Tom Billy’s Favourite slide
Also known as Denis Murphy’s, Dingle Regatta, Quarry Cross, Tom Billy’s, Tom Billy’s Favorite, Tom Billy’s Favourite.
There are 11 recordings of this tune.
Tom Billy’s Favourite appears in 2 other tune collections.
Tom Billy’s Favourite has been added to 4 tune sets.
Tom Billy’s Favourite has been added to 17 tunebooks.
Evident from the title, this one’s earliest name is “Tom Billy’s Favorite” as given on the Kerry Fiddles album of Patrick O‘Keeffe, Denis Murphy, and Julia Clifford (’52). Tom Billy Murphy [1975-1943] was a fiddlemaster who lived in Glencollins Upper, right outside of Ballydesmond, North Cork. Blind and lame, he was left to playing fiddle and teaching others. In his youth he learned to travel by riding a donkey and he picked a good many tunes this way from the people of the locality (Sliabh Luachra) as well as from his own instructor, Tade “O‘Grady”, who would go through the rest of North Cork coming from Tipperary to play with Tom in Ballydesmond and Knocknagree and no doubt gave him quite a few tunes, some of which were learned by O’Keeffe.
I don’t know where Tom Billy learned this particular one, but it seems to have been in demand as I know several of his pupils were taught it and it has been recorded not only by the Kerry Fiddles trio, but also Jimmy Doyle and Connie O’Connell, and later Seamus Creagh. Somehow it made its way to the Chieftans and Paddy Moloney, who in trying to teach Seán Ó Riada the tune accidently mixed the thing up and took this one’s A part, half made up the B part, and for the C part simplified the first part of the Kilcummin Slide (https://thesession.org/tunes/10855). The result was the tune that we know as the Dingle Regatta (https://thesession.org/tunes/23), loved by many and hated by more.
Unfortunately this tune seems to be tied at the hip with the Dingle Regatta, *though they are different* and
it’s quite a job to try to play this one without everyone switching tunes. Quite a shame too, because the second part of this one is lovely and leaves a lot of room for play (as Denis makes clear!)
You might play Chase Me Charlie before it or Merrily Kiss the Quaker as they do in the links below.
To hear Jimmy Doyle and Connie O’Connell give it a stab: http://friendsofsliabhluachra.tumblr.com/post/116564422697/connie-oconnell-jimmy-doyle-and-seamus#notes
To hear Padraig, Denis, and Julia turn it over: https://youtu.be/u_pZC7PebkE?t=1m21s