A few Irish Waltzes

A few Irish Waltzes

Any chance of finding a few waltzes for the fiddle?

I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen
The Homes of Donegal
The Cliffs of Dooneen

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

Dave, welcome to the Session, - if you are going down the road of schmaltzy song tunes try these - Boulavogue - Spancilhill -A Mother’s Love is a Blessing - Welcoming Paddy Home. If you want something more traditional, Tommy Bhetty’s by Altan is a cracker.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

When we’ve had to play for people to dance the waltz, say at a wedding reception, we’ve used songs (such as The Star Of The County Down) and Carolan tunes mostly.

There’s The Pretty Young Maid Milking Her Cow.

https://thesession.org/tunes/1758

(Oddly, the first setting is written in 3/8 rather than 3/4.)

There’s recently-composed tunes, not Irish, like Nancy’s Waltz, Ashokan Farewell, and my favourite Penobscot Memory.

https://thesession.org/tunes/19142

Then in the Scottish Highland bagpipe world there’s an untold vast number of tunes in waltz time, though they’re often disguised, being written in a slow 6/8 rather than 3/4.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

Mountains of Mourne
Green Glens of Antrim (tho’ sometimes sung in 4/4)
Planxty Irwin
Fanny Power
South Wind
Rosin the Bow
Spinning Wheel
When Irish Eyes are Smiling
Rose of Tralee
When I was Single
Believe me, if these Endearing Charms
Come back to Erin
Black Velvet Band
Irish Lullaby
Molly Malone
Sweet Rosie O’Grady
How can you buy Killarney?
Wild Colonial Boy (proving that you can turn anything into a waltz!)
Nearly all of these are in our dance sets repertoire for e.g. Pride of Erin waltzes

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

Trish I’m surprised that a group in Scotland would play American tunes like Irish Eyes and Irish Lullaby (which I’m guessing is Toora-loora-looral).

It’s quite amazing how many of those American pseudo-Irish songs there are. I had no idea until a few years ago I happened across several old song-books in a used book shop, the books all full of these sorts of songs, hundreds of them, all written in New York in the early 20th century.

Well not Toora-loora, that was written for a Hollywood film.

They’re the songs Americans think of when you say "Irish music". Most Americans have never heard an Irish song that wasn’t written here.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

The Belltable Waltz, written by members of Stockton’s Wing, is gorgeous - posted on thesession.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

The Bell Table waltz is a great tune, Susan!

Richard, our sets are not specifically Irish (written in Ireland - is that Republic or N Ireland?), Irish (written in America or elsewhere in the world), Scottish (written within 50 miles of Edinburgh where we play) or elsewhere (Shetland, which was Norse for many years), or the Gaelic Waltzes from many of our our Scottish islands, and then…..heavens above….. Skye Boat Song and Loch Tay Boat Song - lyrics for both written by an English Lord, though he probably got the tunes from old Gaelic airs…….and they are great tunes too!
What i’m trying to say, is, if it’s a good tune, then play it, however you might mix it up in a set!

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

If the are written in Ireland they are Irish, North of Ireland east of Ireland west of Ireland or south of the island.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

> or south of the island.

What, like Lisbon?

Posted by .

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

The southern part of the island of Ireland.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

Regarding the Irishness of some songs, ‘I’ll take you home again Kathleen’ is definitely not Irish.
Here’s a note about it from the Library of Congress.
https://www.loc.gov/item/sm1876.7608555/
"In 1875 George W. Persley, a successful songwriter, wrote a song entitled "Barney, Take Me Home Again" and dedicated it to his friend Thomas P. Westendorf. The words of "Barney, Take Me Home Again," sung by Barney’s (unnamed) wife, tell of her longing to return to her home beyond the sea. Westendorf was taken enough by the song to write a song imagining Barney’s response, "I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen." Westendorf was a beginner as a songwriter, while Persley was an old pro, but it was "Kathleen" which became the successful song. It inspired several answer songs during the period, and is still well known today. (Indeed, if we can trust one episode of Star Trek, it will continue to be sung well into the future.) "Kathleen" launched Westendorf on a career as a successful songwriter, though he never produced another song with the poignancy and melodic charm of his first major song. "Barney, Take Me Home Again" and "I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" illustrate a problem with discussing ethnic typing in American songs of the 1870s. There is no specific reference to Ireland in either of these songs, nor is there a trace of Irish accent in the lyrics. Yet "Barney" and "Kathleen" are both names used regularly for Irish characters, and the tradition of Irish singers longing for the homeland was strong. It is hard not to see the two songs as "Irish" songs, but the Irishness is downplayed: the songwriters portray Barney and Kathleen as people, not Irish stereotypes."

I’d further add that the tune’s structure is that of a typical Victorian parlour song and has little in common with an Irish slow air. Nevertheless, it’s a grand tune.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

A short while ago I asked for some Irish waltzes and I got a bunch of wonderful suggestions. Made me very happy. Thanks guys. And thanks Ketil for "March Morning Drive" and for the original waltzes Trish sent me some time ago. Feel free to check out my query and responses here on thesession.org.

Oh and I, for one, truly appreciate those "schmaltsy" Tin-Pan Irish songs for being what they needed, like all music, to be when they were popular. The fact that they are still around is testimony of their value to the American sensibility even if they are not what we call "traditional" today. I am a firm believer in the idea that "what is now" and "what will be" in no way detracts from "what was". Some years ago my wife and I got to accompany her 90 year old father as he performed a few shortly before his death. Those songs meant the world to him and its best that not be disrespected.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

True, Trish - play the good tunes. Doesn’t matter where they come from (though those who post non-Irish tunes here often get a complaint from Jeremy). (Trish, could meet you in E’burgh now that the trains/buses are running better).

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

Nice post, Ross!
Also Susan. Haven’t been into Edinburgh since my last birthday in mid-March: remaining very cautious about going anywhere other than family meet-ups. Not been on public transport either. Will be in touch when I think it’s safer.

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

I think/hope I have the name right, but Jocelyn’s Waltz by Tommy Peoples is a gem of a tune; it’s on The Quiet Glen (which is a fantastic album).

Re: A few Irish Waltzes

If you’re Canadian of a certain age, then you’ll remember Don Messer. If not, ask Mr. Google. I have a copy of The Don Messer Anthology - lots of pretty waltzes in there: The Prairie Waltz, Red River Waltz, Honeymoon Waltz, Centennial Waltz, The Dawn, Zenda Waltz, to name a few. Messer came from New Brunswick, so it’s Down East music, which had Scottish & Irish roots.