Paddy Fay’s?

Paddy Fay’s?

The tune following Queen of the Rushes on Planxty’s "Words and Music" is a jig that I can’t seem to find here. It’s billed as "Paddy Fay’s." I really like this tune and I’m not really after sheet music as I intend to learn it by ear when I get around to it. However, I’ve yet to hear it at any session to my recollection. I wondering if anyone knows anything about this tune or if it shows up at any sessions out there. Is it here under another name? Are there any other recordings of it?

Re: Paddy Fay’s?

Surely Paddy Fahey’s not Fay’s?

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Well, bogman, that may be, but the track listing at most sites online list it at Paddy Fay’s. Also, there are a number of "Paddy Fahy’s" and "Paddy Fahey’s" here and so far the ones I’ve looked don’t appear to be it, but I could be wrong. Scratching my head on this one.

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That’s good Jimmy. You’re welcome

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It’s not quite the tune you’re looking for. I’d say it’s certainly Paddy Fahey’s best-known jig, but the version posted here, in G dorian, and close to Paddy Fahy’s original version, is not quite what Planxty play. Because Liam O’Flynn is playing the jig on pipes, he’s "straightened" it out into G major. "Dow" has posted "abcs" for this version in the "comments" section. I have a video recording of Planxty playing these 2 jigs from a programme which was shown on Grampian TV around the early 1980s, I would think. One of these days I’ll get round to posting it on "Youtube". Incidentally, Donal Lunny intoduced it as a jig by Paddy Fahy, the well-known Galway FLUTE-player. I think that’s known as a "brain-fart" these days.

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It’s probable that this tune was written with notes that were neither Bs or Bbs, or Fnats or Fsharps. The space between these notes was once used extensively in Ireland. Slip sliding about as the tune and your fancy took you, unencumbered by either "normal" western intonation conventions or the need for the degree of unison required by modern ensemble playing.

Then somebody wrote it down and all that subtlety was lost. OK, so you can play the written down version on a guitar, and pre-arrange whether you go flat or nat on those notes. But it doesn’t sound right. It sounds like a schizophrenic compromise.

But the statement, "Because Liam O’Flynn is playing the jig on pipes, he’s straightened it out into G major" is utterly preposterous. The pipes and Liam O’Flynn are both quite capable of playing with the subtlety of slip-sliding around these notes, and I’ve heard him doing this with great aplomb and deference to the old tradition.

Planxty play it in G major for two reasons:
1. It’s an ensemble with keyboards and fretted string instruments.
2. It’s bloody great in G major. Jolly as anything. Bright as buttons. Lovely.

I always play this tune in sessions in Gmajor. It’s a great session tune. If you try and play the older version in company, all you get is an atonal mess. If someone else starts the tune in Gdorian, I’ll go to the bar.

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I wasn’t talking about what Liam O’Flynn is "capable of", I’m talking about what he DID on that particular recording, for whatever reason . You don’t know why Planxty chose to play it in G major.
I agree with "2".

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But you did say, "he" straightened it out "because" he was playing it on the pipes.

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Correct, Michael - an assumption on my part, and quite possibly wrong.

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Re: Paddy Fay’s?

I appreciate the input. The preceding tune, Queen of the Rushes, Liam plays superbly and I love it, but I was interested in Paddy Fahy’s (or that setting, anyway) precisely because it sounded like such a great session tune. I was mainly interested in finding other recordings of it, and get a feel for how common at sessions it may be. I’ve never heard it around here, but that doesn’t mean somebody doesn’t know it. I may have to break it out once I learn it.

Thanks for the input.

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It is a great session tune. Just introduce it yourself. More people may be familiar with the dorian version, especially the Burke and Hayes clones, but they should be able to adapt quickly enough. It’s an easy tune.

(On the planxty/Liam O’Flynn version, I particularly like the very last chord on the regulators. He plays a G4, the G with a Cnat instead of the Bnat. It’s brilliant. It stops it ending on the too jolly major third.)

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Heh heh. And what’s wrong with "too jolly?" 😉

I do like that too. I have deep appreciation for any piper that can effectively use their regulators. I understand it is no easy task.

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I keep trying to have my session mates listen to Liam O’Flynn. I don’t like to complain but everyone,in my session, excepting me seems to be listening to someone other than O’Flynn. I think his versions are brilliant. Just ranting.

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Yep, he’s brilliant

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Paddy Fahey definitely was closer to Bb than B on this tune, and I much prefer it that way myself. He also alternates quite a bit between Fnat and F# and that is also a lovely quirk that I’m sad to see disappear.

I’d much prefer if Liam O’Flynn hadn’t forced the tune into Gmaj. There are plenty of jigs in Gmaj, and not nearly enough quirky ones.

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Re: Paddy Fay’s?

You got a recording of him playing it?

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Yes.

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I’d like to hear it

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If you haven’t heard it, then you shouldn’t have assumed that "It’s probable that this tune was written with notes that were neither Bs or Bbs, or Fnats or Fsharps."

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At any rate, still looking, but I can’t find a recording of Paddy Fahey playing it available online. You might try getting your hands on the Chris Delaney recordings available from the University of Virginia (I think?).

In the meant time, here’s some of his playing to listen to, to educate your ear:
http://ceolalainn.blogspot.com/2010/02/paddy-carty-paddy-fahey-traditional.html
http://ecotonal.blogspot.com/2008/11/sean-ryan-and-paddy-fahey_10.html

And here’s a recording with a version of it that is very close to how Paddy Fahey played it, and would almost definitely be the source for Martin Hayes:
http://ecotonal.blogspot.com/2009/11/martin-rochford.html

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I didnt "assume" the tune was written with notes that were neither Bs or Bbs, or Fnats or Fsharps. I made an educated guess that it was probable. Big difference.

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Oh, so you have listened to Paddy Fahey before then? Cool!

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Sorry Nico but ""It’s probable that" is not an assumption but a statement of (percieved) probability. You might question llig is right in his assessment of that probabilty. Llig’s post howevre is expolicity not an assumption.

FWIW unlike Llig, I prefer the flat version of the tune but like it both ways if you ahve to chose (and I’m aware that part of the discussion is that it should not be played as strictly either "flat" or "sharp"

- chris

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Do we not play Gmaj version in the sesh, Chris? Or maybe they play it at the Friday session in Gmaj.

I just want to say that this website is awesome because a discussion about whether a tune should be played with Bbs can so very quickly turn to the matter of making assumptions verses perceiving probability.

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Yes, I joined in with it when Neil played it on wed, in fact wehn he paused to chat I think i ended up the only one playing 🙂

It was only recently that I realised that this was actually the same tune that I used to play years ago. It doesn’t come up most weeks and when it first started raising its head I remember thinking: oh gawg I used to play this, but being thrown by the differences decided it was probably a simlar but different tune (I couldn’t have dredged up the earlier version without a few runs through on my own anyway). Recently I realised it was the same tune but played in a different mode* Nice to have that (kind of) confirmed here as I don’t always trust my own judgement 🙂

I don’t think I have ever heard the other version I ahd played in sessions round here, it must have been something I heard on an old recording. Might have been on Paddy in the smoke? I don’t remember which version is played there

- Chris

*to a mere fret-bound banjo player it has to be considered a change in mode.

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Yeah, Neil does play that, doesn’t he? Now that you remind me, I probably learned it off him (he’ll be pleased to know 🙂).

I’ve not heard the other version in any session around here,