Fireman’s reel

Also known as Father Kelly’s, Going To California, The Humours Of California, Imtigte Go California, The Juggler, Off To California, Portsmouth, Uisge Beatha Is Tu An Diabhal, Whiskey You’re The Devil, The Whiskey.

There are 6 recordings of this tune.

Fireman’s appears in 2 other tune collections.

Fireman's has been added to 45 tunebooks.

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Three settings

1
X: 1
T: Fireman's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
AcBc AFEF|Acea f2fg|agfe fecA|BcBA F2E2|
AcBc AFEF|Acea f2 (3efg|agfe fecA|B2A2 A4:|
|:eaga fece|eaga f2fg|agfe fecA|BcBA F2E2|
AcBc AFEF|Acea f2 (3efg|agfe fecA|B2A2A2c2:||
2
X: 2
T: Fireman's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: D2|GBAB GB D2|GB2d e2 d2|gfgd edBG|1ABAG E2:|2A2 A2 G2|
|: (3def |gg2a gefd|edBd edBd|gg2a gfed|edBG A2 (3def|
gg2a gefd|edBd edBd|eg2e dBAG|FDEF G2:||
3
X: 3
T: Fireman's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:E2 | AcBc AFFE | Acea f2 (3efg | agfe fecA | BcBA F3E |
AcBc AFFE | Acea f2 (3efg | agfe fecA | B2A2A2 :|
|: cd | eaga fece | eaga f2 (3efg | agfe fecA | BcBA F2E2 |
AcBc AFFE | Acea f2 (3efg | agfe fecA | B2A2A2 :|

Nine comments

This reel comes from an old collection of New England fiddler’s tunes. It resembles the hornpipe "Off to California", and I wonder if one tune could have been derived from the other, or both from a common source.
It’s a technically easy tune for the fiddle player, and being lively and somewhat repetitive would make a good tune for a beginner to learn and gain confidence.

Do I detect a subtle pun in the title - The Fireman’s Reel?

This tune certainly bears more than a passing resemblance to Off to California. Since much of the New England fiddle repertoire of English, Irish and Scots origin, it is probably fair to say that The Fireman’s Reel is a version of Off To california, transposed up a tone, simplified slightly, played in a slighly different rhythm, and given a different name. It is also worth remembering that, in some musical traditions the distinction between a hornpipe and a reel is not quite as clear as it is in Ireland.

~ as ‘spoon’ said ~ the tendency is to play hornpipes straight and as if they were reels…amongst some practices in the Western world…

Re: Fireman’s

Also in Robbins Collection #162, in Gmaj, slightly different setting, further away from California. I’ll post it one of these days.

Re: Fireman’s

corrected!

Fireman’s, X:3

Here’s the setting from O’Neill’s 1001 under the title "Whiskey You’re the Devil." So close to Off to California, but the start of the B part being soundly major gives it a really different feel.

Edited: what am I doing, this is almost identical to setting #1, sorry.