Down the Broom
X:1 T:Down the Broom to Joe M:C L:1/8 R:Reel N:Goodman obtained the tune from the music manuscripts of 19th century N:Dublin bookseller John O’Daly. S:Rev. James Goodman music manuscript collection (vol. 2, p. 155) N:Canon Goodman was a uilleann piper and cleric who collected primarily N:in County Cork in the mid-19th century Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Ador A2 BG A2 Bd|edgB AGEF|G2 BG AGBG|DEGA BA A2:| |:a2 a3 a2 ae|gaba gfef|gfge d2 ef|gded BA A2:|]
DOWN THE BROOM. AKA – "Down the Broom to Joe," "Down Through the Broom." AKA and see "Crosses of Annagh (1) (The)," "Flowers of Michigan," "Paddy Cronin's Reel (1)," Irish, Reel (cut time). A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AA'BB (Mitchell). "Crosses of Annagh (1)" is a closely related tune, although the second strain differs somewhat. The reel (as "Down the Broom to Joe") is contained in vol. 2 (p. 155) of the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper James Goodman, obtained from the music manuscripts of Dublin bookseller John O'Daly. Around the same time a version of the reel was published in Rhode Island by fiddler and music teacher George Saunders as "Flowers of Michigan." See also Joyce's "Down Through the Broom" and the related "Corner House (1) (The)." There are some melodic similarities with the reel "Sligo Maid" (and, in Cape Breton, "Old Peter's Reel"), however, whether the tunes are cognate is debatable. Paddy O'Brien composed a variant of the tune that he called "Larry's Favourite," with a third part added.
Paddy Killoran (1904–1965), originally from Ballymote, County Sligo, recorded the tune in November, 1937, in New York for Decca Records, famously pairing it with "Gatehouse Maid (1) (The)." The pairing is still sometimes heard at Irish music sessions today. A note at the Internet Archive  gives that "Paddy's wife was from Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, and the well-known fiddler Junior Crehan remembered Paddy playing these reels on visits to his wife's hometown, they being great favorites of his. These tunes were popularized by this record as well. Sean Maguire's father had a different and very nice reel he called the Gatehouse Maid as well."
"Down the Broom" has been called part of the core South Sligo repertoire. An early recording of "Down the Broom" was by Ballybay, County Monaghan, piper Robert William "Willie" Clarke (1889–1934) for Columbia Records of London in 1928, for a series of records entitled "The Pipes of Three Nations" (which included a Highland piper and a Northumbrian small-piper). See also Francis O'Neill's variant "Jim Moore's Fancy."