The Liffey Banks
This is the second of two tunes in the set by Mike and Mary Rafferty from The Road From Ballinakill, as described in my comments under The Fox on the Prowl.
The Liffey Banks has never stunned me with its melody line, but the Raffertys’ version is more playable than most. On flute, Mike rolls the opening G of the first measure ( |~G3F GBdB| ) every time he comes back to it, though it’s played as written the very first time. They also play the B Part only once each time through, despite playing the A Part twice. So they do it: AABAAB To my tastes, this makes the tune a little easier on the ears since that B part is so repititve to begin with.
Mary’s accordion covers what Mike is doing on flute for that long c in the 2nd and 6th measures of the A part. C natural is not an easy note to roll on flute (though some players manage it), so he may be simply holding it for the dotted quarter not count, or "tapping" it. The roll works find on fiddle, or you could play |cBce g2 dc| for that measure.
I heard Mike and Mary in person some years ago at a music festival, and again at an after-hours session of a half dozen flutes and Brendan Begley (of Beginish fame) on button box. All of the flute players deferred to Mr. Rafferty as he swung through tune after tune in his lively but always sweet and understated East Galway style. They HAD to defer on some tunes because he and Mary were the only ones that knew them—a repertoire passed down from his father, Tom Rafferty of Ballinakill.
I prefer the B-part played twice in this one, ending |dedc Bdef| the 1st time. It doesn’t have to sound repetitive if you play enough variations.
The Liffey Banks
From 1967, Julia Clifford, Denis Murphy, Paddy Moloney and Des Mulkere.
2 excellent banjo versions
One can be heard on Brian McGrath’s "Pure Banjo" album and an even better version can be heard here:
The video is what I’d call "subpar" but the audio is spot on. The Liffey Banks starts about 30 seconds in. The last tune in the set is McFadden’s Handsome Daughter. Not sure what the 1st and 3rd ones are tho.
The Liffey Banks, X:3
From Michael Coleman’s old record, transcribed by David Lyth in his Irish Fiddle Styles book, Vol. 1. I’ve left out graces and bowing here, also "Version 2" which he only included the first part of.
The Liffey Banks, X:4
This version from the clip posted above of Denis and Julia Murphy from Lisheen, Gneevguilla, Co. Kerry. It’s lovely to hear the settings that they had for tunes, particularly from Denis. His version of the Morning Star, as well as numerous other session favorites that have been paved over and ironed out on the way to quicker learning and speed, are true gems and we are lucky to have access to them today.