Bean an Ti ar Lár (1)

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BEAN AN TIGHE AR LÁR [1] (Woman of the House). AKA and see "Bean a' Tigh Faoi Chlair" (The Woman of the House in the Closed Coffin). Irish, Reel. Ireland, County Donegal. D Major/Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BBC. The 'A' part is the same as "Bummer's Reel (1)." A popular reel in County Donegal. Caoimhin Mac Aoidh (1994) relates that the the name "Bean a' Tigh Faoi Chlair" was said by Francie Dearg O'Byrne to have come from the time that Bidi a' Mhuc Ros, a renowned lilter from Muckros Head near Kilcar, Donegal, died and was waked in an open coffin in her cottage, as was the custom in the county. Toward dawn the lid was placed on her coffin and at that instant the door flew open and two fairy fiddlers came in to pay their respects. They walked up to the coffin, produced their instruments, and proceeded to play the reel now known as "The Woman of the House" enough times through so that the musicians in attendance could pick it up, then they walked over to the fireplace and were whisked up the chimney, never to be seen again. A literal translation of the Irish title translated might be "The Mistress on the Floor," however, ar lár (on the ground) is also used to describe something missing or omitted, rendering the title "The Woman of the House is Missing."

The tune is not musically related to "Woman of the House (1)" AKA "Bean an Ti ar Lár (2)."

Source for notated version: collected from brothers and fiddlers Micky and John Doherty (Stranorlar, Co. Donegal, Ireland), although not on the same date [Breathnach]; Donegal fiddler Tommy Peoples [Bulmer & Sharpley].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 199, p. 72. Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland, vol. 1), 1974; No. 39 (appears as "Bean A'Tí Ar Lar"). Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1994; p. 52(b) (appears as untitled reel).

Recorded sources: Shanache Records, Tommy Peoples (1976). De Danann - "Selected Jigs" (1978). Altan - "Another Sky" (appears as part of first song).

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