They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning

By Francis O’Connor and Aine O’Connor

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Search for Francis O'Connor, Aine O'Connor.

  1. Farewell To Ballinahulla
    The Hungry Rocks
  2. Moss Murphy’s
    John Joe Harnett’s
  3. Paddy’s Gone To France
    The Glass Of Beer
    John Kelly’s
  4. The Fair Maids Of Ireland
    They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning
  5. Kiss The Maid Behind The Barrell
    The Ravelled Hank Of Yarn
  6. Breeches Mary
    The Tenpenny Bit
  7. Caoineadh Ui Neill
  8. The Mills Are Grinding
    The Milliner’s Daughter
  9. Spa To Spout
    Swings On The Slewnaun
  10. Corney Drew
    Father Dollard’s
  11. An Leac Bheag
    Molly Hogan’s
  12. Tommy Dinny’s Part
    The Black Hill
  13. The Chalice Ground
    Killila Cross
  14. Joan And Smokie’s
    The Flax In Bloom
  15. The Mummer’s
    Cailin An Ti Mhoir
  16. Joe Ryan’s
    John Blessing’s
  17. John Joe Harnett’s
    Moss Murphy’s
  18. The Maiden That Dare Not Tell
    Rolling On The Ryegrass

Nine comments

Re: They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning
Thanks to Kevin Krell for making me aware of this new release on "The Chiff & Fipple" website.
Having heard both musicians in sessions at the Willie Clancy week over past years, I bought it immediately, and having listened to the downloaded tracks while waiting for the CD to arrive, I would recommend it to anyone.
Frances plays flute and fiddle, Aine, fiddle, with bouzouki accompaniment by Brian Mooney.
18 tracks, some well-known tunes, also quite a few I haven’t heard before, including some compositions by Frances, whom I know has written some fine tunes in the past.
Especially pleased to have another recording of the 6-part version of "Kiss The Maid Behind The Barrel".
One of the best duet recordings I’ve heard in years.

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Re: They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning

I got it from Custy’s a few days ago.
It is absolutely beautiful.
They are husband & wife and have been playing together for over twenty years,
which is evident when you hear the CD.
Also, Aine is the daughter of Connie O’Connell and has also recorded with her father.

Re: They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning

Just bought this album off your suggestion. Lovely playing, just have to wait for my hard copy to ship out!

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Re: They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning

And you couldn’t get a much better recommendation than this, from Noel Hill:

"“On this recording, we have what could be described as a musical
conversation with generations long gone. But we also have a new
conversation, because we have here a delicate and true reflection of
what’s at the heart of the ever-turning wheel of our music, a divining and
drilling to its core.

Flute, fiddle, names like O’ Connor and O’ Connell are cornerstones of a
great musical tradition. Francis and Áine are proud keepers of musical
memory, displaying a deep understanding and respect for what has gone
before, which reflects their own musical nurturing and homeplace. Theirs
is a strong musical accent that has been handed down by great players
like John Joe Harnett, Moss Murphy, Denis Mc Mahon, Connie O ‘Connell,
Donal O’ Sullivan.

Wherever in the world you are listening to this, you will be transported to
the wild, rugged landscape of South West Ireland and to between the
hedgerows of West Limerick and West Cork.

Ní ceol cliste nó úisleacht bréaga é seo.
This is honest music, some of the strong stuff.
Francis and Áine, to write in your praise is an honour.”

Noel Hill.
15th of November 2019

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Re: Tracks 2 and 17

According to the liner notes for Francis O’Connor and Aine O’Connor’s CD "They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning", they were lent a tape of the duet playing of Moss Murphy and John Joe Harnett, who played as a duet for many years. There seems to be a problem differentiating between, or identifying whether tunes in their repertoire should be attributed to the one or the other, so Francis and Aine have four slides on the CD sensibly attributed to both.

Track 2 is two slides they call "Moss Murphy and John Joe Harnett’s" and track 17 is two more slides which they have as "John Joe Harnett and Moss Murphy’s".
So strictly speaking both track 2 and track 17 are wrongly listed here - it’s tempting to interpret "Moss Murphy and John Joe Harnett’s" as "Moss Murphy’s / John Joe Harnett’s”, but that’s not what they said and there was a reason for that. Although as it happens the first tune in track 2 does link correctly to the tune submitted by ceolachan 7 years ago!

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"Áine & Francis O’Connor: They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning"


Áine O’Connor - fiddle
- nee O’Connell, daughter of renowned fiddle player Connie O’Connell

Francis O’Connor - flute / fiddle

Brian Mooney - bouzouki / banjo

I had the pleasure in the late 70s, early 80s, of meeting and playing music with John Joe Harnett, Limerick flute player. He had a great store of tunes, including polkas and slides, with a strong rhythmic way of playing the flute despite and in part because of the emphysema he suffered, inspirational! He was kind, welcoming, generous, and I had too little time in his good company, and too much of his excellent poitín. I’d recently been contacted by a niece of John Joe’s, via this site and that set me looking through my notes and doing a search to see if I could find anything more about John Joe online or anywhere else. In doing this I stumbled across this recording, eventually following a link back here to Kenny’s entry. Valueing highly Kenny’s recommendations, and this recording’s connection to John Joe Harnett, I had to chase it up for myself, no question.

There was a slight, insignificant and short lived hesitation, worry. Who, me? When a recording’s self-composed content reaches a third of its content or more I tend to lose interest… This, roughly a fifth/22.22% self-composed, was O.K., more than O.K.! It’s generous! - 18 lovely tracks, 36 melodies, 9 of which are compositions, 8 by Francis O’Connell & one by Áine’s father Connie O’Connell (see below). An added plus and consideration I hold in very high regard - a great and much appreciated 24 page booklet of notes by Áine O’Connor - well researched, informative, with photos - with respect and honor for the tradition, the tunes, and their sources…

However, what especially took my heart was to hear these decent ‘old-style’ tempos. They take slides at a respectful 135 beats per minute, an approximate, thankfully not beating the music to death as some speed freaks like to do, and none of that horrid programmed digital percussion that some seem to be fond of, or ‘need’…

Track 13, two compositions, is odd. Yes, nice little ditties, jolly, but ‘flings’? For me, there’s not anything in the melody, rhythm or playing that shows any understanding of that tune form or the dances it was married to - made and structured to accompany. Another definition for ‘fling’ can let this slide by - "spell of indulgence in impulse" ("The Little Oxford Dictionary")…

Highly recommended! - though you already have Kenny’s for a start, and those that followed. I’m adding mine to theirs because this recording has given me pleasure on every listen…

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The self-composed, by Francis O’Connor:

_4. ) Two polkas, the second: "They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning"

_9. ) Two polkas: "Spá to Spout" / "Swings on the Slewnaun"

12. ) Two slides: "Tommy Dinny’s Part" / "The Black Hill"

13. ) Two ‘flings’ ("Hmmmm…?" 😏 ): "The Chalice Ground" / "Killila Cross"

14. ) Two reels, the first: "Joan and Smokie’s"

Composed by Aine’s father, Connie O’Connell:

11. ) Two reels, the first: "An Leac Bheag"

Re: They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning

Just a note, the first polka in track 4 wasn’t composed by Francis. It can be found in the James Goodman collection (Tunes of the Munster Pipers vol.2, p.108) (link added)

Gorgeous album overall and the flings are lovely too. If that’s the way they play them in West Limerick for their own enjoyment, I think they have the full right to. Next time we’ll have someone yelling at the pipers for not playing the hornpipes "correctly" LOL. "No dotted rhythm at all, tragic!" There’re archive recordings of Denis "The Waiver" playing flings without any dotted rhythm, was he "wrong" as well?

While Francis mostly plays the flute on the album, he’s a terrific fiddle player too. One very late night in Friels there was a tune in E flat, so the D flute didn’t fit in… The fiddles then began changing hands and he picked one and played away, no bother to him!

Re: They Didn’t Come Home Until Morning

Sleeve notes for track #4 [ 1st tune ] : "Francis heard this lovely first polka played on the radio one night. Unfortunately, he didn’t catch who played the polka or indeed the name of the tune".
Since it seems to have been identified here from reputable sources, and an appropriate link created, I see no reason not to change "Gan Ainm" to "The Fair Maids Of Ireland".

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