Blarney Pilgrim

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BLARNEY PILGRIM, THE (Turasa Blarnaig). AKA and see "Jackson's Rambles (3)," "Paddy O'Brien's Jig," "Parish Girl (1) (The)." Irish, Double Jig. D Mixolydian ('A' and 'C' parts) & G Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC (S. Johnson, O'Neill {3 editions}): AABB'CC' (Mallinson): AA'BB'CC' (Boys of the Lough, Spadaro). A modal tune (hexatonic) with tonal centers variously around the notes 'D' and 'G'-there is some debate about the key of the melody (and thus the appropriate backing chords), but like many modal tunes there are different ways to accompany "Blarney Pilgrim" depending on the ear. The melody was popularized in the 1970's and is considered somewhat hackneyed these days in many sessions. There are several places in Ireland all claiming to have the original Blarney Stone. The town of Blarney, County Cork, is the location of Blarney Castle, said to have been the seat of the McCarthy's, the great kings of Munster. A pilgrimage to kiss the blarney stone, which is embedded in the wall of a castle and can only be reached by being dangled out of a window, bestows the gift of eloquent speech. Under the title "The Parish Girl [1]" the melody appears in Stanford/Petrie with the note: "Set about 1800 by Daniel McHourigan"-O'Neill (DMI) also gives "Parish Girl" as an alternate title. The "Blarney Pilgrim" was one of the tune played by the band (Gaelic Storm) in the scene of the Irish dancers in steerage in the 1990's blockbuster film Titanic.

Sources for notated versions: Metropolitan Opry [Spadaro]; Chicago fiddler Edward Cronin (b. 1838, Limerick Junction, County Tipperary) [O'Neill].

Printed sources: Boys of the Lough, 1977; p. 18. S. Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 6: Jigs), 1982 (revised 1989, 2001); p. 6. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 90, pg. 39. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 70. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1099, p. 207. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 291, p. 63. Spadaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1980; p. 25. Vallely (Learn to Play the Tin Whistle with Armagh Pipers Club, vol. 2), No. 7, p. 6.

Recorded sources: Folkways FTS31098, Ken Perlman – "Clawhammer Banjo and Fingerstyle Guitar Solos." Green Linnet SIF 3067, Jack and Charlie Coen – "The Branch Line" (1992. Reissue of Topic 12TS337). Mulligan LUN00H, "Paul Brady and Andy Irvine." Shanachie 97011, Duck Baker – "Irish Reels, Jigs, Airs and Hornpipes" (1990. Learned from the Mathews Brothers of County Kerry). Topic 12TS337, Jack and Charlie Coen – "The Branch Line" (1977).

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]




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