Fairy Hurlers (1) (The)

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FAIRY HURLERS. AKA and see "Walsh's Favourite." Irish, Reel. A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABCCDDEEFF. A member of the rather large "Galway Rambler (The)"/"Mills are Grinding (1) (The)" tune family. Caoimhin Mac Aoidh (1994) explains that O'Neill's source was a fiddler named Joe Timoney, known in Donegal as Joe Phaedar Sheain O Tiomanai, who was born and raised at Min a tSamhaidh, Fintown, Donegal, and who was the great-great-great-great-great grandson of the renowned poet Tadhg An Fhile O'Tionamai An Aighe. Timoney emigrated to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century and arrived in San Francisco just after the great earthquake of 1906. Breathnach (1963) finds the 'A' part is shared with "Lord Wellington (1)." O'Neill (1922) remarks: "According to legendary lore the fairies or good people enjoy the same activities and pastimes, especially hurling and dancing, as they did before being called to another life. Many a tale is told of their kidnapping a competent piper when necessary to entertain them at their festivities in the subterranean they are said to occupy within the ancient raths or forts so numerous all over Ireland. The Fairy Faith survives."

The first strain of "Fairy Hurlers" may be cognate with that of "Rayan's Rant" in Glasgow publisher James Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 5 (1797).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: O'Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922; No. 228.

Recorded sources:

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




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