Basket of Turf

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BASKET OF TURF (An Cliaban/Cliabh Móna). "Bundle and Go (1)," "Creel of Turf (The)," "Disconsolate Buck (The)," "Lass from Collegeland (The)," "Unfortunate Rake (1) (The)," "Wandering Harper (The)," "Wee Wee Man (The)," "Winter Garden Quadrille." Irish, Double Jig. E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AABB'CC'DD'EE' (Breathnach/CRÉ V). A turf basket was used to haul home peat for fuel. Some versions are set in the dorian mode, and it is sometimes played with the parts reversed from the order given in Breathnach's CRÉ II (1976). In CRÉ V, Breathnach prints a five-part version, while fiddlers P.J. and Martin Hayes have a three part version they have recorded as "Castle (2) (The)" (corresponding roughly to Breathnach's parts 1, 2 & 5). The song "The Wandering Harper," from Crosby's Irish Music Repository (1808), is set to this air. Holden (Collection of the most esteemed old Irish Melodies, Dublin, 1807) gives it as "Unfortunate Rake (The)," with parts reversed. The melody compares with "Winter Garden Quadrille" in O'Neill's Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (No. 97). "The Basket of Turf" was recorded in New York in the late 1920's by accordion player Frank Quinn, from North Longford, and fiddler player Joe Maguire, from County Fermanagh. It was famously recorded by Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman in New York in 1924, the first of a pair of jigs under the title "Up Sligo."

Sources for notated versions: accordion player Bill Harte, 1968 (Dublin, Ireland) [Breathnach]; Frank McCollam (Ballycastle, County Antrim) [Mulvihill]; fiddler Con Cassidy (County Donegal) [Feldman & O'Doherty].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 52, p. 28. Breathnach (CRÉ V), 1999; No. 18, p. 11. Feldman & O'Doherty (The Northern Fiddler), 1979; p. 152 (appears as 1st "Untitled Jig"). Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 12, p. 67. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 735, p. 137. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 32, p. 22. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; pp. 83 & 89. Treoir, vol. 32, No. 3, 2000; p. 19.

Recorded sources: Gael-Linn/Viva Voce CEFCD 161, "Michael Coleman 1891-1945: Ceoltóir Mórthioncaur na hAoise."

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
See the tune in the Dunn Family manuscript collection [3]

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