Dillon's Fancy (1)

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DILLON'S FANCY [1] (Roga Uí Dillon). AKA - "Dillon's Reel." Irish, Reel. A Major (O'Neill): G Major (Flaherty, Mulvihill). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill/1915): AA'B (O'Neill/1850): AABB (Flaherty, Mulvihill). The earliest printing of the tune is in O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903), where it is named for his source, Chicago police patrolman and fiddler Timothy Dillon. Dillon was born in the Parish of Rathea, near Newmarket West, County Limerick, in 1846, and began studying the violin at age nine with a local master named Patrick O'Grady. He also began to study dance at around the same time, and was known for his skill at both music and dancing. O'Neill thought highly of him as a person and a musician and found him even-tempered, kind and genial. O'Neill, while praising his skill on the fiddle, also thought his style unique: "the plaintive, pleading, haunting tones which Officer Dillon produces on his instrument are indescribably weird and wailing even in his reveling reels" (Irish Minstrels and Musicians, p. 395. O'Neill also records a few stories told by Dillon that make for interesting reading--see pp. 432-433).

Source for notated version: Chicago policeman and fiddler Timothy Dillon [O'Neill]; piper and flute player Charlie Lavin (b. 1940, Cloonshanville, near Frenchpart, County Roscommon) [Flaherty]; George Ross via accordion player Johnny O'Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border) [Moylan]; piper Willie Clancy/Liam Mac Flannchadha (Miltown Malbay, west Clare) [Breathnach]; Brendan Mulvihill (Baltimore, Md.) [Mulvihill].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ I); No. 85, p. 38 (appears as "Ríl Uí Dhioluin"). Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 151 (appears as "Dillon's Reel"). Moylan (Johnny O'Leary), 1994; No. 307, pp. 176-177. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 180, p. 49 (appears as "Dillon's Reel"). O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 270, p. 138. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1272, p. 239. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 540, p. 101.

Recorded sources: Coleman Music Center CHC 009, flute player Desmond Higgins (Cloone, Co. Leitrim) - "The Coleman Archive, vol. 2: The Home Place" (2005. Various artists). Riverside RLP 12-839, Ciaran Kelly Ceilidhe Band - "Irish Dance Party" (1959). See also listing at: Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1].




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