The Roscommon Reel
I don’t know if I’ve ever heard this three-part reel played the same way by two different musicians unless they were in the same band, and even then people go off on all sorts of tangents.
This version is based pretty tightly on the playing of fiddler Tom Morrow on Dervish’s cd, At the End of the Day. I really like what he does with the 2nd and 6the measures of the A Part, which I’ve heard more commonly played |AF(3FFF dFAF| (and which Morrow himself falls back on as they cruise through the tune a few more times). But that |AFdF eFdF| phrase really helps set Part A apart from Part C, unlike many of the session versions I’ve heard, where it gets hard to tell which part people are one because they’re so similar.
I also like it when Morrow moves the ornaments around from on top of the beat to just after it, such as in the 3rd measure of Part B, putting the first roll on the dotted quarter note after an introductory eighth note, and then pouncing right on another roll with an eighth note following. Something similar happens in the 1st and 5th measures of Part C—a repeated phrase, but with the ornament on the beat the first time round, and then behind it, with that A eighth note starting the 5th measure. Subtle touches, but they really make the tune come alive in Morrow’s hands.
Elsewhere we’ve been talking a lot about Solas’s cd "Solas" and as I was listening to it today I was reminded that the Roscommon Reel shows up there as the last tune on track 5. They give it as "Master Crowley’s #2." In fact, Roscommon is a close relative to the tune posted in these archives as Master Crowley’s, and also tunes variously known as Patterson’s and Miss Patterson’s Slippers.
The band Beginish plays Master Crowley’s#1 and #2 in a set under the name of Miss Patterson’s Slippers.
S:Paul McGrattan - "Keelwest"
D|EFGA B2GB|AF~F2 dFAF|EFGA B2dB|AFDE FEE:|d|
eB~B2 efge|fa~a2 bfaf|eB~B2 efge|fagf efgf|
eB~B2 efge|fa~a2 bgaf|~g3e ~f3e|dBAF EFGA||
B2BA BcdB|AF~F2 BFAF|EFGA B2dB|AFDE FEED|
dBBA B2dB|AF~F2 BFAF|EFGA B2dB|AFDE FEED||
There is a great (and very fast) version of I believe this tune on an old album called "The Gathering". It’s labelled as Crowley’s Reel, Mat Molloy flute with a guitarist.
I’ve just recently heard the mountain lark reel for the first time (listed here), and the second part of the roscommon and the second part of the mountain lark seem almost identical. Anyone know if this is fluke, adoption of an extra part or what?
There is another tune which shares the almost identical second part: https://thesession.org/tunes/2594
To correct Will’s comment above, it’s not Tom Morrow but Shane McAuleer who plays this tune on the album. T. Morrow hadn’t joined the band yet.
Thanks for that, H., I don’t have the liner notes for that cd.
Will, this is a great setting whoever recorded it. And I’ve just found the fiddler is actually called Shane McAleer, not McAuleer. I did it again!
Anyway, I doubt you play the same version when you play the flute. It’s very tricky. I play the version similar to the one posted by Gian Marco.
Yep, the Paul McGratten setting fits well on flute. I’m surprised I don’t hear this one more often at sessions (unless it’s just me playing it).
This tune gets played almost every time here. I try not to overplay it, but someone else always plays it when I don’t. I like playing it after Lucy Campbell’s.
I’m currently working on this one, but playing off a recording by James Galway and the Chieftans. A bit different, but I can see the similarity and the harmony.
I love James Galway - he’s my favourite:)
The roscommon and a bit about Galway
my favourite versions are solas’ aand evergreen’s versions
in evergreen’s performance the roscommon reel is played in a set after kelly’s reel and between them is a briliant two bodharn duet the performers are Gal Shachar (violinist of the band) and Abe Doron (band’s percussionist, and riverdance’s former bodharn player).
and on another note, I love Jimmy Galway to.
(my father remembers being at Galway’s performance in Israel with the Israeli philharmonic orchestra many years ago. He remembers the encore Jimmy gave- first he played a very virtuoso piece on the tin whistle and then, when the croud was still in shock, he took out another tin whistle and played on the two of them together).
Have just heard this by Kevin Burke on "In Tandem" CD. Wonderful.
Roscommon Reel sound clips
Well, not as wonderful as Kevin’s playing, but I’ve uploaded some clips of myself playing the Roscommon Reel, walking through the basic melody and variations for each of the three parts, as played on fiddle. Here: http://www.soundlantern.com/UpdatedUser.do?UsName=willcpt&UsId=1131
what’s the name of this tune, here:
|EFGA B2BG|AGBG AGFG|EFGA B2BG|AFDE FEE2 ?
Its structure is very similar to the Roscommon Reel don’t you think?
Master Crowley’s? Seriously?
This is NOT Master Crowley’s. Unless I’ve gone deaf. And Crowley’s isn’t Master Crowley’s either.
Hughie Gillespie recorded this tune and the other Master Crowley’s as Master Crowley’s Reels in 1937.
Roscommon Reel Clip
A great version of the tune here:
Matt Molloy’s version
Here is a clip of the tune played by Matt Molloy, on the (now out of print) album, "The Gathering" that has been mentioned in the comments already. It is the second tune in the set, beginning around 1:11.
The Rollscommon, X:5
I reelcommend The Rollscommon to practice your rolls :p
The Roscommon, X:6
This is my version I use for the flute.