Boys of the Lough (The)

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BOYS OF THE LOUGH, THE (Buachaillí na Locha). AKA and see "Barrel Rafferty's Reel," "Jerome's Farewell to Gibraltar," "Johnstown Reel," "Rose of Castletown." Irish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Flaherty): AABB (Brody, Allan's): AABB' (Cranford/Holland): ABCD (Breathnach): ABCDEFGHIJKL (Miller). A very popular session reel. "Boys of the Lough" was popularized by fiddler Michael Coleman, originally from Kilavil, County Sligo, although the melody was "ever part of the local ...repertoire," according to Blooming Meadows (1998) authors Charlie Piggott and Fintan Vallely. Coleman (1891-1945) recorded the tune in 1922 in New York. O'Neill (in 400 Choice Selections) printed the tune under the title "Johnstown Reel," while Frank Roche printed a version of the reel in 1912 as "Rose of Castletown" in his first volume of traditional Irish music. See also similarly titled but musically unrelated jig "Boys from the Lough (The)." "Barrel Rafferty's Reel"/"Master McDermott's Reel" is a related tune, as is the Canadian "Jerome's Farewell to Gibraltar," popularized under that title by radio and TV fiddler Don Messer.

Source for notated version: fiddler Tommy Potts (Ireland) [Breathnach]; fiddler Peter Horan (b. 1926, Kilavil, Co. Sligo, Ireland) [Flaherty].

Printed sources: Boys of the Lough, 1977, p. 1. Breathnach (CRÉ I), 1963; No. 159, p. 63. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 54. Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 91, p. 36. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 63. Lyth (Bowing Styles in Irish Fiddle Playing, vol. 1), 1981; 41 & 42. McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), c. 1921, No. 37, p. 9. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music, vol. 2), 1977; No. 51. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 53.

Recorded sources: Coleman Center CD CC004, Peter Horan - "The Mountain Road" (1999. Various artists. "A Compilation of tunes popular in South Sligo"). Coleman Music Center CHC 009, fiddler Pake Spellman (d. 1969, from Doocastle area) - "The Coleman Archive, vol. 2: The Home Place" (2005. Various artists). Green Linnett SIF 3008, "Matt Molloy." IRC Records, Michael Coleman - "Musical Glory of Old Sligo" (1967). Maggie's Music 107, "Music in the Great Hall" (1992). MKM 7590, Mike McHale - "The Schoolmaster's House" (2000. Learned from a recording by fiddler Sean McGuire). Mulligan-Lun 004, "Matt Molloy." Rounder Records 7057, Jerry Holland - "Parlor Music" (2005). Trailer LER 2086, The Boys of the Lough- "First Album." Victor 21593B (78 RPM), Ed Reavy (1927), Victor 19446 (78 RPM), McConnell's Four Leaf Shamrock Orchestra (1924. The group consisted of Adam McConnell on fiddle, John McNulty on piccolo, and Jos. Dolan on piano).

See also listings 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 the 1924 recording by McConnell's Four Leaf Shamrock Orchestra at the Internet Archive [4] [5]
Hear a recording by James Scanlan, Martin Wynne and Lad O'Beirne at the Comhaltas Archive [6]




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