Annotation:Dowd's Favorite (1)

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X:1 T:Dowd's Favorite M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel K:Gmin DGGA B2BF | D~F3 CFA,F | DGGA BABd | (3cBA FA BGAF | DGGA BAGB | A~F3 DFCF | DGGA BABd | cAfc BGGA || B2 dB FBdB | ~B3d cAFA | BABd fdBd | cAFA BGGA | B2 dB FBdB | BdBd cAFA | GBAc Bbag | fdcA BGBd || g~d3 gbag | f~c3 fgaf | gddc dbag | fdcd BG G2 | (3gag fa gbag | (3fgf =eg fdcA |GBAc Bbag | fd^cd BG G2 ||

DOWD'S FAVORITE. AKA - "Dowd's Reel," "O'Dowd's Favourite," "O'Dowd's Reel (1)." AKA and see "Braes of Bushbie (1)." Irish, Reel. G Aeolian (Gm) ('A' and 'C' parts) & B Flat Major ('B' part) [Brody, Vallely]. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC (Brody): ABC (Miller & Perron, Vallely): ABCD (Miller & Perron/2006). The melody is a setting of the Scottish march/strathspey "The Braes of Bushbie," perhaps composed by John Bowie and printed in his 1789 Collection. It was said to be a favorite of the great Scots fiddler Niel Gow's. The reel was reworked in Ireland as "O'Dowd's Favourite" (often called "Dowd's Favorite") and was famously recorded under the "O'Dowd's Favourite" title by County Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945) in 1922 in New York (where he had emigrated in 1914). The tune was paired with "Star on Munster" and both were played in G dorian. Coleman himself probably obtained the melody from an older Sligo fiddler named John O'Dowd (uncle of Joe O'Dowd {1913-1987}), who also had emigrated to New York from Coleman's district and where Coleman heard him play. He was a member of a musical family from Gurteen that included fiddler Joe O'Dowd (1914-1987) and his son Séamus, a fiddler and guitarist with the group Dervish. Reg Hall (1995) says Dowd is reputed to have been the composer (adaptor) of the melody, and that he was one of Coleman's models, if not one of his teachers. Hall (1995) elsewhere says New York fiddler Lad O'Beirne, son of Philip O'Beirne from Bunninadan, County Sligo, attributed Michael Coleman's variation sets of "Bonnie Kate (1)" to John Dowd. Hugh Gillespie reprised Coleman's recording of "O'Dowd's Favorite" in New York in 1938 (Decca 12171-A).

See also the related tunes "Rover (4) (The)," "Dublin Lasses (2)," "Murtough Molloy/Mulloy" and "Tee Ree Reel;" they have a similar sequence in the first part. "Curragh Races (1)" and "Maid in the Cherry Tree (3) (The)" are also generally related, and like "Dowd's Favorite," shift to the relative major in the second part. Interestingly, for a tune with Scottish origins adapted by Irish musicians as a reel, it has returned to a mostly-Scottish tradition on Cape Breton, where it has entered the repertoire through the playing of fiddlers such as Johnny Wilmot (1916-1993) who was thoroughly versed in both Cape Breton Scottish and Irish music styles. Randy Miller (2006) added a 4th part, "based on the original strathspey," to the usual 3-part version.

See also the related reels "Flowers in May (The)," "Ladies Pantaloons (The)," "Scotch Hunt (The)," and compare with Reb. Like Donnellan's "Miss Cunningham's Reel."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 89. Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland), 1974, vol. 2, No. 5. Cranitch (Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; No. 75, p. 154. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol. 1, No. 22. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 64. Vallely (Play 50 Reels with Armagh Pipers Club), 1982; No. 15, p. 9 (appears as "Dowd's Reel").

Recorded sources : - Chrysalis 0698, Steeleye Span - "Ten Man Mop or Mr. Reservour Butler Rides Again" (1976). Columbia CAL504-1, Paddy O'Brien (195?). Decca 12171-A (78 RPM), Hugh Gillespie (1938). Folkways FW 8821, Paddy O'Brien - "Irish Dance Music" (1973). Green Linnet GLCD 3105, Aly Bain - "Lonely Bird" (1996. Appears as "Dowd's Reel," learned from Sean Maguire). Gael-Linn/Viva Voce, CEFCD 161, "Michael Coleman 1891-1945." Green Linnet SIF 3006C, Hugh Gillespie - "Classic Recordings of Irish Traditional Music" (1992). Green Linnet GLCD 3127, Sharon Shannon - "The Best of Sharon Shannon: Spellbound" (1999. Learned from Mirella Murrey, Clifden, Co. Galway). Pegasus Mooncrest 9, Steeleye Span- "Ten Man Mop." Philo 200l, "Jean Carignan" (appears as the third tune of 'Cape Breton Medley'. Carignan learned his version from the Andy McGann recording). Rounder CD 11661-7033-2, Natalie MacMaster - "My Roots Are Showing" (2000). Shanachie 29002, "Kathleen Collins." Shaskeen Records OS-360, Andy McGann - "A Tribute to Michael Coleman" (c. 1965). Topic TSCD602, Michale Coleman - "Irish Dance Music" (1995. A reissue of the 1922 original). Viva W103, Sean McGuire - "Irish Jigs and Reels" (c. 1960's, a reissue of "Sean Maguire Plays," the first recording of McGuire that Josephine Keegan accompanied on piano). Natalie McMaster - "My Roots are Showing" (1998). Buddy MacMaster - "The Judique Flyer."

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's [3]
Hear Michael Coleman's 1922 Vocalion recording at [4]

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