A famous old tune, well worth appearing on this site.
I love this tune. Also known as the Duck’s Leg. There’s a good midi version of it at http://www.contemplator.com/tunebook/midimusic/ducksleg.mid
Micho Russell’s Version
This tune seems often associated with Micho Russell. According to Pat Mitchell, the title in fact refers to a rock formation on the cliffs near Doolin, West Clare, and the source of the version which appears in Breathnach’s Ceol na Rince can be traced back to Micho. Luckily enough, you can listen to Micho himself playing this tune on Mary Custy and Eoin O’Neill’s duet album. Here’s almost what he plays:
GAG GFD|c2c cBc|d/e/dd cAG|A2G FED|
DGG GFD|c2z cBc|ded cAF|1 AGF G2G:|2 AGF G2z||
g2z agf|d2g gfg|GBd fef|A2B cBA|
GBd g2f|d2e fdc|Bdd cAF|AGF G2z:|
I guess somewhat odd use of F natural in Trevor’s transcription comes from piper Willie Clancy, who learned the tune from Micho.
This was the title of a radio play by Michael Butt broadcast this afternoon on BBC Radio 4. It was about Mozart and his meeting with some Irish musuicians. Unfortunately, I only got the last 15 minutes or so, but it seems that Mozart used this tune in one of his own compositions - not unusual for classical composers of all eras to use folk music thus. Piano, whistle and fiddle were used for the incidental music (i.e. this tune) and the musicians mentioned in the voice-over end credits were Neil Brand, Sonja Slanny (spelling?), and Clive Bell.
The play can be accessed on the internet for the next 7 days from www.bbc.co.uk, and go to the Radio 4 section.
The Piper’s Chair is a relatively new name for this tune as far as I know. I heard the tune itself was originally a song melody called "The Catholic Boy."
The Piper’s Chair (aka. the Catholic Boys)
This afternoon I suddenly realised this jig bears some similarity with "The Eavesdropper": https://thesession.org/tunes/389 It might be accidental though.
Cathaoir an Phíobaire
The Piper’s Chair is not as much a ‘rock formation’ but a chair sized chunk of stone that, according to Micho Russell, was used by the piper to sit on when dances were held in the field where the rock is located.
Now, I remember during the eighties the Piper’s Chair going missing, some people had rolled it down the hill. It’s still in it’s present location, about a quarter of a mile North of Poll na nGall.
Seamus Ennis collected the tune during his 1948 trip to Doolin from Paddy Killoughery (not Paddy Killourhy the fiddler, another one). There’s a fine recording made by Ennis on that occasion of Paddy lilting the tune.
Peadar O´Loughlin and Maeve Donnellyo plays Piper´s chair
A wonderful set of tunes from Custy´s in Ennis on YouTube.
The Piper’s Chair
Blog post, including a few recordings and photos: