Annotation:Big Willie's Wedding

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X: 1 T:Big Willie's Wedding R:Hornpipe C:Ed Reavy M:4/4 L:1/8 Z:Joe Reavy N:Willie was a sight to behold and his wedding was N:not in the grand tradition. But everyone N:in Barnagrove loved Big Willie. F: K:D FE | DAFA DAFA | BGEd cAFA | fdAf gece | dfed (3cBA (3GFE | DAFA DAFD | A,CEF GECE | DFAc Bdce | d2 dc d2 :| ed | cdeg fdcd | fgaf bged | cBAB cdef | gbed (3cBA (3GFE | DFAc BGEd | cAFA fdAf | gecA ^GAce | d2 dc d2 :|

BIG WILLIE'S WEDDING. Irish, Hornpipe. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by County Cavan/Philadelphia fiddler and composer Ed Reavy (1898-1988). Big Willie was a character in Barnagrove, County Cavan, where Reavy grew up. Ed's son Joseph says that Willie was a "sight to behold" and did not marry "in the grand tradition."

Interviewed by musician and folklorist Mick Moloney in 1975, Reavy explained:

Well he was an old bachelor…a man I guess around 50, before he got married…he got tired looking around for a wife and finally somebody got him squaredup with a woman from away up around the County Monaghan…somewhere up around Carrickmacross…on up there…she was a fine person too of course. He kept house for himself there for years and years and years and he didn’t have a very fancy place. But I remember my mother, God rest her soul and the lady…one of the Grays, one of our neighbors, she was a young girl…they had to cook the dinner for the wedding you know. I was only a little bit of a lad at the time, but I remember they had a royal jovial time there…all kinds of music and straw boys and dances going on and so I called it Big Willie’s Wedding…that would be 1908 or 7 or somewhere in there. [1]

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Reavy (The Collected Compositions of Ed Reavy), No. 111, p. 124.

Recorded sources: -

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  1. Mick Moloney, “Medicine for Life: A study of a Folk Composer and His Music”, ’’’Keystone folklore: The Journal of the Pennsylvania Folklore Society’’’, vol. 20, Winter-Spring 1975, No. 1, p. 25.