Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Hello everyone,
I know of Dowd’s #9 and Dowd’s Favorite, but does anyone know of the other Dowd’s tunes? If there is a Dowd’s #9, then shouldn’t there be 1-8? I was thinking of trying to put together a set of all the Dowd’s tunes, to see if it would sound cool 🙂
Thanks, have a nice day!

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Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

There’s Dowd’s Favourite - which is presumably his no.1. Perhaps nos. 2-8 in his ranking all have other names.

Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

You’re assuming it’s the same "Dowd" - not necessarily the case.

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Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

There’s a Dowd’s #1 on the Coleman Archive, Vol. 2, but I don’t have the recording myself and I don’t know the tune.

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Isn’t there one story that ascribes Dowd’s #9 to being a drunk or something like that?

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This page is useful in that it gives information on all three Dowd’s tunes (No.1, No.9 and ‘Favourite’) in succession: http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/DOW_DOY.htm

It says that Dowd’s No.9 is attributed to Sligo Fiddler John O’Dowd, "… uncle of Joe O’Dowd (1913-1987), and thus the great-uncle of Seamus O’Dowd of the group Dervish".

Dowd’s Favourite is thought to have been learned by Michael Coleman from the same John O’Dowd, although he is not cited as the composer. The reel is a reworking an older Scottish march but it does not explicitly credit John O’Dowd with he arrangement.

Dowd’s No.1, as already stated, was composed by Séamus Dowd, son of Sheila and Joe Dowd. A little bit of digging reveals that this is the same person as Seamus (Seamie) O’Dowd, great nephew of the aforementioned John O’Dowd and member of Dervish. We can safely assume, then, that this tune is not the first in a chronological sequence of tunes culminating in No.9, but rather an ironic reference to the mysterious absence of nos. 1-8 - and perhaps the first in a new sequence of tunes intended to fill the void.

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From the entry on Joe O’Dowd [ sic ] in Tansey’s "Bardic Apostles Of Innisfree" Vol.1, Pg 42, hear ye the words of Seamus :
"[ Joe O’Dowd ] was a nephew of the famous John Dowd of whom Michael Coleman said, "No man can play a fiddle better than John Dowd". It was from John Dowd that Coleman immortalised the reels "Dowd’s Favourite", "Dowd’s Number Nine" and the jig "The Old Grey Goose".
No mention of any other tunes associated with Dowd’s name.

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Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

I have heard a story about Dowd’s #9 that I will tell here — no idea whether it’s true or not. The story goes that John O’Dowd lived in Brooklyn for a while, and there was a period where he was living in the same apartment building as some of his musical colleagues, including maybe Morrison and Killoran, so they would get together for some tunes in John’s apartment, which just happened to be #9.

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This is for Beatles people!
(‘Leave all the jazz to the Beatles’. Colm Meaney, in "The Boys And Girl From The County Clare".)

Maybe Dowd’s No 9 is similar to the relationship of Beatles’ tunes Revolution (B side of Hey Jude), Revolution 1 (slower less rocker version on side four of the ‘White Album’) and Revolution 9 (also on side four of the ‘White Album’)!
There should only be Dowd’s, Dowd’s No 1 and Dowd’s No 9. So only two tunes are unaccounted for.

https://youtu.be/SNdcFPjGsm8

Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Dang it. I meant “drink.”

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Does Arthur McBride count?
There’s mention of a noisy member of the family, ‘rowdy DOWD-ow’
🙂

Hope you’re all keeping safe and well
All the best
Brian x

Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

@Yhaal House: I think Dowd’s #9 is a better tune than Revolution 9.

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@CMO: As tunes/ melodies go, I think you’re right!!

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I also like the other Beatlesque tunes such as "Hey Dowd" and "I’m Dowd, I’m really Dowd"… "Don’t bring me Dowd" etc.

There’s also the Credence Clearwater Revival number "Dowd on the corner.."

Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Most of these comments are irrelevant! Dowd’s no.9 came from Sligo fiddle player John O’Dowd, uncle of Joe Dowd. Dowd’s No.9 is the name of a blend of whiskey; thus there are no other ‘Dowd’s tunes’!

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Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Seamus Tansey begs to differ - see above. He would generally be accepted as a fairly knowledgeable source on music from Sligo. "Reverend’s" story could well be a possibility too, but we may never know.
PS - I have enjoyed both of your books, thanks very much.

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Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

PPS - Tansey recorded "Dowd’s No.9" on "Easter Snow" and I’ve just looked at the sleeve notes . He includes this sentence : "Nobody knows if the title is called after the number of John Dowd’s flat in New York, or if it is because of the ninth reel he composed". So Tansey must have heard "Reverend’s" explanation as well.
If "Dowd’s No. 9" was a whiskey, where was it made ?

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Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Just to say that I dont have time to check at the moment but I think both the flat number and whiskey explanation are floated in Ciaran Carson’s Last Nights Fun. The whiskey story is apparently based on the existence of a defunct spirit called Downes no.9
https://www.whiskyauctioneer.com/lot/244548/henry-downes-co-ltd-no9-irish-whiskey

both are the types of folklore that get attached to tunes along the way and then repeated over and over from different sources.

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Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Actually, no - neither explanation is mentioned by Carson. There is indeed a chapter on the subject of "Dowd’s No.9", but no conclusion as to the source of the title is offered. Good shout though - I must read that book again some day. I like this - "orphan cassettes with no cases, for cassette and case bear the same relationship as a pair of socks, of which one is bound to get lost in the wash". 🙂
A combination of "Downes No. 9" and the dreaded "folk process" does seem possible.

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Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

I may as well add some irrelevant information. In the 1800´s in the US the distillers were given Federal Identifier Numbers. You will see old whisk(e)y bottles with numbers such as No. 7, or No. 8 and so on. Jack Daniels was originally assigned No. 7. When a new Federal system was created, everyone was given new numbers. Jack liked his ´old´ number, and continued to label his Tennessee Whiskey ´Old No. 7´. Dunno who got No. 9. 🙂

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Re: # 9?

We love ya’, Kenny. ;
Sorry, I lost count. Did Seamus Tansey say whiskey was not involved (at all)?

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Tansey makes no mention of whiskey in relation to "Dowd’s No.9" - neither in his book, nor the "Easter Snow" notes.

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‘Tansey makes no mention of whiskey in relation to "Dowd’s No.9" - neither in his book, nor the "Easter Snow" notes’.
You are right Kenny, it wasn’t Semus Tansey but Ciaran Carson in ’ Last night fun’ made some remarks regarding old brand of whiskey called Dowd’s No.9. I will try to find that in his book today.
Marin

Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Already done that, Marin - see above, yesterday.

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I see now, sorry Kenny ….. 🙂
Marin

Re: Other Dowd’s Tunes?

Whisky ~ Ciaran Carson

Of how the life of water is distilled to liquid gold; how the water of
The Liffey becomes Guinness; how explosive cocktails take the name of Molotov;

How the wild mountain thyme blows around the blooming heather, and the perfumed smoke
Of poteen rises high into the azure sky; how turf is the conducive agent, and not coke;

How coke is crack, not heroin, nor smack; how marijuana is La Cucaracha,
Maryjane, or blow; how many States of mind there are in Appalachia;

How you turn into an insect overnight, or after-hours, from eating
Magic mushrooms; how the psilocybin got your brain and led to some ‘Strange Meeting’;

How the tongue gets twisted, how ‘barbarian’ is everyone who is not Greek;
How things are named by any other name except themselves, thereof I meant to speak.

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Yes, the story about Downe’s No 9 whiskey makes eminent sense.
I called to the actual pub in Waterford, where the Downe’s No.9 whiskey is still blended.
It was very popular around the country, so I can see how a Dowd’s tune could become Dowds No. 9…