Mt Kisco is in NY state don’t know exactly how this tune ended up with that name. This is a Skip Healy favorite, he jokingly calls it the "Maids of Sliabh Kisco". It’s a great tune for practicing ornaments on the open A string, whether its a triplet, a cut, a roll, cran or jelly donut.
I believe it was written by Paddy Killoran, flute or fiddle player, I can’t remember which. As Will has reliably informed us, it makes a good fiddle tune, and as a dabbler in the playing of the whistle, I can tell you that it’s a great whistle tune as well. It’s one of those tunes that begs for little modest variations that even I can manage - just tweaking odd notes and leaping up into the second octave.
Maids of Monte Kisco
This is the tune that Mickie Zekley of Lark in the Morning plays on his video, How to Play the Flute in the Traditional Irish Style. He slows the tune way down and reveals the technique for the taps and rolls. He says that Mt. Kisco is "a big Irish City in New York."
This tune was recorded by the group Arcady on their album Many Happy Returns under the name Maids of Mount Cisco. It is a great session tune. I think it is also on Frankie Gavins new album, Fierce traditional under the Kisco name.
Mount Kisco is actually a small, very pleasant, *very* expensive town in the middle of Westchester county, just a little ways north of NYC. It borders on Chappaqua, the home of both Readers Digest magazine, and the Clinton’s NY residence.
I’ve never noticed that it has a particularly large Irish population. I’ve heard of a coffeehouse in town where they host traditional music concerts; perhaps that’s the origin of the name of the tune?
Mt Kisco and other areas in the Catskills where/are popular resorts for the Irish and Jewish folks in NYC - to take a trip away from the harsh world of NYC living. The East Durham Irish music fest is better known as Cutcher’s (sp) around NYC. Cutcher’s is a Jewish resort/hotel, well at least for 51 weeks of the year. Many folks who I knew in the Yonkers/Bronx have relocated to the Catskills, or their parents did. It’s the typical story… I’ll stay in the Bronx/Brooklyn etc till I get on my feet & retire in the Catskills & if I don’t do so well there’s always New Jersey. (Self proding joke as that’s where I was born). All aside it’s a good tune.
Maid of mount kisco
I asked Billy McComiskey about this tune once and this is what he told me (I hope I remember this correctly): He said it’s a very very old Sligo fiddle tune that Paddy Killoran played. Paddy was playing in a bar in Mt. Kisco, NY and was enamored with the girl bringing him his drinks so he called the tune The (Bar) Maid of Mt. Kisco after her. Great tune!
The Maids of Mount Kisco
The story I have heard, (probably untrue) is that the "Maids" part refers to the contents of an all girls school in Mount Kisco, New York. As I said, this is probably a complete lie, but makes for a good story. Bill McComiskey probably has it right.
I’ve also seen the tune attributed to John McGrath on "In Safe Hands" which is an album from young Manchester musicians (1997).
You must watch this…
good video here: The Maids of Mount Kisco is the first tune on this video
I grew up in Mt Kisco and lived there from 1955 - 1973. It was a much smaller and less diverse town during my childhood than it is now, and notably less affluent than neighboring towns.
I don’t remember any Irish culture there at all. Neither can I report that the Mount Kisco of my youth was renowned for its maids. Wealthy families sometimes had maids, and there were many elderly unmarried or widowed women in my neighborhood. My mother and grandfather grew up there and my grandmother taught school- I never heard of a girls’ school there, unless you counted the Ladies Auxiliary of Nitra, the Yeshiva academy.
I have another hypothesis.
Perhaps the Maids refer to the inmates of the notorious maximum security Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, an easy bicycle ride from Mount Kisco. The 100 + year old facility has housed many inmates who might inspire a tune or two over a pint, such as: Pamela Smart, who conspired with her teen aged lover to kill her husband; Amy Fisher, the "The Long Island Lolita" who killed her lover’s wife and later became a porn star; and Jean Harris, who murdered her lover, the author of the Scarsdale Diet.
The area was first settled because of the hops which grew naturally. There has always been beer in Mt. Kisco, which is perhaps sufficient explanation for a good tune.
Thanks for the music and the site!
The Maids of Mt. Cisco
Watch Meath fiddler Mac Dara Ó Raghallaigh play a very interesting version of the tune: http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_254_1_mac_darra_o_raghallaigh/
He is Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh’s brother.
Maids of Mt. Kisco
I too lived in Mt.Kisco (‘50-68) so I was interested in this tune’s name. I had opportunity to ask musician and music historian Mick Moloney of Green Fields of America (who recorded the tune)
about it. He told me who composed it, although I forget that bit. He said that in the early 20th century, many young women in Mt.Kisco worked in New York City 30 miles south as maids to wealthy family, hence the name.
David O’Doherty’s Favourite
Paddy Cronin calls it David O’Doherty’s Favourite on his album "Kerry’s Own Paddy Cronin".
Tommy Peoples playing the Maid of Mount Cisco (youtube)
Here’s a link to the amazing Mr. Peoples (and Paul Brady) playing The Maid of Mount Cisco and The Wise Maid (I do believe). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOTxiOPB5Qk&feature=youtu.be
is "Maids Of Mt. Kisko" as played by an unknown player on that "Flute Geezers" tape succeeding "Over The Bog Road"
(Thanks again to Rich Lafferty!)
I particularly like that EG~G2 AGBG|cGBG AGED thing in bars 3 & 4.
This is a setting for banjo based on Eddie Clarke’s version.
I have been told on good authority that the correct title is ‘The Maid of Mt Kisco’ and was written by James Morrison about his wife, who was from that area. Having been written after the time when Morrison was making records, it was recorded by Paddy Killoran in the 30s.
Donal & Michael McCague
Clare battering steps
Aiden Vaughan steppinghttp://youtu.be/6FN-rvKuBHU
A tin whistle version here
The Maid Of Mount Kisco, X:5
Common version, I heard it in lots of recording such as Lunasa or Birkin Tree
Matt Molloy and Michael Flatley………….
The Maid Of Mount Kisco, X:8
A few little changes from Brad’s first setting to make it pentatonic, omitting Cs and Fs, except in the G rolls (which could be replaced by (3GGG or (3GBG if desired).
Re: The Maid Of Mount Kisco
Played at a more easy going tempo.
Re: The Maid Of Mount Kisco
From Ballyvourney 2010 : https://youtu.be/sBG4o38-E-k
The Maid Of Mount Kisco, X:9
This setting from boxplayer Colin Kadis of Boston, USA.
Re: The Maid Of Mount Kisco
First reel here by Seamus Tansey :