This is a Carolan tune (one of about a dozen in our repertoire) that get played occasionally in Bristol sessions when everyone’s in the right mood, usually towards the very end of the session.
In style it is obviously early 18c, and I feel that Carolan in writing this was perhaps heavuly influenced by Vivaldi.
A lot of people hate this piece (I hesitate to call it a tune). I happen to really like it. The only thing I really don’t like about it at sessions is that people play it funereally slow — I tend to play it rather snappily and perky. (Although since it’s not a popular one, it’s nice to play it when everyone else is on furlough to the bar or such.)
I agree, Zina. It should be played at a good reel speed, and then perhaps people find it more acceptable. Played slowed it’s more like a technical exercise.
Bars 12-18 (numbered starting from the D before the repeat mark and including repeat bar at the end of the A-part) are sometimes played with d#s instead of d-naturals, i.e. E harmonic minor. As Trevor says, O’Carolan was heavily influenced by the Italian Baroque, and my guess is that he composed the tune with the d#s. Harmonic minor scales, of course, are unheard of in Irish Tradtional Music, and it dseems likely, that on passing into the repertoires of Irish musicians not having a classical music background, the sharps became naturals, assimilating it, to a degree, with traditional dance tunes.
Needless to say, it is NOT a reel, but since O’Carolan left little or no written information on how he intended his compositions to be performed, it’s up to us to decide. I agree that it responds well to a livelier tempo than it is sometimes played at. To my ear, however, ‘reel’ tempo seems a bit excessive - a gentle hornpipe tempo (perhaps even with a bit of ‘swing’) would seem more appropriate to me.
New to,O’Carolyn’s Draught
I have just started to learn this piece from a CD ‘Hammered Strings’ played by Alisa Jones. The first several times I would get to the piece I would skip over it to the next track, as I did not care for it. Now that i have listened to it several times through, it has become a favorite of mine. Still have a hard time with the last part though.
T: Carolan’s Draught 186.
S: Donal O’Sullivan, Vol. 1 "CAROLAN"
S: The Life Times and Music Of An Irish Harper
D2 |: GABc defd|g2fe d2 d2|e2E2 d2D2|c2Bc AcBA |
GABc defd|gfed ^cbag|gfed A2^c2| d6 :||
fg|afga bagf| egfe edcB|edef gfga|bagf efga|
bBbB aBaB|gBgB fBfB|edef gfed|e6f2|
gfed cBAG|e2d2d2D2|c2B2A2G2|FGAF D2r2|
EFGE FGAF|GABG ABcA|d2g2 bagf|g6:||
I discovered that this pairs quite nicely with Carolan’s Concerto https://thesession.org/tunes/788. See the comments of the that tune for details.
Guitar arrangement on Youtube
Here is my arrangement : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIkFKHja5rU
Hope yoy will enjoy
for influences (stylistic or direct borrowings?), see:
and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turlough_Carolan for an Alphabetical list of works.
there is an absolutely stunning version of this tune by De Danann on «Selected jigs, reels and songs» (1976)
Version 3 of Carolan’s Draught - Leather Lane
This is an old version, possibly by a London musician, judging by the name "Leather Lane" (see Wikipedia), and turns up in "Thompson’s Complete Collection of 120 Hornpipes" c.1745-70. I would guess it is a "show-off" piece by a fiddler of the period, as evidenced by the octave sequences in bar 2 of the first part and bar 3 of the second part which need some bowing skill to play cleanly at speed across the strings, and the quick sixteenth-note (semiquaver) runs that occur throughout. There is also the repetition of short phrases that is characteristic of much Baroque music (and later), as in the repetition of the latter half of bar 6 and the first half of bar 7 (of the second part) starting in the second half of bar 7, and the repetition of bar 8 of the second part. When playing repetitions of this sort it was customary at that time to make an obvious dynamic contrast: typically, the phrase would first be played strongly, and then softly when repeated, giving an echo effect. This was rarely notated in the original music because it was part of the style, but is often notated in modern editions.
The modern source for "Leather Lane" is John Offord’s compilation "John of the Green - The Cheshire Way".
fingerpicked on banjo
A great tune on the whistle. I use to play it in a band many years ago, The O’Carolan Quartet.
Mandoline Freaks might like this version: