Composed by ‘the late’ Mick O’Connor, a Paragon of virtue, still seen with his banjo and without a pint at sessions in the leafy suburbs of Southwest London.
Version of Mick O’Connor’s reel
Mountainy, is this the version of this tune that you play yourself?
Myself, I find it here evolved beyond recognition. It’s quite charming and fruity, but I really wouldn’t say it bore any relationship to how the man himself would play it. I suppose it’s a bit like the process of speciation in nature - when is a species *not* a species?!
Do we have the facility on this site to submit alternative versions under the same name (as opposed to submitting alternative names to the same tune)?
Bally - to answer your second question, yes you can post an abc of your version right here in the comments section.
In answer to your first question - I don’t actually play the it. I heard it on the Dervish recording and read the sleeve notes. I don’t own the CD myself and have never got round to learning the tune. Also, as far as I remember, I have never heard Mick O’Connor play it, so I can’t comment on the similarity or otherwise of this setting to his own version. But it is highly probably that the Dervish lads have put their own spin on it.
Source of this tune
This tune wasn’t composed by Mick O’Connor. It was recorded by Johnny Connolly and Brian McGrath on the album ‘Dreaming up the Tunes’ as the 3rd track entitled ‘Mick O’Connors Reels’ The second tune on this track is composed by Mick, but this is the first tune. I spoke to Mick about it a while back, and I think I remember him saying he got it from, and thought it was composed by one of the Dwyers from Berehaven in West Cork, possibly Mick Dwyer, who played the Whistle in a pub on Fulham Broadway (I think it was the Kings head)..
Just doing a check here because I’m about to post another "Mick O’Connor’s". What you have to remember is that Mick O’Connor is quite a common name in Ireland. I can think of 3 who are musicians - the banjo-playing Mick who famously recorded with Paddy Carty, the Dublin flute-playing Mick who played with the "Castle Ceili Band", and recorded with Charlie Lennon, and Gerry "Banjo" ‘s brother who plays the box. Difficult to know which [ if any ] of them are being quoted as sources on CD/LP sleeve notes unless they are specific about it.
emt, that’s very strange what you say, as I’ve heard Mick playing it a few times, also IN ANSWER to requests for M O’C’s reel. Surely he’d have denied it was his, being Mr. Honest himself? I used to know Mick fairly well having played in the same sessions for a number of years in the 80’s and 90’s. I’m confused now.
Kenny, the Mick in question is indeed the NW London-based banjo-playing Mick.
I have also heard Mick O’Connor play this tune, and he usually follows it with his own composition "Mick O’Connor’s". On that occasion he seemed to emphasis that he had written the 2nd tune implying to me that the first one was not his own. He called the tune Mike Dywer’s
Mick O’Connor’s, X:2
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