High Part of the Road

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HIGH PART OF THE ROAD (Ard an Bhóthair). AKA and see "Hill on the Road," "Top of the Road." Irish, Double Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Mitchell): AABB (Taylor): AA'BB (Breathnach): AA'BB' (Cranitch, Songer). Brendan Breathnach gave the tune it's title. The tune is similar to "Blooming Meadows (1)."

A possible source of the confusion over the name of the tune is Ryan's Mammoth Collection, in which "The Blooming Meadows" appears directly before "Top of Cork Road (1) (The)" (aka "Father O'Flynn"). Breathnach may have accidentally transferred the "Top of the Road" name from the latter to the former. "Top of the Road" was then translated into Irish for publication in Ceol Since na hÉireann, vol. 1, where it appears as "Ard an Bhóthair." Re-translation back to English yielded "The High Part of the Road," the title tune on Tommy Peoples' first Shanachie LP, and the name by which this version of "Blooming Meadows" is now popularly known.

Sources for notated versions: piper Willie Clancy/ Liam Mac Flannehadha (1918–1973, Miltown Malbay, west Clare) [Breathnach, Mitchell]; Jimmy McGettrick (b. 1909, Aughris, Rathmullen, Ballymote) [Flaherty]; set dance music recorded at Na Píobairí Uilleann in the late 1980's [Taylor].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ 1), 1963; No. 18, p. 9. Cranitch (The Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; p. 58. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 139 (appears as "Unknown"). Mitchell (Dance Music of Willie Clancy), 1993; No. 133, p. 106. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 95. Taylor (Music for the Sets: Blue Book), 1995; p. 3.

Recorded sources: Wild Asparagus WA 003, Wild Asparagus – "Tone Roads" (1990).

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [2]

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