Contradiction Reel (1) (The)
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CONTRADICTION (REEL) , THE ("An Friotraideacd," "An Frithrá" or "Cor an Breagnugad"). AKA and see "Miss Gunning's Delight," "Miss Gunning's Fancy Reel," "Miss Gunning's Reel." English (originally), Scottish, Canadian, Irish; Reel. Canada, Cape Breton. A Major (most versions): G Major (Breathnach/CRÉ V). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABCD (O'Neill): ABCCD (Cranford): AA'BB'CC (Breathnach).
An elaborated version of "Miss Gunning's Reel" - see the annotations to that tune for the fascinating history of the Gunning sisters. "The Contradiction" adds to the original tune a distinctive fourth part requiring a shift to third position. This version was published in the 1882 Boston publication Ryan's Mamouth Collection as "Miss Gunning's Fancy" and, in a slightly different setting, as "The Contradiction" in O'Neill's 1903 Music of Ireland collection. O'Neill (1922) referred to "The Contradiction" as a variation of "Miss Gunning's Delight." Paul Cranford speculates that the four-part setting was a 19th-century American version and notes that it was preferred in Cape Breton by influential early-to-mid-20th century fiddlers Angus Chisholm, Dan R. MacDonald, and Winston Fitzgerald, and thus by modern Cape Breton musicians.
The great Sligo-born fiddler Michael Coleman recorded a three-part version of the reel with fiddler Tom Gannon (also from County Sligo) in 1922 for the New Republic label (it appears as part of a medley, but only the first tune, "Prohibition (The)," is mentioned on the record label). Varlet also has a couple of private recordings of it made by Philadelphia/County Cavan fiddler Ed Reavy with his friend Neil Dougherty during the 1950's. Editor Jackie Small (CRÉ V) states: "In almost all settings the tune has a very wide range, far beyond the first position on the fiddle. The version here is simpler by far, within the first position, and almost within the range attainable on the whistle or pipes-there is only the odd extra note for those wind instruments and musicians are long accustomed to overcome small problems like that. The version here is quite close to the first setting in O'Neill/Waifs, the basic setting of the tune, which O'Neill found in late 18th century Glasgow publisher James Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs."
Sources for notated versions: manuscripts in the possession of Chicago Police Sergeant James O'Neill, originally from County Down-many from the playing of his father [O'Neill]; Aird's Selection [O'Neill/Wiafs].
Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 135, p. 73 (appears as "Gan ainm/No title"). Breathnach (CRÉ V), 1999; No. 161, p. 79. Cranford (Brenda Stubbert's), 1994; No. 12, p. 5. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1503, p. 278. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 724, p. 127. O'Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922; No. 215. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 54.
Recorded sources: New Republic 2330 (78 RPM), Michael Coleman & Tom Gannon (1922. Second tune in "The Prohibition" medley). Shanachie 79064, Matt Molloy - "Heathery Breeze" (1999).
See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info 
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources 
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index 
Hear Coleman & Gannon's recording at the Internet Archive   (2nd tune in medley, following "Prohibition (The)").