Morris tune name?

Re: Morris tune name?

The first tune is a solo set dance called Jockey to the fair, can’t help you with the second.

Re: Morris tune name?

The second tune is the English, Morris version of "Princess Royal", a name give to O’Carolan’s "Miss MacDermott" for a daughter of his patron the MacDermott-Roes.

Re: Morris tune name?

The second tune is one of many versions of The Princess Royal. There are a couple of versions in the database here, but these are versions belonging to the Irish repertoire. There is a similar version to this one, from the Cotswold Morris tradition, that is widely known in English trad circles, but this one is another variant – presumably from the village of Headington. (In the Morris dancing heartlands of the Cotswolds, every village has it’s own local repertoire of dances and tunes).

Re: Morris tune name?

@Muircheartaigh – Thank you for that information. I had wondered how the attribution to O’Carolan tied in with its use as a Morris tune. I imagine most of the Morris repertoire is considerably later than O’Carolan. I believe some Morris sides use minor versions of the tune, much closer to Carolan’s ‘original’ (inasfar as we know how he orginally intended it).

Re: Morris tune name?

Interesting article on the research site Folkopedia about the disputed origins of Princess Royal:

https://folkopedia.info/index.php/Princess_Royal

The earliest recorded English Morris tune, Staines Morris, appears in the first edition of Playford in 1651, so at least some of the Morris repertoire actually predates Carolan.

Re: Morris tune name?

There’s an interesting story behind the Morris "Princess Royal"

Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738) wrote a tune called Miss MacDermott, or The Princess Royal. This tune, one of his best known, became wildly popular when William Shields adapted it for his song “The Arethusa,” in his opera The Lock and Key, performed in 1796. It reflected the strong anti-French feeling of that day, and tells of the engagement between the Arethusa, commanded by Captain Marshall, and the French frigate La Belle Poule (literally, the Beautiful Chicken, but figuratively, the Lovely Lass) which took place in the English Channel June 17, 1778. http://www.kitchenmusician.net/smoke/arethusa.html

Princess Royal was possibly composed for Mrs. Mary O’Rourke (also the subject of Mrs. O’Rourke). She was the eldest daughter of MacDermott, Prince of Coolavin. Another possible subject of the tune is Elizabeth MacDermott Roe (the subject of another tune - specifically named for her). http://www.kitchenmusician.net/smoke/arethusa.html

Prince of Coolavin was a title first applied by popular usage to Charles MacDermot, 1707–1758, then head of the MacDermot family of Moylurg. Coolavin (Cúl ó bhFionn) is a barony in south County Sligo in Ireland. Up to the late 16th century the head of the family were still Kings of Moylurg, but had lost their lands due to confiscation.[

The adoption of the term indicated that the family considered themselves "princes", and also considered as such by their neighbours.[2] The title continued to be used by the head of the family into the 21st century, the latest incumbent being Rory MacDermot, ninth of the MacDermots to be so styled.[3][4] Rory MacDermot died on Thursday 6 May 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_of_Coolavin

There’s another variation of the tune: "Rodney’s Glory". It’s here at https://thesession.org/tunes/3786 where the story behind it is llaid out in some of the comments.

Re: Morris tune name?

Thanks, @sfmans, for that link to folkopedia. It definitely fleshes out the story.

Re: Morris tune name?

Thanks everyone, for the tune names and historical context. I had never heard of Folkopedia before and am excited to check it out!
The Arethusa is a very nice tune, I know of it from Andy May’s album Happy Hours.

Re: Morris tune name?

This is not by any means a brilliant rendition, but perhaps someone here can tell me what version I picked up:
https://youtu.be/-Ue7NfCMwuk

I learnt it from contemporaries when I was relatively young, so I have no detailed knowledge of its source.

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Re: Morris tune name?

I don’t know bex, but I didn’t mind that rendition at all.

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Re: Morris tune name?

Bex that sounds like the standard major key version played by most Morris sides - could have derived from ‘Morris On’ recorded by various English folkies in the late 70’s - Ashley Hutchings, John Kirkpatrick, Richard Thompson et al. The OP by Whimbrel strays briefly into the relative minor for the 2nd part, other Morris versions are closer to O’ Carolan’s minor key original.

Re: Morris tune name?

In Ireland it is often played as a march, and usually in Em.

Re: Morris tune name?

Thanks for the comment, gobby, and the response christy. Good to know that it’s not too weird. I would have learnt it 2 or 3 years before Morris On came out. (Yep, I’m that old. Damn, where does the time go?)

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Re: Morris tune name?

Bex I just googled Morris On and it was released in ‘72 not late 70’s as I remembered - like you say Damn where does the time go…………………

Re: Morris tune name?

That’s solved a riddle for me-back in the 80s when playing for Clitheroe Morris Men I now remember that it’s Princess Royal which these days occasionally surfaces on my small pipes.
Yet despite playing a few O Carolyn tunes it had never crossed my mind that it was one although now I know it is quite obvious.
I don’t know what’s it’s like for others out there but sometimes when playing I find myself running together a mixture of traditions