Broken Pledge (The)

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X:56 T:Broken Pledge, The R:reel D:De Dannan: Selected Reels and Jigs. Z:Also played in Edor, see #734 Z:id:hn-reel-56 M:C| K:Ddor dcAG ADDB|cAGF ECCE|D2 (3EFG Addc|AcGc Aefe| dcAG FGAB|c2Bd cAGE|D2 (3EFG AddB|cAGE FDD2:| |:dcAG Acde|~f3d ecAB|cAGE GAcd|ec~c2 eage| dcAG Acde|fedf ecAG|~F3G AddB|cAGE FDD2:| P:"Variations:" |:dcAG ~A3B|cAGF ECCE|DEFG Addc|(3ABc Gc Aefe| dcAG FGAB|c2Bd cAGE|DEFG AddB|A2GE FDD2:| |:dcAG Acde|~f3d ecAB|cAGE GAcd|ec~c2 eage| dcAG Acde|~f3d ecAG|FEFG AddB|A2GE FDD2:|



BROKEN PLEDGE, THE (An geall briste). Irish, Reel. D Dorian (Flaherty, Taylor/Tweed): D Mixolydian (O'Neill/Krassen, Willaimson): D Mixolydian/Dorian (Cranitch): D Major (O'Neill/1850 & 1001). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Major, mixolydian and dorian versions are extent. There are several thoughts as to the origin of the title. One is that the pledge refers to a love pledge, in which a young couple, soon to be parted due to sea or military service, pledge their affection for one another and promise to remain faithful during the interim. It is also said the title refers to a failed temperance pledge, from the days of the temperance movement. A related Irish tradition says that at the Church asks children at the age of 11 or 12 to promise not to drink before they reach the age of twenty. Needless to say, few achieved the age not having broken the pledge. Occasionally the tune is played in the key of E Minor. The 'F' notes are usually played natural, but pipers often play the tune with 'F' sharps, and occasionally the sharp and natural notes were alternated in the tune [c.f. Galway flute player Paddy Carty].

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - fiddler Philip Duffy (b. 1966, London, now residing in Dublin, Ireland) [Flaherty]; students of New York fiddler John McGrath (1900-1955, originally from County Mayo) [O'Malley]; one of the first four tunes Karen Tweed learned from her mentor, accordion player John Whelan [Taylor/Tweed].

Printed sources : - Cranitch (Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; No. 70, p. 152. Cranitch (Irish Session Tunes: Red Book), 2000; 70. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 30. O'Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 6, p. 3. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 91. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1178, p. 222. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 458, p. 89. Taylor (Traditional Irish Music: Karen Tweed's Irish Choice), 1994; p. 25. Williamson (English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 88.

Recorded sources: -Green Linnett GLCD 1181, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill - "The Lonesome Touch" (1997). HMV IM 1001, Leo Rowsome (1944. Paired with "Miss Thornton's Reel"). Piping Pig Records PPPCD 001, Jimmy O'Brien- Moran - "Seán Reid's Favourite" (1996. Learned from Séamus Ennis). Shaskeen Records OS-360, Andy McGann, Joe Burke, Felix Dolan - "A Tribute to Michael Coleman" (196?).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]
Hear P.J. Conlon's 1929 recording of the reel at the Comhaltas Archive [3] (1st tune, followed by "Kitty in the Lane (4))
Read the story "Art McGuire, or the Broken Pledge" in Carleton's Stories of the Irish (1881) [4]



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