The second part of this tune might be a bit tricky to play because of that high G sharp. Well, it doesn’t have to be sharp. It sounds just as good played as a natural.
For a bit of variation in the first part, I like to open it with a long F instead of FE so that it’s more like the start of the second part.
On the fiddle or any other stringed instrument, you can make some nice double stops in the second part. The opening F can be played with an open A string, the G with a B on the A string and of course the high A on the E string can be played together with an open A string.
St. Anne’s Reel
In John Walsh’s collection, "Session Tunes", he says about for this one: "Originally French Canadian, now firmly adopted in Ireland."
I like the surprise of that G#.
Yes, but in the fourth measure of the B part, the second G should be marked "natural." I don’t know what the rules are for ABC, but in the notation, the "sharp" lasts the measure unless you state otherwise.
I have issues with calling this tune "The Skylark" if this is referring to the commonly played Irish tune The Skylark. Yes, there are similarities between the two, but only in the first part. While it is possible that they are related, they are clearly no longer the same tune. I would examine the link between this tune and Time on our Hands by Siobhan Peoples and Murty Ryan, which links to this tune, especially considering there is already a Skylark in C major that is submitted on this site.
Has anyone heard the version played by Don Messer? Its also the same version played on the Sons of Maxwell’s version of the Ballad of St. Anne’s Reel.
I like it a lot better than this version. Does anyone know the version I am talking about?
I like playing this tune with a bit of syncopation in the second and third bars, with the emphasis being like the beginning of "Willafjord" - that way the two tunes run together rather nicely, and it mkes the tune a bit more interesting than a stright reel..
I like to open it making a slide on the first F ant tongueing (is it how it must be written?) on the second F
Nice job on the transcription Jermey, As usual, your work is the best.
Anyone know when St. Anne’s Reel was written? which century it might hail from?
I´ve herad it on Carlos Nuñez & friends "en casa" (at home) live CD. Great Cd+Dvd. He played this one whit Chieftains.
was there a hidden track on ‘time on our hands’ that i missed? don’t ever remember hearing this on it
No hidden track
I can answer your query, Mary, without even having the CD. Someone has given this tune the alternative title of "The Skylark", which is on the Peoples/Ryan CD, so it’s created an automatic link. See also the comments by "fiddlerpianist" above. They’re 2 different reels as far as I’m concerned.
Cape Breton version
Howie MacDonald plays this tune thus:
f3g fedB|A2FA DAFA|BG~G2 G3B|AGFG ~F2F2|
f3g fedB|A2FB AFA=C|BGBd cAce|d2e/d/c defg|
fdfa fdfg|aggf g2gf|eceg eceg|baa^g a2a=g|
fdfa fdfg|aggf g2gf|eceg eceg|fdec d2 A2|
This is a Canadian tune which, rather than being common at sessions, is played at Old Time Fiddlers gatherings (thus Don Messer)
I’m also looking for the history of this tune. Any approximate dates, etc? I’m doing a senior project in high school on the fiddle. Please, does anyone know the dates of any of these old Irish tunes?
A more French-Canadian version
:A2|f2fg fedB|A2FG AFAd|BGGG G2FG|BAAF A2D2|
f2fg fedB|A2FG AFAd|BGBd cdec|1d2f2 d2:ag|
fdfa fdfa|aggf g2gf|edcB ABce|baa^g a2a=g|
fdfa fdfa|aggf g2gf|edcB ABcd|fdec d2:
I also know it this way…
And so do the Leahy’s. I heard this version from them. :)
|:Ad|f2fg fedB|A2FA DAFA|B2GB EBGB|AGFE DFAd|
f2fg fedB|A2FA DAFA|BGBd cAce|fddc d2:|
|:Ad|f2fg fedf|aggf g2gf|edcB Acea|baab a2Ad|
f2fg fedf|aggf g2gf|edcB Aceg|fdec d2:|
Dont know the tunes history
Id like to hear it too, but one things for sure though,its one deadly tune Im playing it as one of my works for my leaving cert you can put loads of ornamentation in it,and it sounds really cool.
Recorded by Joseph Allard, 1930
This is the version most people know in Québec:
Saint Anne’s Reel in D minor
Try this in D MINOR ! (No sharps. B flat.)
“Music from Ireland: Volume 1” ~ Bulmer & Sharpley
Dave Bulmer & Neil Sharpley, 1974
Page 3, tune #8: St. Anne’s Reel
T: Saint Anne’s
|: de |\
fedf edcB | ~A2 FA DAFA | ~B2 GB EBGB | ~A2 FA DAFA |
fedf edcB | ~A2 FA DAFA | B2 ed cABc | dedc d2 :|
|: de |\
~f2 fe fdef | gagf ~g2 gf | edcB ABce | baa^g ~a2 a=g |
~f2 fe fdef | gagf ~g2 gf | edcB ABcd | eddc d2 :|
Lots of confusion re: tune’s history. One source said that it was a renaissance tune (1450-1600) but that source didn’t give a reference. More reliable, is the MelBay link that said it was a French Canadian tune made poplular in the 1930’s by Joseph Allard, a French Canadian fiddler. A few sources make reference to St. Anne, the mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus, who is responsible for many healing miracles. Who knows?! But it sure is a sweet sounding, cheerful tune!
St Anne’s Reel
I’d go for the French Canadian angle for three reasons, St Anns Bay is in Nova Scotia, St Anns has a Gaelic heritage college started in the 1930s,and the tune fits into the driving style so snugly.
nice one here
St Ann’s Bay, sigh, another home for these two hearts, missed… And, we also love Allard’s way with the bow, with another sigh…
Thanks for the links, appreciated.
“St. Anne’s Reel” — Aly Bain with Jerry Douglas, Russ Barenberg
“St. Anne’s Reel” - - Don Messer and His Islanders
“The Ballad of St. Anne’s Reel” - - The Dubliners - live in Germany
Ballad of St. Anne’s Reel
Here it is sung by the author, David Mallett
Saint Anne’s Reel
This version is a little bit different in that it has developed a little ‘twist’ along the way - my doing :)
The A part normally goes from D to Em at bar2/bar3, so I though D to G would make a nice little change. Also, a little modulation from D to Bb just for one bar was a nice little surprise, I thought.
For the B part, that’s evolved a bit too, as you can see. If the high C# is problematic for fiddlers, it’s quite easy just to play the whole tune in G instead of D. Maybe that would add a bit of mellowness …
St. Anne’s Reel
A few years ago I heard Natalie MacMaster play a slow version of this tune similar to that posted by paulj504.
She followed with a Dm version like the one I’ve posted here at about Q: 1/4 = 180 and then ripped it back in the key of D… brought the house down.
OMG that is such a cool version of St. Anne’s, posted by Roads To Home in K: Dmaj. I hope I don’t get kicked off the East Coast of Canada for playing this version.
Saint Anne’s on tin whistle
Re: Saint Anne’s
Please listen to this masterly version. No matter how many times I watch this performance, I always enjoy it. Multiple variations, the 3rd repetition with multiple rolls on G and A is simply unbelievable, yet they make it look ‘simple’:
Re: Saint Anne’s
An arrangement for fiddle ensemble (2 fiddle lines, cello, and chords) is available in Weaver MacFarlane’s Choon Book, a free download from cracklingsmarts.com.
Audio file of this arrangement is available on Soundcloud (just search for Weaver MacFarlane).
Saint Anne’s, X:2
This setting is how this joyful tune became after being a long time in my head and hands…