Chief O'Neill's Visit

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CHIEF O'NEILL'S VISIT. AKA and see "Cambridge Hornpipe (The)." Irish, Hornpipe. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (O'Neill): AABB' (Mulvihill). Compiler Francis O'Neill was a Chicago police chief and musician around the turn of the 20th century. Edward Cronin, a fiddler from County Tipperary who playing was held in high esteem by O'Neill, was the source for many tune in Music of Ireland. Not having names for a few, he dubbed them on the spot after the Chief. The tune is known to Scottish and Shetland musicians under the title "Cambridge Hornpipe (The)." A reel setting of the melody appears in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) as the "Pacific Slope (1)."

Source for notated version: Edward Cronin [O'Neill]. Cronin was a fiddler originally from Limerick Junction, County Tipperary, born c. 1838. He emigrated to the United States afterthe Civil War, residing first in Troy, New York. He could find no work, however, in his trade as a weaver, and supported himself with whatever work he could find. He finally settled inChicago. O'Neill visited Cronin weekly for several years, transcribing tunes from his large repertoire, however, Cronin could be suspicious and quick to take offense, and boasted that he neither "forgot nor forgave a slight". It was perhaps inevitable that some perceived transgression on O'Neill's part made Cronin abruptly end the sessions.

Printed sources: Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 29, p. 97 (appears as "Chief O'Neill's No. 2"). O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 198. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1705, p. 317.


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