The Providence reel

Also known as Miss MacNamara, Miss McNamara, Miss McNamara’s, Providence, Rossport Reels, The Rossport.

There are 40 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Fred Finn’s (a few times), The Boys Of Ballinahinch (a few times), I’m Waiting For You (a few times), The Maids Of Castlebar (a few times), The Man Of The House (a few times).

The Providence has been added to 343 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Providence
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
~E3F DEFA|d2fd gefd|edBd A2FA|(3Bcd AF GFED|
~E3F DEFA|d2fd gefd|edBd A2FA|1 (3Bcd AG FDDF:|2 (3BcdAG FDDe||
|:fd~d2 fdad|fd~d2 ecAc|fd~d2 fdad|fgag fdde|
fgaf gfec|dBAF G2FG|(3ABA GB ABde|1 faeg fdde:|2 faeg fdAF||
ABC
X: 2
T: The Providence
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: EDCE DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AF EGFD |
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AGFD D2 :|
|: fddd fdad | fddd ec A2 | fddd fdad | ceag fd d2 |
fggf gfec | cBAF G2 FG | AA^GB ABde | (3fga ea fd d2 :|
E3F DEFA |: d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AF EGFD |
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AGFD D2 |1 EDCE DEFA :|
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AF EGFD |
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AGFD D2 | EDCE DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AF EGFD |
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AGFD D2 ||
|: E3 F DEFA | ~ or ~ |: EDCE DEFA | ~
ABC
X: 3
T: The Providence
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
EDEF DEFA|d2fd gefd|edBd A2FA|~B2AF GFED|
EDCE DEFA|d2fd gefd|edBd A2FA|(3BcB AG FDD2|
|:fd (3dcd fdgd|fd (3dcd ecAd|fd (3ddd fdgd|ceag fdde|
fgaf gfec|dBAF G2FG|(3ABA GB ABde|(3fga eg fdde|
ABC

Fourteen comments

The Providence Reel

The story goes that Michael Coleman & Lad O’Beirne came up with this tune on a train ride to Providence, RI from New York City. They were coming to play for a wedding for the Kane family (related to Coleman somehow) Josh Kane is about 16 & is shaping up to be quite a flute player. I believe the wedding was of his grandparents. Josh’s father tells me the story of the Providence reel everytime I play it for him.

Providence

Thanks for passing along this great tune Brad! I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around the way the A Part puts the emphasis in the middle of the bar, like it wants another two beats at the end before repeating. But that’s part of its charm. And the B Part just sparkles. Good story to go with it, too.

Posted .

Providence Reel in Ireland

In addition to hearing it played here in Providence all the time (which one would expect), I heard it in two Dublin sessions and it was played at three different sessions while I was at the Cooley-Collins Festival in Gort, Galway. Pretty popular over there.

John Harvey
Rhodeirish.net

Heh…

Good ol’ uncle Mike!

Played ad nauseum here in Portland, despite never having been recorded by K. Burke it seems. Lovely tune - didn’t know the title.

Posted by .

Composer - John McGrath

Several sources list this as a composition of one John McGrath, of Rossport, Co.Mayo, a fiddler who lived most of his life in New York.
He is thought to have named it the "Rossport" reel, but Coleman allegedley re-titled it "The Providence" while on a trip to Providence in Rhode Island, and the name stuck.

Posted by .

John McGrath

According to the liner notes of "O Bheal go Beal" (Marcas O Murchu), the composer is indeed John McGrath (from Ros Dumhach, Co. Mayo— is that the same as Rossport?). He also wrote "Sean Se Cheo" and "Joe Cooley’s Reel". At the time the liner notes were written (1997), his nephew Vincent from Drogheda, Co. Louth was preparing a collection of his music. Whether or not this collection came to fruition, I don’t know.

An alternate name ?

Na Fili, via Matt Cranitch, recorded on "Farewell to Connacht" a tune named "Miss McNamara" that ressembles strangely to "The providence".
The same Matt recorded a version of "The Providence"on "Take a bow" that I don’t know.

“Miss McNamara” / “The Providence” ~ duplication

Key signature: D Major
Submitted on September 17th 2007 by alcofribas.

X: 2
T: Miss McNamara
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Dmaj
|: EDCE DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AF EGFD |
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AGFD D2 :|
|: fddd fdad | fddd ec A2 | fddd fdad | ceag fd d2 |
fggf gfec | cBAF G2 FG | AA^GB ABde | (3fga ea fd d2 :|

This version is taken from Matt Cranitch’ interpretation as played in "Na Fili - Farewell to Connaught". This tune is followed by "The Musical Priest" that suits delightfully well.

# Posted on September 17th 2007 by alcofribas

Miss McNamara is Matt’s name for the Providence.

# Posted on September 17th 2007 by cos

From Al’s original contribution of ABCs, the A-part, he notated it in the following way, which seemed clumsy and confusing, so, the correction made above ~

E3F DEFA |: d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AF EGFD |
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AGFD D2 |1 EDCE DEFA :|

It could have been written this way ~

E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AF EGFD |
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AGFD D2 | EDCE DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AF EGFD |
E3 F DEFA | d2 fd gdfd | ed (3Bcd AdcA | (3Bcd AGFD D2 ||

But, rather than writing it out twice for just the one bar, since all it is ~ is a variation on the first bar, so that could just be included as I did above, or added in the notes, that bar 1 or 5 could be played either way ~

|: E3 F DEFA | ~ or ~ |: EDCE DEFA | ~

Exaggerated claims

John McGrath certainly composed "John McGrath’s," a great reel that was printed (and credited to McGrath) in an early 1950s tunebook published in Boston by Joe Derrane’s accordion teacher Jerry O’Brien. "The Providence" appeared in the same book under the title "Rossport Reel," but was not credited to McGrath. As McGrath was from Rossport, he is very likely responsible for that title, and may well have composed the tune. But there is no proof. Vincent McGrath believes that his uncle composed many now-common tunes, including some (such as "Lad O’Beirne’s" and "Cooley’s") that are also credited on better evidence to other musicians. John McGrath was a great musician and influential music teacher in New York, but it does not serve his memory well to make exaggerated claims of authorship for him.

Exaggerated?

But there’s no proof someone else composed it, or it’s a very old traditional tune.

Providence Reel

X:3 from the Mulvhill Collection, accredited to Paddy Reynolds; Paddy may be heard playing it exactly as written here on the old LP Sweet and Traditional Music of Ireland. He was friends with Lad O’Bierne and John McGrath, note.