Pigeon on the Gate

By Michael Gorman, Margaret Barry

Two comments

Folktrax 174 - Michael Gorman with Margaret Barry

(Non-commercial) field recordings available to traditional musicians from folktrax.org. [Folktrax & Soundpost Publ., 16 Brunswick Square, Gloucester GL1 1UG Tel +44 - (0) 452-415110 - peter@folktrax.freeserve.co.uk www.folktrax.org. ]
Recorded by Peter Kennedy, London 19 August 1956. Edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on Folktrax Cassettes 1975.

Tracks 1, 12-20 Michael Gorman fiddle with Margaret Barry banjo. Tracks 2-11 Michael Gorman solo fiddle.

From the liner notes: "24 Irish Reels & Jigs, played by the Sligo fiddler, Michael GORMAN, with 14 of them accompanied on the tenor-banjo by Margaret BARRY, tinker-singer from Cork, who worked with Michael, after meeting in London, during the 50’s and 60’s, performing at concerts and festivals in Britain & America. This selection contains a number of Michael’s own compositions, such as his well-known reel, THE MOUNTAIN ROAD and Margaret’s STRAYAWAY CHILD as well as the Co. Clare CHANTER SONG."

Tracks 5,8,9 composed by Michael. The story of the naming of The Burnt Cabbage, composed in 1953, is given after the tune.

Michael, a great storyteller, on track 9 explains how he came to name the single reel The Mountain Road, composed by him in 1922, before playing the reel in a four-part version. (Compare the 2-part "standard" version he plays with Willie Clancy on the second disc of the Sligo Champion collection, as well as the full 6-part version played there with Margaret Barry on banjo). (John Doherty on The Floating Bow plays a nice Donegal interpretation of the standard version, but repeating the first part, and adding a different third part, presumably of his own innovation, consisting mostly of the first part played an octave higher, but not leaving the first position. Kevin Burke plays a three-part version (Gorman’s) on his In Concert CD.)

The Strayaway Child was composed by Margaret Barry in 1956, and is named after herself. She ran away from home at the age of 14 and took up a life of travelling which eventually brought her to England in the 1950s, where she met Michael Gorman who was then running a session in a London pub.

The Co. Clare Chanter song is a Co. Clare lament arranged by Gorman and Barry.

The Untitled reel on track 15 Gorman got from Jamesy Gannon, who was his teacher as well as Michael Coleman’s.

Michael plays The Pigeon on the Gate first in the O’Neill version, and then in the standard version.

He also plays The Star of Munster in two versions, standard and old style.