Drowsy Maggie (1)

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DROWSY/DROWSIE MAGGIE [1] (Mairgreadin Taimeac/Suantac). AKA and see "Mind My Brother." Irish, Reel. E Dorian or E Minor ('A' part) & D Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Cranitch, Feldman & O'Doherty/Byrne, Flaherty, Martin & Hughes, Mulvihill, O'Malley, O'Neill/1850 & 1001, Spadaro, Tubridy): AAB (Cranford/Holland, Kennedy, Roche, Raven): AA'B (Vallely): ABB' (Feldman & O'Doherty/Doherty, O'Neill/Krassen): AABB (Brody, Phillips): AABB' (Sweet): AA'BB' (Harker/Rafferty, Reiner): AA'BC (Songer): ABCE (Breathnach). A very common reel, the basic form of which is known to most Irish traditional musicians, and which has transcended the genre into repertoire around the world in a variety of styles and genres. There is a version of "Drowsy Maggie" particular to County Donegal, where, again, it is a popular reel. A third part to the tune is sometimes played that was first recorded in 1938 by Frank O'Higgins (see transcriptions). Liz Carroll, in the notes to her album "A Friend Indeed," says the same third part was composed by the famous accordion player Joe Cooley, but in view of the fact that he would have been 14 at the time of O'Higgins' recording, this seems unlikely. Breathnach's source, Michael "The Master" McDermott (d. 1947), a schoolteacher and fiddler from Pomeroy and Carrigmore, County Tyrone, had two additional parts than the usual two-part setting; the first was similar to O'Higgins, while the fourth is a variation on the third. "Drowsy Maggie" is sometimes called "Sleepy Maggie"; the resemblance of the titles of these fundamentally different tunes has sometimes led to much confusion. See also the related "Lady's Bonnet (The)." Frank Roche's (1927) "Drousy Maggie" is a different tune.

Alan Lomax made a field recording of the tune for the Library of Congress in 1938 from the playing fiddler Patrick Bonner (1882-1973) of St. James, Beaver Island, Michigan. It was called "Rousy Maggie" (AFS 02269 A02) in the field notes. Bonner had learned his repertoire and style from older fiddler on the island, late 19th century immigrants from Ireland.

Source for notated version: fiddler Peter Horan (b. 1926, Kilavil, Co. Sligo) [Flaherty]; "from my mother" [Mulvihill]; fiddler John Doherty (1895–1980, County Donegal) [Feldman & O'Doherty]; fiddler Peter Turbit [Feldman & O'Doherty]; fiddlers Francie and Mickey Byrne (County Donegal) [Feldman & O'Doherty]; from the mid-20th century collection of Michael 'Master' McDermott, who got his tunes from local musicians [Breathnach]; an old recording of piper Tom Ennis [O'Malley]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ 4), 1996; No. 143, p. 70. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 91. Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 156, p. 59. Cranitch (The Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; p. 86. Feldman & O'Doherty (The Northern Fiddler), 1979; pp. 68, 162, 235. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 70. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 75, p. 24. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs, vol. 2), 1858; No. 186, p. 84. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1954; p. 15. Martin & Hughes (Ho-ro-gheallaidh, vol. 1), 1990; p. 35. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 48, p. 13. O'Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music), 1976; No. 39, p. 20. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 136. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1425, p. 264. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907/1986; No. 662, p. 118. Phillips (Fiddle Case Tunebook: British Isles), 1989; p. 16. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 178. Reiner (Anthology of Fiddle Styles) 1977; p. 51. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 66 (third part from the Massachusetts contradance band The Fourgone Conclusions). Spadaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1969; p. 18. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; p. 43. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, vol. 2), 1999; p. 23. Vallely (Learn to Play the Fiddle with Armagh Pipers Club), 197?; No. 42, p. 38. Williamson (English, Welsh, Scotch and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 62 (appears as "Sleepy Maggie").

Recorded sources: CAT-WMR004, Wendy MacIssac – "The 'Reel' Thing" (1994). Claddagh CC14, Cheiftains – "Cheiftains 4" (1973). Coleman Center CD CC004, Seamus O'Donnell – "The Mountain Road" (1999. Various artists. "A Compilation of tunes popular in South Sligo.") Columbia C33397, Dave Bromberg – "Midnight on the Water" (part of "Yankee's Revenge" medley). EMI Records ISRM 006, Tulla Ceili Band – "Dance Tunes" (1990). Front Hall Records FHR029, Fourgone Conclusions – "Contra Dance Music from Western Massachusetts." Green Linnett GLCD 1117, Altan – "Harvest Storm" (1992. A Donegal version learned from the playing of Con Cassidy, James Byrne and John Doherty). June Appal JA 028, Wry Staw – "From Earth to Heaven" (1978). Maggie's Music MM107, "Music in the Great Hall" (1992). Shanachie 29008, Frankie Gavin – "Traditional Music of Ireland." Shanachie 79024, "Chieftains 4" (1983). Shanachie 79064, Matt Molloy – "Heathery Breeze" (1999). Transatlantic 337, Dave Swarbrick – "Swarbrick." Dave Bromberg – "Midnight on the Water" (fifth tune in 'Yankee's Revenge Medley).

See also listings 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 Irishtune.info [3]




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