Green Fields of America
I first heard this on a Michael Coleman 78 where he paired this with the "Swallowtail Reel". While some sets Coleman recorded have become standards this set is not as common.
To my ear this tune sounds similar to “Over The Moore to Maggie” it’s a good tune & those long notes in the beginning are open to all sorts of ornaments.
I don’t see any repeats. Is this a single reel (ABAB) instead of the more common AABB?
It’s usually played AABB but I was lazy with the repeat symbols.
I often heard singers Len Graham and the late Joe Holmes sing these words to the first part and then lilt the tune:
There’s a hole in me heart you could aisy roll a turnip
As big as any pavin’ stone from Dublin to the Divil’s Den
The left side of me carcass is as weak as water gruel, man,
There’s not a pick upon me bones since Molly proved the cruel wan
Glad you’ve kept the pause/rest at the end of each part. Very effective with a good bodhran player.
The Green Fields
I love this tune! I know they’re similar, but I like to play this tune with "The Flax in Bloom".
there’s a jig version of this tune too - "The Maid On The Meadow" or something similar.
Green Fields of America
Also known as "There’s a hole in my heart big enoughto stuff a
Green Fields of America (jig version)
Recently I learned the jig version of this tune here in Leeds. I forgot where my tutor picked it up. Anyway, here is the simple setting of it.
T: The Green Fields of America
cec BdB|AGA BGE|DEG AGA|BdB AGE|
cec BdB|AGA BGE|DEG AGA|1 BGF G2z:|2 BGF G2D||
GBd gfg|ede gdB|GBd gdB|AGA BGE|
GBd gfg|ede gdB|GAB AGA|1 BGF G2D:|2 BGF G2z||
You can find a similar version on Davy Spillane and Kevin Glackin’s "Forgotten Days."
In the highlands of SW PA and Western MD the tune goes by the name of Green Fields of Virginia(America/Ireland) and is very close to the versions posted here. However I do know a (crooked) version with a nice change of modes in the B part. This tune has been documented in the USA from fiddlers in SW PA born before the turn of the century.
I would take issue with the transcription of the second part of this tune. It seems to me that the part where you go up to the high G only happens the second time round, the first time its a bit lower, so just be careful to compare it to a recording if youre learning from the dots.
There’s a nice version of the jig form of this on Patrique Ourceau and Gearoid’s duet cd. For the reel its hard to beat the lilted version on ‘Celtic Mouth Music’ by Colm O’Donnell…
Jig Setting: https://thesession.org/tunes/942
I grew up listening to a wind up gramaphone playing John McCormack singing Molly Brannigan -it is still on most of his cds
The Green Fields of America
It may sound unusual, but I prefer it as a (very) slow reel, played at a speed of about 72 (crotchets). I also know a version in which the dotted crotchet G in bar 3 is GAG (all quavers), and in other bars respectively.
Song: Molly Brannigan
I’ve the same song on a great album called Celtic Mouth Music sung by Colm O’Donnell. He sings:
Mam did you ever hear of purty Molly Brannigan
She stole away me heart and I’ll never be a man again
There’s not a spot on me hide will another summer tan again
Since Molly’s gone and left me all alone for to die.
Oh! There’s a hole in me heart you could easy roll a turnip in
As big as any paving stone from Dublin to The Devil’s Glen
If she had to take another sure
She might have left mine back again
And not to leave me here all alone for to die.
Mam dear I remember when the
Milking time was passed and gone
We went into the meadows
Where she swore I was the only one
That ever she could love but Oh!
She proved to be the cruel one
And left me here lamenting all alone for to die.
The verse is sung to the A part and he lilts the B part between each verse. He then lilts the whole tune a couple of times at the end.
I learnt this tune - First part twice, second part twice and go up to the high G at the end of the repeat.
the following version is compatible with the version posted, but if you tend to be bored -like me- in the second part, stick to these slightly livelier variations:
T: Green Fields Of America, The
c2ec B2dB | AGAB AGEF| G3E DEGB | AGAB AGAB |
c2ec B2dB | AGAB AGEF | G3E DEGA|BGAF G3z :||
GABc d2ef | gage dBGB | cEGE DEGB | AGAB Aded |
g3d efge | dgBG AGED | G3E DEGA | BGAF G3z :||
As an alternative to even greater session boredom, try to play the 6/8 jig version posted by slainte above WHILE the rest of the crowd is playing it as a reel! 😀
three part version?
unless I’ve overlooked something here, I don’t think anyone has yet mentioned the three part version of this tune…one can see same in the Fiddler’s Fakebook…I think that is where I got it…but the original source for me learning this is lost somewhere in the fog of my memory. The 3 part version (when in A) goes to the E chord at the beginning of that third part… third part is crooked too…with a measure of 6/4 right at the end…mayhaps that crookedness is why the 2 part version seems so much more common…folks dropped the crooked third part to make it facilitate at a dance?…anywho…does anyone know of a good recorded version of the 3 parter?
Transcribed my setting from John McEvoy & John Wynne’s ‘Pride of the West’ album. It’s a great album full of lovely tunes
What’s the name of the jig version of this? According to the Tomas O’Gealbhain CD it is the Stone in the Field, but that’s a reel only, is it not?
Maid In The Meadow
…..as I mentioned above, 11 years ago.
There’s also a 4-part version from O’Neill’s collection, called "Jimmy O’Brien’s" - posted here a month ago by "tradschool" :
Willie Clancy version
Starts at around 02:33.
The Green Fields Of America, X:5
This version comes from Septimus Winner’s "Tunes of the World" published in Philadelphia, 1863.
Re: The Green Fields Of America
The Green Fields Of America, X:6
As played by Andrew Finn Magill.