Fair-Haired Mary

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FAIRHAIRED MARY (Máire na/an Cuilfion/Cuilfhin). AKA - "Fair Haired Mary," "Fair Haired Molly," "Molly Bán." AKA and see "Molly Bawn's (2)." Irish, Reel. G Dorian/Mixoldyian (O'Neill): E Minor (Miller). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill/1850 & 1001): AA'B (O'Neill/Krassen): AABB (Miller). Set by O'Neill in G minor, but with accidents and no minor third note the tune is in the mixolydian or dorian modes. Sometimes attributed (e.g. by Grattan-Flood, Hardiman) to the Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), said to have been written after his arrival at Greyfield, Roscommon, for one of the visitors, Mary MacDermot, for whom he also composed the famous "Princess Royal." Clare fiddler Paddy Canny recorded the tune under the title "Molly Bawn (3)," while Clare fiddler Martin Hayes recorded it as the translated "Fair Haired Molly."

Source for notated version: O'Neill's version is very close to that printed by William Bradbury Ryan in 1883 as "Molly Bawn's (2), and O'Neill may have obtained it there, as it was a source for other tunes in the O'Neill collection.

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ III), 1985; No. 123 (appears as "Gan ainm/No title"). Miller (Fiddler's Throne), 2004; No. 154, p. 99. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 146. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1474, p. 273. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 703, p. 124.

Recorded sources: Green Linnet SIF 3005, The Bothy Band - "Old Hag You Have Killed Me" (1981. A reissue of the 1976 Mulligan LP).

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]




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