The tune is played on a Bb flute on the Lunasa recording which was the source for this transcription. The key choice here merely reflects the tune as played on concert D whistle or pipes.
Shouldnt it be a little slower than a reel?
I think it’s a "slow reel", of which there are a few examples. It’s also a version of a Scottish tune called "Hoch Hey Johnny Lad". An attractive tune, in my opinion.
It’s a slow reel if you play it slow, but it’s a fast reel if you play it fast.
Unless by ‘slow’ they are not meaning tempo… :-/
I’ve heard a few tunes described as slow reels, and played in the same manner. Sure, you could play any reel slowly, but there are some tunes which seem to lend themselves to that treatment. "Lord Drummond" as played by the Tannahill Weavers, for example, or "Jerry O’Sullivan’s" as played by Lunasa. I once heard the fine Irish fiddler Tim O’Leary play a great tune, one of his own compositions, which he introduced as a slow reel. Wish I could remember that one.
By the way, "Lord Drummond" mentioned above would go quite nicely with "Jerry O’Sullivan’s" in a set. If it’s not here already, I’ll post it.
Some ‘reels’ were composed with ‘slow’ in mind, "Poor But Happy at 53" being on…
Nigel, if you find the link to "Jerry O’Sullivan’s" or post it, please add the link here…
THIS is the page for Jerry O’Sullivan’s, ceolachan - unless I’m not understanding you…
Submitted on July 21st 2006 by nigelg.
Duh! ~ It’s been a long day…
If you play this one slowly what you’ll probably end up with is a fling, not really a slow reel.
Poor But Happy at 53 might sound nice slow. I’ve only ever heard it played at normal reel pace in sessions.
So yeah. A reel is slow if you play it slow, fast if you play it fast.
Dow, you should listen to Lunasa playing this tune along with "The Dimmers" (https://thesession.org/tunes/2624) - to my ears it’s heavenly.
The Lasses of the Ferry
I was just looking through a copy of "Hamilton’s Universal Tunebook Book 2" (1853) and came across a tune called "The Lasses of the Ferry":
T: Lasses of the Ferry, The
z | G2 G>B A>GA>B | G>ED>E A<A A2 |
G2 G>B A>GA>B | G>ED>E G<G G :|
d | d>eg>B A>GA>B | d>eg>B A<A A2 |
d>eg>B A>GA>B | G>ED>E G<G G :|
It has the annotation: "Tannahill’s song ‘O hey, Johnnie lad’ is sung to a slightly altered set of this air."
Lads of Saltcoats
Another name and another setting:
T:Lads of Saltcoats
S:Book, Walsh Country Dances (1760)
N:Transposed from A for comparison
G3 B AGAB | GEDE A/A/A A2 | G3 B AGAB | GEDE G/G/G G2 :|
de/f/ gB AGAB | de/f/ gB A/A/A A2 | de/f/ gB AGAB | GEDE G/G/G G2 :|