Which Tom Ward is it?

Which Tom Ward is it?

Anice rendition of Tom Ward’s reel over on http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_221_6_sinead_heagney_and_damien_oreilly/ played by two young Corofin musicians. The pace is good too for anyone trying to learn the tune by ear. However, my main interest is discovering who the tune is named after. There was a Tom Ward in Clare who was a brother of banjo/flute player Jimmy Ward of Kilfenora Band fame who I think it might be. Do you all agree or is it an older tune?

Re: Which Tom Ward is it?

Michael Coleman recorded Tom Ward’s (Tom Ward’s Downfall) in may 1927 so that would pre-date the musicians you mention. It would also make it more likely the Tom Ward in question was a Sligo man.

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Re: Which Tom Ward is it?

I’d have to agree with Kilfarboy that this Tom Ward hails from Connaught because of the tune’s existence in Coleman’s repertoire and also the era would be before that of the Clare Wards. I did a bit of googling but this didn’t produce any results other than a reference to a piper called Tom Ward playing during a downpour in Ballyhaunis (hardly the stuff of downfalls!). It would be nice though to positively identify the musician associated with this great reel.

Re: Which Tom Ward is it?

I reckon it was Tom Ward the great fiddler from Carrigallen in Co. Leitrim. He passed away bout 10-12 years ago. I had the pleasure to play with him a few times. I ‘m not totally sure but I always thought it was his tune….Martin Donohoe is the man to ask in this situation…

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Re: Which Tom Ward is it?

That’s a coincidence because Carrigallen was my parish before leaving Ireland in 1957. Didn’t know Tom Ward but knew Alec Sutherland, a fidle player who I took fiddle lessons from. Next time I meet Martin I’ll ask him about Tom Ward and hopefully he may be able to explain whatever it was that led to his downfall.

Re: Which Tom Ward is it?

Tom Ward runs the pub where I play most frequently. He naturally does not like us to play a tune promoting his "downfall." 😉