T: Harry Lawson's
egdB A2 Bd|e2 ed efga|gedB BABd|egdB BAAB|
egdB A2 Bd|e2 ed efga|gedB BABd|egdB BA A2|
aA A2 cdef|geeg ageg|aA A2 cded eged BA A2|
aA A2 cdef|g2 eg ageg|aA A2 cded eged BA A2|
Harry Lawson's has been added to 18 tunebooks.
This is a reel I found at the end of an old cassette tape a few weeks ago. It must have been recorded in the late 1970s, and I’d forgotten all about it. There are several tunes played on whistle by Harry Lawson, accompanied by Dave Rattray on bouzouki. Last I’d heard, Dave was playing and making fiddles in London. Some of you Londoners might have come across him. I’ve known Harry since about 1973, when he was a student in Aberdeen, , and I would think johnJ and michael gill would know him because he’s been a regular session player in “Sandy Bell’s” for the last 20 years or so. Harry started off as a very good Highland piper, moved to whistle and uilleann pipes, took up fiddle, played some “old-timey” 5-string banjo, and I seem to remember, he went to China, and took up the “erhu”. He’s good on them all.
I have no information on this tune. It may even be one of Harry’s own compositions. To me, it sounds very Northern Irish, and for some reason, I’m thinking “Fermanagh”. Can anyone familiar with Northern/Fermanagh tunes identify it? “LongNote”? “Sharon the flute”? – any ideas? I’ll change the title if someone can identify it, but until then, Harry gets the credit, as he’s the only person I’ve ever heard play it.
Yes, Harry is still on the go. I saw him just the other week in The Black Swan session in Leith. I’m sure he still plays in Bells too. It’s just that I’m not up there as much these days.
I’m not from Fermanagh, but this tune really sounds familar. I might have heard it in my previous life somewhere in the north.
Never heard this tune before but the first part is close to the first part of Cathal McConnell’s “The Piper’s Broken Finger” but then it goes off on its own in the B part. Maybe Cathal or Harry was unconsciously rewriting the other’s tune.
Reminds me of this:
egdB A2 AG|EA A2 ABcd|egdB ABAG|EGGF GABd|
and so on
Yeah, the first part is similar to that of Dan Breen’s (aka. West Clare Reel): https://thesession.org/tunes/999 Also compare The Shepherd’s Daughter, or John Doherty’s version of Merry Sister of Fate: https://thesession.org/tunes/1313 But, they’re different tunes: especially Dan Breen’s doesn’t sound like a Nortern tune.
I’m pretty sure I heard *this* tune with the conspicuous second part somewhere before. I might have heard it played on Culan or The Late Session. Or it might have been Harry Bradley or John Lee who played it just in front of me.
Kenny, from our days Busking together on the streets of Dublin, I remember Harry playing two of his owen compositions, “Pi**ing through a Letterbox” & “The Little Shower of Snow” & this sounds to me, very much like the latter?
Just posted the “source” recording on “Youtube” - audio only :
“Ptarmigan” should recognise the faces in the photo 🙂
Aye Kenny, weel kent faces there, fur sure.