This is a common session tune most often played in G, but it was apparently originally written in F, which is my preferred key (I cheat and capo my zouk at the 3rd!)
This was composed by Larry Redican, who I think was born in Dublin, and brought up in Boyle (Co. Roscommon) before he left for New York. The Culfadda gets spelt a lot of different ways (e.g. Culfodda, Kilfadda, Kilfodda) but Culfadda is the correct spelling. There is a place called Kilfadda, but this is a red herring. The tune was named after Culfadda in Co. Sligo where Larry’s mother came from.
Another name for this tune is "The Cruel Father". I’m guessing that when Larry went to New York he played his tune and when asked the name of it they couldn’t understand his accent. Only a guess 🙂
Here’s a version in G, based on the playing of the Sean Tracy CCE group in Dublin.
T: Kilfodda, The
C: Larry Redican
BedB AcBA|GBAG EFGE|D~B,3 DEGA|BGdB ABcA|
BedB AcBA|GBAG EFGE|D~B,3 DEGA|1 BdAF G GA:|BdAF GABc||
d3B cBAF|GABG AGEG|DGdG eGdG|cBAG FGAB|
cBce dBcd|edef gdBG|DGBG DGBe|1 dBAB GABc:|dBAB G3A||
Anyone know the unkown reel in medley following The Culfadda?
Does anyone know the unkown reel in the medley sandwiched between The Culfadda (aka Larry Og) and Reel For Carl as played by Pierre Schryer, Dermot Byrne And Friends (Track #11)?
The Culfadda Reel
This is the version I often hear in the recordings and sessions:
A|BedB AcBA|GBAG EFGE|D~B,3 DEGA|BGdB A2GA|
BedB AcBA|GBAG EFGE|D~B,3 DEGA|BGAF ~G3:|
B|~d3B cBAB|GABG AGEG|DG~G2 DGBd|cBAG EGAB|
~c3e dB~B2|edef gdBG|DG~G2 DGBe|dBAB ~G3:|
This tune seems recorded on Harry Bradley’s latest recording. You can listen to the full track on his myspace page. Great stuff.
The 1883 tune book "Ryan’s Mammoth Collection" (aka Cole’s "1000 Fiddle Tunes") includes a reel called "Hit or Miss," the turn of which is nearly identical to that of Redican’s "Culfadda" (though in C rather than F). Cape Breton fiddler Winston Fitzgerald played "Hit or Miss," as can be heard on a cassette of 78s and private recordings produced by Paul Cranford some years ago. The first parts of the two tunes are not at all similar.
"Cruel Father," by the way, was the title that appeared on Four Men and a Dog’s debut recording "Barking Mad."
Here is… yet another… of my duplications. I searched long and hard for this tune, and didn’t find it until I submitted it, and was told it had been up here for six and a half years already.
T: Kilfada, The
B3 G A2 BA | GBAG E2 GE | DG ~G2 DEGA | BGdB A4 | B3 G A2 BA | GBAG E2 GE | DG ~G2 DEGA |1 BGAF G2 dc :||2 BGAF GABc || d3 B cBAB | G2 BG ABGE | DG ~G2 eGdG | cBAG EGAB | cBce dBAG | e2 (3def gdBG | EG ~G2 DGBe |1 dBAB GABc :||2 dBAB G2 dc ||
This is mainly the transcription from Garry Shannon’s "Punctured", from which I learnt it.
This tune is also posted here as #1687 ‘Walsh’s Fancy’ — see this listing for a number of further alternate titles.
Is this the tune also known as The Large wriggly bottom?
T: Kilfodda, The
C: Larry Redican
A|BedB AcBA|GBAG EFGE|D~B3 DEGA|BGdB A2GA|
BedB AcBA|GBAG EFGE|D~B3 DEGA|(3BAG AF ~G3:|
B|~d3B ~c3A|GABG ABGE|D~G3 D~G3|cBAG EGAB|
~c3e d~B3|edef gdBG|DG~G2 DGBc|dBAc B~G3:|
This tune appears as "Martin Wynne’s" on The Mulcahy Family’s first album - lovely solo playing on the harp.
"The 1883 tune book "Ryan’s Mammoth Collection" (aka Cole’s "1000 Fiddle Tunes") includes a reel called "Hit or Miss," the turn of which is nearly identical to that of Redican’s "Culfadda" (though in C rather than F)."
Yes, I spotted that too. Interesting. Maybe Larry Redican didn’t like the first part but did like the second? Who knows? I must say, if that’s the case, that I agree with him. A cracking tune, sometimes in F, often in G.
Yes, I don’t know how that 2nd part ever came to be something Winston recorded, was always surprised…perhaps he heard the tune in Boston.
The Culfadda, X:7
Yet another setting, with a slight variation in the B part
Re: The Culfadda
Cúl Ḟada refers to long hair going down the back, possibly in a braid. I believe the Cúl Ḟionn, also a beautiful air, refers to blond locks. Carolan describes Suave Mabel Kelly’s coolin in his Planxty to her. The coolin and coolfada are Irish hairstyles, that may have looked something like these: https://www.google.ie/search?q=irish+hair+braid&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC_sKzq9jYAhWrK8AKHft1AgwQ_AUICigB&biw=970&bih=1185#imgrc=Uja4gcDgQDtrbM:
The Culfadda, X:8
This is my preferred setting of the tune which I first learned from hearing it on the radio and called "Larry Redican’s". I believe it was recorded from Larry Himself when Ciarán Mac Mathúna visited the US for his Job of Journeywork programme on Radio Éireann in the 1960s. I and my friends always played it in the key of G major, but it may well have been originally set in F.