Sonny’s Return reel

Also known as Paddy Lynn’s Delight, The Wanderer’s Return.

There are 26 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Broken Pledge (a few times), Brucie And The Troopers (a few times), Corporal AB (a few times), King Of The Clans (a few times) and The Longford Tinker (a few times).

Sonny’s Return has been added to 6 tune sets.

Sonny's Return has been added to 123 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: Sonny's Return
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|eAAB cBAG|EGG2 AGEG|cAAB cBAG|Eccd eaag|
eAAB cBAG|EGG2 AGEG|c/2c/2deg agec|1AcBG A4:|2AcBG A3B||
|:c2ec gcec|c2eg aged|c2ec gcec|d2ed cAAB|
c2ec gcec|c2eg agea|ac'ba gedc|EAAG A4:|
# Added .
X: 2
T: Sonny's Return
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
fBBc dcBA|F~A3 BAFE|FBBc dcBc|defa bafe|
fBBc dcBA|F~A3 BAFA|1 defa bafe|dBBA ~B3 b:|2 defa bafe|dBBA ~B3 c||
d2fd adfe|d2fa bafe|d2fd adfd|effe dBBc|
d2fd adfe|d2fa bafe|1 fbba affe|dBBA ~B3 c:|2 fbba affe|dBBA ~B3 b||
X: 3
T: Sonny's Return
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
d|eAAB cBAG|EG~G2 AGEd|eAAB cBAB|cdeg aged|
eAAB cBAG|EG~G2 AGEG|cdeg aged|cABG A3:|
B|c2ec Gced|cdeg aged|c2ec Gcec|d2ed cAAB|
c2ec Gced|cdeg aged|eaag ~e3d|cABG A3:|
X: 4
T: Sonny's Return
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmin
||:Bc|dGGA BAGF|D~F3 GFDF|G2Ac BAGB|(3ABc dc c2 gf|
dGGA BAGF|D~F3 GFDF|1 GABd gfdc|BcAF ~G2:|2 GABd gfdc|BcAF ~G2 Ac||
B2fB gBfB|B2df gbfd|B2fB gBfB|ccdc BGGA|
B2fB gBfB|Bcdf g2 gf|1 gbag fdcA|DGGF G2 Ac:|2 gbag fdcA|DGGF G2||
X: 5
T: Sonny's Return
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: eA ~A2 cBAG | EG ~G2 AGEG | eA ~A2 cBAB | cded eaag |
eA ~A2 cBAG | EG ~G2 AGEG | cdeg agec | AcBG A4 :|
|: ~c2 gc acgc | cdeg aege | ~c2 gc acgc | ~d2 ed cAAB |
~c2 gc acgc | cdeg agea | gc'ba gedB | AcBG A4 :|
X: 6
T: Sonny's Return
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:BEEF GFED|BDD2 EDBD|GEEF GFED|BGGA Beed|
BEEF GFED|BDD2 EDBD|GABd edBG|1EGFD E4:|2EGFD E3F||
|:G2BG dGBG|G2 (3Bcd edBA|G2 BG dGBG|A2BA GEEF|
G2BG dGBG|G2 (3Bcd edBA|egfe dBAG|BEED E4:||
# Added by JACKB .

Twenty-two comments

I learned this from ‘Keiran Hanrahan Plays the Irish Tenor Banjo’ and notice it was one of the few tunes from that album not yet posted so thought I would share.

Posted .

Bmin Version

Here is this tune in Bmin Key:
X:1
T:Paddy Lynn’s Delight
M:4/4
R:reel
K:Bmin
fBBc dcBA|F~A3 BAFE|FBBc dcBc|defa bafe|
fBBc dcBA|F~A3 BAFA|1 defa bafe|dBBA ~B3 b:|2 defa bafe|dBBA ~B3 c||
d2fd adfe|d2fa bafe|d2fd adfd|effe dBBc|
d2fd adfe|d2fa bafe|1 fbba affe|dBBA ~B3 c:|2 fbba affe|dBBA ~B3 b||

Sonny’s Return

Having heard June McCormack’s beautiful interpretation of the tune on the radio, I invented my own version of it by mixing her version and Paul McGrattan’s. Something like this:

K: Ador
d|eAAB cBAG|EG~G2 AGEd|eAAB cBAB|cdeg aged|
eAAB cBAG|EG~G2 AGEG|cdeg aged|cABG A3:|
B|c2ec Gced|cdeg aged|c2ec Gcec|d2ed cAAB|
c2ec Gced|cdeg aged|eaag ~e3d|cABG A3:|

The low G’s in the second part make the tune more playable and nicer on the flute, I think.

Origin of the name ‘Paddy Lynn’s Delight’

Joe Burke’s comment at http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/paddy_lynns_delight/


I recorded this tune in 1965 on an album called “A Tribute to Michael Coleman “ which featured Andy McGann Felix Dolan and Myself. I have no idea now where I got the tune . When it came to listing the tracks there were a few tunes we could not find titles for. Paddy Lynn RIP was a bus driver in New York and a great lover of the music. He came from Co Mayo .The recording was done in” Broadway Recording Studio” on November 4 1965 and Paddy was with us to provide some support and refreshments. Someone suggested the title for this lovely tune and it is known as Paddy Lynn"s Delight ever since. May Paddy and the good people who created the tune rest in peace. Joe Burke.

I just did an attempt at transcribing John Carty’s version, though he plays it differntly every time through
X:1
T:Paddy Lynn’s Delight
M:4/4
R:reel
K:Gmin
||:Bc|dGGA BAGF|D~F3 GFDF|G2Ac BAGB|(3ABc dc c2 gf|
dGGA BAGF|D~F3 GFDF|1 GABd gfdc|BcAF ~G2:|2 GABd gfdc|BcAF ~G2 Ac||
B2fB gBfB|B2df gbfd|B2fB gBfB|ccdc BGGA|
B2fB gBfB|Bcdf g2 gf|1 gbag fdcA|DGGF G2 Ac:|2 gbag fdcA|DGGF G2||

There’s no e’s in the tune so the Eflat doesn’t really matter.

Origin of the name Sonny’s Return

The tune was composed in the 1940s by George Rowley (Leitrim, fiddle) & Ned Stapelton (Dublin, flute) in honour of Sonny Brogan upon his return to Dublin from England.

I suspect this article was written by one of Brogan’s relatives: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Brogan (look at the 1930s & 1940s section, 2nd paragraph)

A member of my family (a Rowley) tells the same story about the tune. Funny, I have that Kieran Hanrahan album and have played it to death at this stage and never realised my grandfather had co-written one of the tunes on it until last week!

This tune is recorded on "The Music of Ed Reavy" as one of his own compositions, titled "In Memory of Coleman"…Which is why it would also be recorded on "A Tribute to Michael Coleman"…Which is why Sonny Brogan would have played the tune, being a great admirer of Coleman, to the point of having been attributed as the composer.

Reavy tunes crossed and recrossed the Atlantic, and he shared his tunes freely, so that it would have been very easy to cause confusion as to who composed some of his tunes…And this is a great tune! Everyone should have this one in their repertoire!

After re-reading the liner notes from "The Music of Ed Reavy", I would mention that Mick Moloney says that Michael Coleman stayed with Ed Reavy at his home in Phila., and Ed, the Legend, visited Michael Coleman in NY. These great fiddlers were well acquainted…And so, the memorial.

Not true…

This tune is not on the "Music of Ed Reavy" tribute recording as far as I recall. No reason why it should be, if it was composed by Messrs Rowley & Stapleton, as stated above. Someone has given it the wrong title. Did you listen to the Reavy recording before commenting, "c.smitty" ?

Posted by .

Yes, indeed, I did. As I said before, Reavy tunes crossed and recrossed the Atlantic. I will quote Mr. Mick Moloney from the liner notes, "Many of the players couldn’t remember where they learned the tunes." And again, "There is overwhelming evidence that most singers and musicians in most folk cultures use, consciously, a whole host of formulaic devices and improvisations …"

It would not be unthinkable for a musician to play this tune in the ubiquitous key a Dmajor instead of Gminor, which is the key of the Reavy composition.

That is an interesting story above…I wonder who got the tune from whom. I have not heard the Kieran Hanrahan recording.

I already knew this tune as Paddy Lynn’s Delight. I was listening to "The Music of Ed Reavy" and thought I was hearing Paddy Lynn’s Delight and wondered if Reavy composed PDL , and checked the track listing, to find it was "In Memory of Coleman".

I would also like to say that, if I was to play this tune in a session, I would refer to it as "Paddy Lynn’s Delight" because of the key and the few bar differences. Since I live close to Reavy country, I will learn this tune from the Reavy Collection, on the Bflat whistle, and refer to it as "In Memory of Reavy"…But I will play both as close as possible to Paddy Cronin’s version.

Funny thing, Michael Copeland spent this last weekend at our home. I played "The Music of Ed Reavy" cd and when "In Memory of Coleman" played he asked, "What tune is that? I think I know that one." He taught it to me as Paddy Lynn’s Delight.

Wrong….

2 different tunes. This reel, as posted here, is not on the Ed Reavy LP. Never has been.

Posted by .

Listen closely. Different keys, same basic melodies with some inverted bars. In the ‘50’s, when one would have heard a tune, say, on the radio, or a record, it would be learned via what was heard, most likely. On a D whistle, In Memory of Coleman, as played by Paddy Cronin, would have come out similar to this tune.

Kenny’s right, obviously. They are completely different tunes.

Correction to comments of 2/18…I will refer to the tune as played on the Bflat whistle as "In Memory of Coleman".

I respect and appreciate the opinions of others and acknowledge the distinctions between the two versions as noted above.

Can anyone post a version of "In Memory of Coleman" which is suitable for the D whistle, similar to Paddy Cronin’s version, which is different from this tune, under the comments for that tune? It is not whistle friendly, as a number of Reavy tunes are not, being even somewhat difficult on the Bflat whistle.

I’d be interested to see that/play that.

Recordings of George “Rawley” Rowley

George can be heard playing this at the Comhaltas Archives. The title given there is Wanderer’s Return.

Posted by .

“Paddy Lynn’s Delight” ~ Bulmer & Sharpley

X: 5
T: Paddy Lynn’s Delight
B: "Music From Ireland, Volume Three", Bulmer & Sharpley, page 15, tune #43
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: ADor
|: eA ~A2 cBAG | EG ~G2 AGEG | eA ~A2 cBAB | cded eaag |
eA ~A2 cBAG | EG ~G2 AGEG | cdeg agec | AcBG A4 :|
|: ~c2 gc acgc | cdeg aege | ~c2 gc acgc | ~d2 ed cAAB |
~c2 gc acgc | cdeg agea | gc’ba gedB | AcBG A4 :|

"Music From Ireland, Volume Three"
Dave Bulmer & Neal Sharpley, 1976
ISBN: 0-9503784-4-5

I play both tunes; they are different and not even closely related.