan’s nephew) John O’Leary, whom Ward describes as "rather a law unto himself," in the originality and authority of his playing.

Both Dan and Jimmy talked with me about the changes that have occurred in the dance and music culture in Kerry … Jimmy remembers a time when Johnny O’Leary would come over with 12 to 14 neighbors to play music or cards … "The nights would be long you know … " And Dan recalls playing in his own home, for his own solitary pleasure, every night of the week. ("It takes away your worries, you know, you forget —-") He’d hear a tune on the radio and play along with it and in two or three days he’d "have it." … That was 20 years ago; no one plays in the homes much anymore. "If you want a session you’ve got to go out to a pub." Why the change? Television, they said. People don’t want to listen to the old music these days, they’d rather watch tv … If you play at home, you bother them. It’s a statement I heard echoed all over Ireland … One aging piper near Dublin confided to me that he hadn’t played his pipes in his home for years, not since his playing had been the focal point of a domestic confrontation in which his wife and kids said they couldn’t hear their tv programs … The crisis had ended in an ultimatum: he was not to play his pipes in the home when his family was there. He shook his head, as hurt as if it had happened yesterday: "I think they just don’t like the old music," he said.

( Not that Jimmy’s and Dan’s homes are fraught with strife over the issue of their playing at home. On the contrary, Jimmy’s home, for example, was alive with music (and little boys, 4 of them) the night we visited. Two adolescent nieces from the States were also visiting that night, one of them an accomplished fiddler … The little ones were bedded down at a decent hour but one who wanted to be closer to all the excitement chose the kitchen floor instead and sprawled like a puppy on this belly, sound asleep in the front of the sink. There was music long into the night, and warm good feeling … Nor can I imagine two less confrontational types than Dan O’Leary or Jimmy Doyle. Dan is gentle, courtly, diffident, a soft-voiced man of slender frame and twinkling smile … Jimmy is likewise immediately appealing, full of boyish energy and goodheartedness. )

Some intriguing comparisons can be drawn between the musical traditions of Kerry and America. Listen to Dan and Jimmy playing in octaves (as Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford did and as O’Keef[f]e, Tom Billy, Patrick Tarrant and others had done before them), accordion taking the top part, fiddle the bottom. See if the sound doesn’t remind you of, say, the twin fiddling of the Riendeaus of New Hampshire (French Canadian in origin), or even of early Cajun twin fiddling (French Louisiana), where the second fiddle, in between passages of unison playing or pure "seconding," occasionally catches bits of the melody played an octave below the first fiddle. Listen also to the simplicity of the slides and polkas and see if you don’t hear Burl Hammons playing West Virginia fiddle tunes. And while you’re listening to old Burl playing ‘Old Sledge’, listen to the "backbeat" in his playing —- how the bow constantly returns to that offbeat note which functions as a kind of drone similar to the fifth string on the old-time banjo … That characteristic backbeat is a strident presence in southern American tunes in 4-time, serving to underscore both the rhythm and the tonal base of the tune … Now play the ‘Blue Ribbon Polkas’ (Side A, Track 1) and hear the upbeats. It’s not hard to pick out the resemblance, given Jimmy’s snappy accentuation of the 2-and 4-beats on accordion.

To any traditional music historian familiar with the Scots-Irish roots of America’s southern mountain music, this striking similarity to the music of Kerry raises some interesting questions. Is it due to nothing more than evolutionary coincidence, or does Kerry music trace its origins to the same (Scottish) source? —- which would of course explain the distinctive Scottish sounding rhythmic drive one hears in Kerry tunes. And if Scots influence truly found its way down to the farthest reaches of southwest Ireland, how did it manage to leave no recognizable trail of Scots-influenced musical styles in bordering regions?

A study of the Kerry tune repertoire might shed some light in this regard; if the Scottish musical tradition did indeed make its mark on Kerry music it would presumably have left a tune legacy as well. In the absence of such research one can only speculate … Certainly the temptation is great to link the Appalachian and Kerry traditions to the same source, but as a colleague said to me, "strong rhythmic bowing is one way to do it. There are lots of ways for music to evolve." And it’s not uncommon for diverse cultures in geographically separate regions to evolve similar musical forms.

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Dan O’Leary and Jimmy Doyle have been playing regularly together for years, in the dance halls and pubs of Sliabh Luachra: their tune selections here are representative of their repertoire of indigenous slides and polkas (and two jig tracks). Jimmy plays a B/C Italian accordion, though he says he’d rather have a Hohner … Certainly they are two of Kerry’s finest and best-known musicians still playing the old tunes in the old style.

Inquiries in tune origins yield two basic sources: Tom Billy (‘Baile An Tsanhraidh Polka’, ‘Weaver’s Delight’, ‘Gibb Polka’, ‘Bog Road’, and ‘Tom Billy’s Jib[g]’), and Denis Murphy (‘Denis Murphy’s Slides’, ‘Brosna Slides’, —- Denis had got them from three unidentified players from Brosna —- and ‘Padraig O’Keefe’s Slide’). Many remain unidentified: the ‘Listry Slide’ comes "from Gneevgullia evermore"; ‘Thrush on the Strand’ comes from Jimmy who’s been playing it for years and doesn’t remember where he got it, ‘Doyle’s Favorite’ is apparently Jimmy’s own tune, about which Seamus MacMathuna once wrote in ‘Treoir’ that the tune was his (Jimmy’s) favorite polka. Jimmy has since "put a few trims into it." As for the ‘Blue Ribbon Polka’, Dan says he got it from a James Morrison record brought over by his sister from America. Jimmy says he first heard it played by Johnny Clifford, Julia’s brother, on piano accordion … To confuse the issue, there’s another polka (not on this recording) by the name of ‘The Blue Riband’, documented by Ward, which John Clifford says he learned for "Dan O’Leary" who says he got it from a recording of Mike Hanafin and Danny Moroney. Perhaps they’re the same tune? Oh well.

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All those interested in further pursuing the music traditions of Kerry owe it to themselves to read Alan Ward’s extraordinarily comprehensive and well-researched (and well-written!) "Music from Sliabh Luachra" (published in coordination with Topic Records’ three[6]-volume Kerry Music series, and also as a part of ‘Traditional Music Magazine’ No. 5, 90 St. Julian’s Farm Rd. London SE27 ORS), on which I have drawn heavily for information. Thanks also to Brendan Breathnach, Mick Moloney, and Barry O’Neill and to William Collins of Cork (now living in Loughrea), who gave us two additional fine tunes for inclusion with the musical notations. ~ Jean Stewart

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With few exceptions, I’ve done my best to present this as it is, though I have added the occasional bit in brackets, such as for ‘Padraig O’Keef[f]e’. ;-) There’s plenty of niggling roots here to a potential thread or more for ‘Discussions’ here… 8-)

The often referred to, Alan Ward’s publication “Music from Sliabh Luachra”, 1977, can be downloaded from here, courtesy of a valued member on this site:

Also downloadable and relevant ~
“The Sliabh Luachra Fiddle Master: Pádraig O’Keeffe” Peter Browne, 1993


Side A:
1. ) polkas
2. ) slides
3. ) polkas
4. ) polka
5. ) slides
6. ) jig
7. ) polkas

Side B:
_1/8. ) slides
_2/9. ) polkas
3/10. ) slides
4/11. ) polkas
5/12. ) slides
6/13. ) jigs
7/14. ) polkas

“My Life and Music” ~ Jimmy Doyle

Sliabh Luachra Music Trail
The Musicians
Jimmy Doyle

"I think my father and mother would have disowned me if I hadn’t made an attempt to play some musical instrument as they both played - my mother the fiddle, and my father both the fiddle and the accordion. All the Doyles played music and it was passed on to us all. Johnny and Paddy both play the accordion and my sister Mary, while never playing an instrument, is a good singer and dancer. ~ "

"~ Our side of the county was great for Biddy Dances. A group of us would travel to the villages and towns in the locality and collect as much as we could on January 31st and February 1st. Dependiong on how much we collected, we would hold Biddy Dances. The proceeds of the collection would go towards the purchase of drink and people of hte house provided the food free of charge. Noted houses for Biddy Dances were Eugene Moynihan’s and Fred Moynihan’s, in Kilcummin, Brido’s, Mick Sheehans and our own house, all in Maulykevane.

A that time house-weddings and station-dances were great too, but we never hear of them now. Televison, motor cars and modern houses with their fitted-kitchens and covered floors put an end to them. While progress is wonderful and modern houses are very nice and comfortable, I still feel sad for the big kitchen with the cement floor, where the table could be pushed to one side and a half set danced. Never again will we hear the shouts of "Round the house and mind the dresser!!" ~ " ~ Jimmy Doyle

Source: Journal of Cumann Luachra, Volume 1, No. 3