This reel was written by Billy McComiskey and Brendan Mulvihill back in the day when they were both members of the band The Irish Tradition in Washington DC. That would be the late 1970s/early 1980s, when the Tradition was a fixture in The Dubliner pub on Capitol Hill. The Dubliner is located on the ground floor level of a hotel that was then called the Commodore. The hotel and the pub are both still there, but now the hotel is called the Phoenix Park.
I heard this for the first time at a session a few days ago and tried to look it up when I got home. I think your transcription of this is the only one available on the net at the moment. Smashing tune.
I believe Martin Mulhaire might’ve had an influence in the creation of this tune as well. It sure is a good one! Davy Spillane plays a crazy version on "Shadow Hunter."
The Making Of…
Apparently Billy had written pretty much all of the tune but wasn’t happy with it. He played it for Brendan and Brendan said something like "why not make that an F natural?" which is the the "hook" of the tune. So Brendan really only wrote one note of the tune, but it was the right one!!!
I really love this tune! Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Patrick.
I’ve been playing this tune backwards! I was taught it with the B part first. Great tune though either way.
Claire Mann plays the B part first on her CD, "Claire Mann." But I’ve always heard it (seldom, at that) with the A part first. That way the part with the ‘hook’ comes where it should.
There seems to be a decade-old mistake in the second bar of the turn in the only setting posted here so far. The D in that bar should surely be a C natural: e~=c3 CEGc (no need to repeat the natural signs within a bar) and not: e~=c3 DEGc.
While I don’t have a recording of Billy McComiskey playing the tune, I do have a field recording of his son Sean playing it, and he plays a very emphatic C. D makes no musical sense whatever and is surely the result of the contributor’s being a whistle player. But to play the tune on whistle or flute it would make more sense to play something like: e~=c3 GEGc (the second C being natural of course).
The rest of the transcription is very close to what Sean McComiskey plays on the recording I have.
X:2 from a recording of Sean McComiskey c. 2004.
love this tune
I’ve had the pleasure of playing this tune many times with a wonderful fiddler in California. On bouzouki I played partial melody in the A part, and/or a descending line against an open drone from ‘A’ to ‘D’. Then the B part of the tune really sends me. Its one of those melodies that simultaneously instantly evokes and inspires beautiful chordal work and at once is utterly elusive and mysterious to me. I am excited to study it now that I’ve found it here. I think she played a bit of a simplified version for the A part of the tune, but having listened to the two versions here (albeit midi-wise), I’ll contend that there was no love lost there for this tune’s awesome joyful wonderfilled beauty. She nailed this tune, along with many others, to my heart.