Written by Danny Noveck. I first heard this tune from the New England contradance band Wild Asparagus.
Is this Danny’s original concept?
Altan have recorded a reel called after and attributed to a Mayo box player Mike Hoban, which sounds not unlike this.
Contra Dance Tune
This tune is enjoying a resurgence in the contra repetoire. I think I’ve heard it at nearly every dance I’ve been to this summer.
Another great take on it is from the Seattle band KGB on their recording "Volga Notions".
Formerly known as "The Ballad of Fred and Wilma", but subsequently legitimized by giving it a more "traditional" sounding name. However, the creek in question is in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, not County Sligo, Ireland. Danny mentioned that he was trying to channel the spirit of Tommy Peoples when he came up with this tune.
The source of Sligo Creek
A clarification: I was talking to Danny the other day and he said that actually the Tommy Peoples connection just has to do with the way he plays the tune (leading off with a Peoples-esque jittery cran on the F#), and he wasn’t actually thinking of anything in particular when he wrote it.
I’m sure there are some tune-makers who start with some image or place they want to evoke, and then try to build the tune around that, but I suspect the best tunes come when the mind is essentially a blank slate. In a good way, of course!