And I’m not sure, but I think the first part here may be the C part, since James Kelly goes into the tune with it on The Ring Sessions following Touching Cloth, but then also ends with it…dunno about that one.
Sitting on the Throne
Not for the faint of heart…composed by fiddler James Kelly, this three-part reel is commonly played after Touching Cloth (and you can find out why by reading the comments under that tune).
This setting is off of Kelly’s cd The Ring Sessions, with Zan McLeod on guitar and Donnchadh Gough on bodhran.
I’m breaking my own rule of thumb by posting this here because I just learned this tune off the cd, so I haven’t played it long enough to deepen my understanding of it. But I noticed some discrepancies in the abcs for this tune on other sites (notably the version on the woodenflute database) compared to what I hear Mr. Kelly playing, so I thought it was worthwhile capturing those differences.
That said, the track is not an easy one to catch all the notes from. Gough’s bodhran kicks in on this tune, the guitar is right there, and Kelly’s fiddle seems to drop into the porcelain throne itself, making it hard to hear some phrases clearly. I resorted to slowing this cut down and listening repeatedly to get as close as I could on the gnarly parts. I think the result is closer to what Kelly actually plays, first time through the tune, than what other transcriptions show. But I could be wrong.
Otherwise, it’s not the easiest tune to play, at least on fiddle, but it’s not impossible either, and I’m guessing backers will love your for it because of the jazzy chords that fit behind it, especially in the A part. The B part goes into F# minor, which thrills our local guitarists to no end, and then the C part returns to A maj.
If the quick little AcB/c/B/A run in the 7th bar of the A part gives you fits, just play it AcBA. Similarly, the triplet run in the next to last bar of the C part [(3bag (3agf gbaf] can be simplified to |bgaf gbaf|. The only other tricky spots are watching out for the occasional sharped d’s, and getting comfortable holding the [Fc] and [gc] doublestops for the passages where you’re on both notes in short order. I’d also recommend shortening up your bow strokes in the phrases with lots of back-and-forth string crossings….even Kelly, who can unwind a long bow over several phrases as well as anyone, sounds like he’s keeping them fairly short on some of those string crossings.
Oh, and mind your intonation. If you don’t play in A for F# minor much, some of these intervals may feel a bit strange at first.
Zina, I was thinking the same thing about that A or C part. It certainly makes the most sense of the three to end on. But some tunes are like that. I always end The Morning Star and One Summer’s Morning with one last go round on their A parts–just sounds right to my ear.
I think the weird way the fiddle sounds on the track I sent you is because of the way I did the mp3, Will, the original doesn’t sound like that!
I suppose someone’s got to ask it: does the King of the Fairies sit on the throne?
Inconsequential chatter having nothing to do with the subject
A really great player once looked at me following my confession that I was almost too frightened to talk to him, I idolized his playing so much, and said with a straight and serious face that he found it best to remember “that everyone has to take their pants off to take a dump.” (He waited for me to crack up before he laughed.)
And I can’t remember who it was who said that the problem with keeping both feet firmly on the ground is that you can’t take your pants off.
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