Dawn (1) (The)

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DAWN [1], THE. See "Miller's Reel (1)," "Spirit of 1880 (The)." AKA - "Dawning of the Day (5) (The)." Irish, Reel. G Major (Mulvihill): A Major (Doyle, O'Malley, Taylor). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AA'BB' (O'Malley). Alistair Anderson (1976) says this Irish tune is based on the American breakdown "Miller's Reel (1)." Luke O'Malley says that New York fiddle great John McGrath (1900-1955, originally from County Mayo) also called it by the "Miller's" title, and credited James Morrison with 'making' the tune. The late Donegal fiddler Danny O'Donnell (1910-2001) learned the melody when he lived in New York for a time, and said that James Morrison and Larry Redican called it "The Dawn." One of the earliest recordings (as "Miller's Reel") of the tune was by Prince Edward Island-born banjo player Neil Nolan (1894 - 1984), a member of the Boston-based Dan Sullivan's Shamrock Band, who recorded it on a 78RPM in 1929. Boston musician Paul Mulvaney reports that "The Dawn" was the tune Seamus Conolly played to win his first of eleven consecutive all-Ireland fiddle championships, and as such became a bit of a signature tune for him. Piper Leo Rowsome recorded the tune in 1947 in the piping key of 'D' so as to play the more-than-two-octave range.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland), 1974, vol. 1, No. 52. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 29, p. 8. O'Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 56, p. 28. Plain Brown Tune Book, 1997; p 7. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; pp. 48 & 72. Taylor (Where's the Crack?), 1989; p. 10.

Recorded sources: Dorian Discovery DIS-80103, Helicon - "Horizons" (1992). Front Hall FHR-08, Alistair Anderson - "Traditional Tunes" (1976. Learned from expatriot Irish piccolo player John Doonan). Green Linnet SIF 1058, Matt Molloy & Sean Keane - "Contentment is Wealth" (1985). Rounder CD 1087, Leo Rowsome (et al) - "From Galway to Dublin" (1993. Reissue, originally recorded in 1947). Shanachie 79005, De Danann - "Mist Covered Mountain." Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40481, Brian Conway - "First Through the Gate" (2002. James 'Lad' O'Beirne's setting). 'Ón tSean-Am Anall' (Danny O'Donnell).

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