X: 1 “The Fancy Fair”
From the bow of Sean McGuire/Maguire…
X: 2 “The Fancy Fair Hornpipe” ~ O’Neill 1903 / 1907
B: O’Neill’s Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies, 1903 - page 325, tune #1749
B: O’Neill’s Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems, 1907 - page 158, tune #922
S: O’Neill’s - John Ennis - uilleann piper, Chicago, originally from County Kildare
Did Maguire really hit high Cs in bar 6 of X:1? Listening to the LP with Roger Sherlock those are Bs, maybe you’re working from a different source. Wouldn’t put it past Sean to do something like that. I like the big runs in bar 10. Bit of the old harp struith mor there, maybe.
Rowsome and Seamus Ennis were caught on tape playing this old tune, Pat Mitchell transcribed it for his S.E. book. The F#s in the O’Neill’s setting in bars 6 and 10 are actually notes we pipers use to "vent" notes which we’re incapable of sounding spontaneously in the 2nd octave - up to high G we can sound the 2nd octave notes by just squeezing the bag harder and opening the appropriate fingerholes, but above that we have to sound a lower note in the 2nd octave first as a vent, then quickly move to the note we wish to sound in the higher part of the 2nd octave. There may be other examples of this phenomenon in O’Neill’s books, I forget. This one is very obviously owing to its coming from a piper, it’s amusing to think of generations of fiddlers/fluters/boxists throwing in that F# and not knowing why it’s there.
Seamus’s father recorded this with the Fingal Trio, calling it The Dancer at the Fair. On a tape of Cathal McConnell he calls it The Little Dancer at the Fair.
Brilliant Kevin, thanks, much appreciated. I’ll recheck my recording again to see if it’s a b or a c natural. I was doing several things at the same time so it’s quite likely I’d get one of the three wrong. :-D Why not add a transcription? I’ve been after the Seamus Ennis book for ages, it remains on my Christmas list, which isn’t very long. I hope to get a few things marked off this coming December, at least that’s the hope.
I understand my confusion, he’s double stringing, double stopping, the b, on the a and e strings, impressive, with one slightly out of tune with the other, sharp, which is why my mind was pushing it up to c’ natural, the double b throwing me a little. Wow! I like it…
I could copy the basic setting out of Pat’s book, after I get out the forklift to fetch it from the shelves that is. ;) Bulkiest tome in ITM by a mile.
I just found it for sale at NPU ~ WHEW! ~ no wonder it hasn’t been given to me yet as a birthday or Christmas gift, it’s a stonker in price too. I live in hope. I’d also like Seamus’s tome too, hardbound. Both of those remain on the list. ;-) You could always scan just that page, if it wouldn’t break your scanner, and I could try making ABC sense of his transcript, including a basic run without the little twiddly bits, for comparison’s sake, and to promote Pat’s good works.