Blackberry Blossom (1)

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X:1 T:Blackberry Blossom [1], The M:C L:1/8 R:Reel S:James Goodman (1828─1896) music manuscript collection, S:vol. 3, p. 111. Mid-19th century, County Cork Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G ge|(dB).B.B BAGA|BABc B2 (ge)|(dB).B.B BAGA|eaab a2 ge:| g2 ga|baaf|g2 ga b2 ge|g2 ga bgaf|eaab a2 ge| g2 ga bgaf|g2 ga b2 ge|(bg)af gfed|eaab a2 ge!D.C.!||



BLACKBERRY BLOSSOM/BLOSSUM [1] (Blat Na Smeur). AKA and see "Maud Millar (2)/Maude Millar (2)," "Strawberry Beds (1) (The)," "Strawberry Blossom (3)." Irish (originally), Canadian, American; Reel. USA, southwestern Pa. Canada, Prince Edward Island. G Major (Harding, Kennedy, Kerr, O'Neill, Perlman, Sullivan): E Flat Major (Stanford/Petrie). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Miller, Perlman, Stanford/Petrie, Sullivan): AAB (Hardings, Kennedy, Kerr, O'Neill). "Magic Slipper (The)" is a very similar tune. The melody is familiar to Irish tradition, from at least the year 1850, if not earlier, according to Samuel Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle, 1981). He probably was unaware of the mid-19th century music manuscripts of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper Canon James Goodman that contain "Blackberry Blossom [1]" (vol. 3, p. 111), which provides strong support for his contention. The title "Blackberry Blossom" appears in a list of tunes in his repertoire brought by Philip Goodman, the last professional and traditional piper in Farney, Louth, to the Feis Ceoil in Belfast in 1898 (Breathnach, 1997).

The reel was recorded in the 78 RPM era in New York by County Sligo fiddler James Morrison, and it can be heard in Brooklyn accordion player John J. Kimmel's "Stack of Barley Medley" (1916).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Planxty [Sullivan]; Shape (Greene County, Pa.; elderly when collected in 1930's) [Bayard]; Sterling Baker (b. Mid-1940's, Montague, North-East Kings County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman]; Kerry fiddler Paddy Cronin [Miller].

Printed sources : - Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 97, p. 57. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 8. Cotter (Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor), 1989; p. 76. Giblin (Collection of Traditional Irish Dance Music), 1928; 14. Harding's Original Collection; No. 75. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 637. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book: Reels & Rants, Flings & Fancies), 1997; No. 6, p. 4. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; p. 34 (appears as "The Strawberry Beds"). McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), c. 1920's; No. 71, p. 18. Miller (Fiddler's Throne), 2004; No. 124, p. 83. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 113. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1295, p. 243. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 560, p. 104. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 62. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 31. Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; No. 475, p. 120. Sullivan (Session Tunes, vol. 3), No. 52, p. 21.

Recorded sources : - Ainar ANR-001, Todd Denman – "Like Magic" (1995. Appears as "Maude Millar's"). BM-91, Buddy MacMaster – "Glencoe Hall." Edison 51041 (78 RPM), accordion player John J. Kimmel (appears as one of the tunes in the "Stack of Barley Medley"). Gael-Linn 069, Kevin Burke – "An Fhidil Straith II." Green Linnet CD 1069, Michael Cooney – "Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part" (1986). Shanachie 79006, Mary Bergin – "Traditional Irish Music." Shanachie 33004, "The Pure Genius of James Morrison." Shanachie 79010, Planxty – "The Well Below the Valley." Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40481, Brian Conway – "First Through the Gate" (2002. Learned from New York fiddler Andy McGann). Tara CD 3001, Planxty – "After the Break." Seamus Tansey – "Jigs, Reels and Airs." P.J. & Marcus Hernon – "Beal A' Mhurlaigh" In Safe Hands. Conal Ó Gráda – "The Top of Croom." O'Aces – "From Night Til Morning." Ben Lennon and Friends – "The Natural Bridge." John O'Halloran – "But Why, Johnny?" Ceoltoiri Coleman – "The Killaville Sessions." Mary Mac Namara – "The Blackberry Blossom." Kevin Crawford – "The 'D' flute album." Victor 18193 (78 RPM), John J. Kimmell (1916. 2nd tune in medley).

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]
Hear John J. Kimmel's 1916 recording at the Victor Discography [4] (2nd tune in medley with "Stack of Barley" and "Green Fields of America").



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