My Love is Fair and Handsome (2)

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MY LOVE IS FAIR AND HANDSOME [2]. Irish, Reel. Not the tune usually associated with the name "My Love is Fair and Handsome," however, it is a version of the tune also called "Kit O'Connor's Reel." The liner notes to Bobby Casey's album (written by Tony Crehan) give that "My Love is Fair and Handsome [2]" was composed by New York fiddler Paddy Killoran (1904-1965), originally from Ballymore, County Sligo. The fiddler recorded it for the Dublin label in the 1950's. Killoran, remarks Crehan, was married to a sister of Josie Hayes of Coor, and was a frequent visitor to Clare. Local County Clare musicians picked up the tune from his playing during visits in the 1950's. Killoran's contemporary, Bronx fiddler and accordion player John McGrath (1900-1955), originally from County Mayo, also called the tune "My Love is Fair and Handsome," according to his student, accordion player Luke O'Malley. However, uilleann piper Brian McNamara finds "My Love is Fair and Handsome [2]" in the Steven Grier music manuscript collection, compiled in County Leitrim in 1883, which indicates the tune was in circulation before Killoran was born.

Fiddler Tommy Peoples recorded the tune in 1982 as "Kit O'Connor's Reel" on his album "The Iron Man." Two of the three-parts of the reel "McFadden's Handsome Daughter" are considered to be a version of "My Love is Fair and Handsome [2]," albeit musically distanced. McNamara also notes that a setting of the tune can be found from a transcription of the music of the Co. Westmeath piper Joe Kilmurray of Ballinacarrigy.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Bellbridge Records, Bobby Casey - "Casey in the Cowhouse" (1992. Originally recorded 1959). Brian McNamara - "A Piper's Dream."

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's [1]

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