Donegal Traveler (The)
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DONEGAL TRAVELLER REEL. AKA and see "Boreen Reel (The)," "Donegal Rambler," "Drunken Tinker (The)," "Fánaí Thír Chonaill," "Gillespie's," "Hugh Gillespie's (2)," "McFadden's Reel (4)." Irish, Reel. D Major (Carlin): C Major (Mulvihill). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Sometimes also played in A Major and other keys. The tune was recorded on a 78 RPM disc in 1939 by Hugh Gillespie, a Donegal fiddler living in New York who was much influenced by Michael Coleman. Finbar Dwyer recorded the melody as "Gillespie's" in his honor. Editor Jackie Small (CRÉ V) says the tune is also played in the key of D (see "McFadden's") and the key of C. A setting in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) called "Blind Norry's") was identified by Breathnach/Small. The name Donegal is Gaelic for 'castle of the strangers.' A version said to come from Cape Breton is on the CD Lá Lugh by Gerry O'Connor and Eithne Ní Uallacháin.
Source for notated version: Liam Donnelly [Mulvihill]; accordion player Bobby Gardiner [Breathnach].
Printed sources: Black (Music's the Very Best Thing), 1996; No. 60, p. 31. Breathnach (CRÉ V), 1999; No. 140, p. 71 (appears as "Fánaí Thír Chonaill/Donegal Rambler"). Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; p. 127, No. 216. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 158, p. 43.
Recorded sources: Claddagh CCF29CD, Gerry O'Connor & Eithne Ní Uallacháin - "Lá Lugh." Green Linnet GLCD 3066, "Hugh Gillespie-Classic Recordings of Irish Traditional Fiddle Music" (1992. Reissue recording). Green Linnett GLCD 1119, Cherish the Ladies - "The Back Door" (1992. Learned from Joe Madden).
See also listing at:
Hear Hugh Gillespie's 78 RPM recording at Capeirish.com