Old Monaghan Twig
My thanks to Jeremy for allowing me to re-post this tune.
The story of the 2 "Monaghan Twigs" goes as follows.
The tune which is already in the database as "The Monaghan Twig", I learned many years ago from one of my favourite recordings, "Is It Yourself", by James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien and Daithi Sproule. It has since been recorded many times , and is now well established as a session favourite.
This tune however is quite different, and not nearly as well-known. The only thing the two tunes have in common is their key signature and two words of the name. This reel came from a recording I have of an un-named flute-player at the Willie Clancy week sometime in the 80s. I taught this tune to a flute-playing friend, who had the opportunity to ask the late Frankie Kennedy about it, and he told her it was an older version - possibly the original - of the tune played today as "The Monaghan Twig". Indeed, Fermanagh musicians referred to it as "The Old Monaghan Twig". This is also the name given to it by Desi Wilkinson on the last recording by "Cran". The two tunes are very different - so different that for years I was not aware of any connection between the two until Frankie Kennedy mentioned it. Desi has Eddie Duffy as his source for this particular version.
really like this tune. feels great when it goes down onto that G.
Old monaghan twig
The more common Monaghan Twig is kind of a recomposition of Paddy O’Brien’s. It is based on the old version. I have known Paddy for over 20 years and he loves to reconfigure tunes. He has done so with numerous lesser known tunes and even composed additional parts to a few. The"old" Monaghan Twig was actually a much more common session tune through much of the 1970s. I first heard it and taped it at a wild session in Buncrana in about ‘78 from the playing of Belfast fiddler, Deirdre Shannon and subsequently learned it from her. It is still much better known in sessions in Ireland especially in the North than it is on this side of the Atlantic.
The Monaghan Twig
I finally found the session recording I had made from which I learned the "old" Monaghan Twig. It was indeed Deirdre Shannon playing with Belfast flute player, Leon Agnew. What a mighty session it was some 30+ years ago. Desi Wilkinson who currently teaches at University College in Limerick is also from Belfast so it makes sense that he had this version as well. I agree the tunes a different but remember, Paddy recomposed it basically from this version. The older version has that ‘Northern’ sound.
You’re a bit out of touch with Desi’s whereabouts, unless he’s gone back to Limerick in the last 2 months. When I met up with him earlier this year, he was surprised himself to think that he’s been teaching at the traditional music course in Newcastle for nearly 4 years now. 🙂
The Old Monaghan Twig
This is the 1st gan ainm tune on track 10 of Emer Mayock’s "Merry Bits Of Timber" https://thesession.org/recordings/display/913. That setting is:
T: Old Monaghan Twig
D: Emer Mayock - Merry Bits of Timber (track 10)
cA (3Bcd cAGB|Ad~d2 e2ed|cA (3Bcd caag|efge d2ed|
cA (3Bcd cAGB|Ad~d2 efed|cA (3Bcd caag|efge d2 (3Bcd||
eaag deed|(3Bcd ef ~g2fg|eaag efge|afge d3g|
eaag deed|(3Bcd ef g2fg|ea~a2 ea~a2|g2ge deed||
Also reminds me of mixo versions of Scotch Mary, esp. in the 2nd part.
As played by Seán Keane & Noel Keane on "Muintir Chatháin", Dublin: Gael Linn, 1985, reissued on CD (https://thesession.org/recordings/3871).
Can’t find this tune in Holohan, on The Session, on irishtune.info, in the Traditional Tune Archive, or any other obvious location. TunePal couldn’t match it either, so I’m confident this is not a duplication.
Re: Paddy Fahy’s
Sorry to say but this is "The Old Monaghan Twig" https://thesession.org/tunes/2392
The Old Monaghan Twig, X:5 (“Eddie Curran’s Monaghan Twig”)
Learned it from Altan on "The Poison Glen". Love this mighty tune and was about to post it as a new entry. Good thing I searched "Twig" and came up with this. 🙂
Shannon Heaton plays this on "The Blue Dress", track 10, 3rd tune, calling it "Eddie Duffy’s". I suspect she’s taken liberties with the melody as it diverges both from Altan’s version (X: 5) and from the other settings posted above. I may be wrong and her setting may be closer to the original source, but I suspect not.