The Destitution reel

Also known as The Ground Plan, John Stevenson’s No. 1, Trundle’s, Trundles.

There are 11 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Destitution has been added to 8 tune sets.

The Destitution has been added to 119 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: The Destitution
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
DE~E2 cAB2|dcBc ABGA|DE~E2 cAB2|AG~F2 ABB2|
DE~E2 cAB2|dcBc ABGA|E2(3FGA G2Ac|BAFA BEE2||
Bede bege|Be~e2 fga2|Bede bege|BcBA GAFA|
Bede bege|Be~e2 fga2|bc'ba gfed|BcBA GAFA||
X: 2
T: The Destitution
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|: E2 BE cEBE | dcBc ABGA | (3EEE BE cEBc | AGFG AdBG |
| D~E3 cEBE | dcBc ABGF | EB{d}BA GBFB |1 AGFA BEED :|
|2 AGFA BEEA ||
|: Bede bege | Bede fg a2 | Bede bege | BcBA GEEA |
| Bede bege | Bede fg a2 | bgaf gfed |1 BdAc BEEA :|
|2 edBA GAFG ||
# Added .
X: 3
T: The Destitution
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
A,2EA, GA,EA,|GFEF DECB,|A,2EA, GA,EA,|DCB,C DGEC|
A,2EA, GA,EA,|GFEF DECB,|A,EED CEB,E|DCB,C DGEC:|
EDGA eABA|EDGA Bcd2|EDGA eABA|EFED EA,A,2|
EDGA eABA|EDGA Bcd2|ecdB cABG|EFED EA,A,2:|
X: 4
T: The Destitution
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:E2BE dEBE|dcBc AcBG|E2BE dEBE|AGFG AcBG|
E2BE dEBE|dcBc AcBG|EGFA GBAc|BAFG E3D:||
|:Be e2 Bege|Be e2 fg a2|Be e2 Bege|BcBA BEE2|
Be e2 Bege|Be e2 fg a2|bgaf gefd|BcBA BEED:||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 5
T: The Destitution
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:A2eA gAeA|gfef dfec|A2eA gAeA|dcBc dfec|
A2eA gAeA|gfef dfec|AcBd cedf|edBc A3G:||
|:EA A2 EAcA |EA A2 Bc d2|EA A2 EAcA |efed eA A2|
EA A2 EAcA|EA A2 Bc d2|ecdB cABG |efed eAAG:||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 6
T: The Destitution
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
|:B2fB aBfB|agfg egfd|B2fB aBfB|edcd egfd|
B2fB aBfB|agfg egfd|Bdce dfeg|fecd B3A:||
|:FB B2 FBdB |FB B2 cd e2|FB B2 FBdB |fgfe fB B2|
FB B2 FBdB|FB B2 cd e2|fdec dBcA |fgfe fBBA:||
# Added by JACKB .

Thirteen comments

I believe this tune is from a practice tape of Ceasar Pacifici and Eileen Ivers playing together in a band called ‘Ground Plan.’ This would be many years back, in New Jersey, if I am not mistaken. I originally learned the tune from fiddle player Skip Parente. I’m sorry my details are so sketchy. It’s a lovely tune played slowly after an air, and it seems to work well before ‘A Trip To Pakistan’ ( I usually work the tempo up slowly for ‘A Trip to Pakistan’).

Title and Composer

This tune is the work of Ian Stevenson, an English singer, mandolin player and maker of excellent tunes and curries. I played a lot with Ian in the 80s when he was living in the north of Ireland. He eventually took off for Wales but I had a few tunes and pints with him 4 years ago when he was back in Ireland on a visit. Ever the rambler, he is now in France and involved in the wine trade or something like that. He is still playing the odd gig. Composed during a period of extended penury, Ian christened the tune "The Destitution". Later, when finances had improved slightly, he added a follow-up called "From Rags to Riches". Another one of his tunes, named for the (mis)adventure of a fellow musician while on tour in Holland was named "The Hoor on the House Boat".

Good stuff, Longnote. I too know this one as the Destitituon Reel. It’s amazing that Stevenson’s tunes and even titles travel so well, all the way to Montana (and no doubt well beyond)…apparently a chip off the old block.

Posted .

The Destitution

Will, I am sure Ian would be quite amazed that his evocative, melancholy little tune has made it all the way to Montana. And no doubt beyond. Though, as you might expect, not quite as I play it. A rambling tune from a rambling man, indeed. It was probably composed in the late 70s. I used to play "From Rags to Riches" (after "The D", of course, as Ian did) and "The Hoor on the House Boat" and at least one other of his compositions, but they have long faded from memory. They didn’t catch on in quite the same way. And I used to have a copy of the manuscript of another — wherever that has gone. I believe the Reverend Gary Hastings, the great Belfast flute player and Church of Ireland rector in Westport, may claim a large measure of credit for having brought the tune into circulation in Ireland. He used to play it a lot and and even was in a band with Ian for a while. They shared a flat where we had some of his marvellous curries. I learned the tune directly from Gary and there was a time when barely any one knew it outside of a group of us who used to meet on weekends for sessions in the Harbour (best) Bar (in Ireland), Portrush, county Antrim. It is indeed a wonderfully mysterious process by which the music spreads. I was fortunate enough to meet up with my old pal Ciaran Curran recently. He has produced a CD with Gary and the great Fermanagh fiddler / piano player Fr. Seamus Quinn. I wonder if any of Ian’s tunes made it onto the recording.

The Destitution - version in Amin

T:Destitution, The
M:4/4
L:1/8
S:Gerry O’Connor & Eithne N

For variety’s sake, here’s how I learned the tune, though I can’t recall from whom.

T:Destitution Reel, The
M:4/4
L:1/8
C:Ian Stephenson
K:Em
|: E2 BE cEBE | dcBc ABGA | (3EEE BE cEBc | AGFG AdBG |
| D~E3 cEBE | dcBc ABGF | EB{d}BA GBFB |1 AGFA BEED :|
|2 AGFA BEEA ||
|: Bede bege | Bede fg a2 | Bede bege | BcBA GEEA |
| Bede bege | Bede fg a2 | bgaf gfed |1 BdAc BEEA :|
|2 edBA GAFG ||

Posted .

The Destitution Reel

Hello Everybody,
A good friend found all this information and sent
the address to me fo which many thanks. First of all I would like to
contact LongNote as he or she must know me quite well, I didn’t
actually make many curries in that particular appartment. I do
however remember the Rev. Gary Hastings and I buying 5 kilos
of potatoes to make chips the day we received our dole cheque…
This tune I wrote around 1974 and was indeed
called the "Destitution", it has appeared on several other records
including "Chuck Fleming and ?(his name I have sadly forgotten)
and more recently on a CD called "Airla" a very nice group based
in Switzerland and led by one of my old cronies,Joe Mchugh, one
of Derry’s four great pipers.(the others being Joe McLoughlin,
Finbarr McLoughlin and Brian Stafford.)
If anybody is interested in any of my other
compositions,I would be very happy to oblige them. There are
several new ones from the last couple of years which I personally
like a lot.
Also I’m trying to find two tunes which I have lost
completely over the years…. One was called "Mutton Island" and
the other "The Red Dwarf", both reels. Here’s hoping…..

All my best to all musicians

Ian Stevenson

I learned this tune from Ged Foley (the Amin setting) last December.He learned the tune from Tommy Trundles and calls it Trundles.

The Destituion … Ged’s setting

Here is the Amin setting Ged gave us…

X: 1
T:Trundles
N:Taught by Ged Foley at a Riley School workshop, Dec. 2004. Ged told us he got this tune from Tommy Trundle.
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:reel
K:Am
A,2EA, GA,EA,|GFEF DECB,|A,2EA, GA,EA,|DCB,C DGEC|
A,2EA, GA,EA,|GFEF DECB,|A,EED CEB,E|DCB,C DGEC:|
EDGA eABA|EDGA Bcd2|EDGA eABA|EFED EA,A,2|
EDGA eABA|EDGA Bcd2|ecdB cABG|EFED EA,A,2:|

The Ground Plan

Regarding the alternate title of The Ground Plan for this tune, here’s an email I received from Andi Leahy:

"I am Andi Leahy (fiddler), co-founder of the Irish band, Ground Plan, with my sister, Fionnghuala Leahy (flute) in the late 80’s. We also had Eileen Ivers and Caesar Pacifici in the band. I noticed the tune, The Destitution, which we introduced in the US and recorded, is also known as the Ground Plan. I’m very glad to hear that, as it was one of my favorites and one of our signature cuts. Although Eileen recorded it later, its origins are from the Leahy sisters, Ground Plan. Thank you for honoring that! A revival is in the air."

Ay ay ay!

Isn’t A part just the riff from the Ozzy Osbourne song "Crazy Train"?

Ian Stevenson

I had the great fortune to be taught the mandolin by Ian Stevenson in the late 1970’s in Paddy Rice’s music shop in Derry.. I am glad to hear he is till active and will have to relearn this tune of his. He was also famous for the jig "The Odd Man" which combined versions of two other tunes inluding the jig version of the Bank of Ireland.

Milo Crossn

Re: The Destitution

William Coulter has a lovely version of this tune, as The Ground Plan, in finger-style guitar on his Celtic Crossing CD. He also published (Mel Bay) a book with standard notation and tablature for the tunes on that CD.

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