Boys in the Gap (1)

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BOYS IN THE GAP [1] (An Buachaill sa Bhearna). AKA - "Boy in the Gap." AKA and see "Boys of Cappoquin (The)," "Farmer's Lass (The)." Irish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB (Breathnach/vol. 1, Flaherty): AABA (Cole): AABB (Miller & Perron, Songer): AABB' (Breathnach/vol. 3): ABCD (Mitchell). The Boys of the Lough say this tune is a good flute tune and a great favorite of flute player Paddy Taylor, who has added a third part, and this is the version most popular in modern sessions. Bernard Flaherty (1990) notes that the tune was always played in County Sligo as a two-part tune, until late, when the three-part version (popular throughout Ireland) took hold. A version of the tune appears in the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper Canon James Goodman under the title “Farmer's Lass (The).” The 'boy/gap' title holds sexual connotations for some.

Source for notated version: accordion player Sonny Brogan (County Sligo/Dublin, Ireland) [Breathnach, vol. 1] and piper Paddy Moloney (Ireland) [Breathnach, vol. 3]; flute player Sonny McDonagh (b. 1926, Rinnarogue, Bunninadden, County Sligo, Ireland) [Flaherty]; piper Willie Clancy (1918-1973, Miltown Malbay, west Clare) [Mitchell]; George Penk (Portland, Oregon) who learned it from Dennis Rothrock who learned it from the album "Boys of the Lough" [Songer]; Boys of the Lough [Miller & Perron].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ I), 1963; No. 132, p. 53. Breathnach (CRÉ III), 1985; No. 101, p. 51. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 27. Donnellan (Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society, vol. II, No. 2), 1909; No. 94 (as "Boy in the Gap"). Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; 121. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol. 2, No. 31. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 52. Mitchell (Dance Music of Willie Clancy), 1993; No. 47, pp. 56-57. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 53. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 38 (appears as "Boy in the Gap"). Vallely (Learn to Play the Tin Whistle with the Armagh Pipers Club), vol. 3; 15.

Recorded sources: Claddagh Records CC2, Paddy Moloney - "Paddy Moloney, The Chieftains" (1969). GTD Heritage Trad. HCD 008, Tommy Peoples - "Traditional Irish Music Played on the Fiddle" (appears as "Boy in the Gap"). Shanachie 79002, "The Boys of the Lough" (1973).

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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