Farrell O'Gara

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FARRELL O'GARA('S REEL) {Fearghal Ó Gadhra}. AKA and see "Falcarragh Reel," "Faral O'Gara," "Fergal O'Gara," "Fearghal Ó Gadhra," "Grondeuse (2)," "Silver Spire (The)." Irish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Miller & Perron): AABB' (O'Malley). One of the "big reels" in modern session playing. Brendan Breathnach (1963) remarks that it has been said that the Farrell O'Gara of the title was Lord Moy O'Gara who gave shelter to the Four Masters. "Farrell O'Gara" was recorded several times during the 78 RPM era by the great New York City based Sligo fiddlers: Michael Coleman recorded it in 1927 (paired with "Good Morning to Your Nightcap"), James Morrison under the title "Roderick," and Paddy Killoran as "Shannon's Favorite." See also the recording below by John McGrath, who emigrated to the United States in 1928 and was a contemporary and friend of Coleman and Morrison. The melody was recorded famously on 78 RPM by fiddlers Paddy Sweeney and Paddy Killoran in New York in 1931, paired with another, different, reel called "Silver Spire (The)," however, so influential was the pairing that there occasionally has been confusion of titles. Around the same time a Highland fling version was recorded by fiddler John McGettigan, originally from Glenree, Donegal.

Sources for notated versions: John Clancy (Bronx, N.Y.) [Mulvihill]; accordionist Sonny Brogan (County Sligo/Dublin, Ireland) [Breathnach]; County Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945) [Miller & Perron]; Mary Carolan, Kevin O'Connor & Joe Flynn [O'Malley].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ I), 1963; No. 131, p. 53. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 16, p. 7 (appears as "Faral O'Gara"). Lyth (Bowing Styles in Irish Fiddle Playing), 1981; 45. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 70. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 36, p. 9. O'Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 61, p. 31. Peoples (Fifty Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1986; 19. Taylor (Traditional Irish Music: Karen Tweed's Irish Choice), 1994; p. 22 (appears as "Fearghal Ó Gadhra").

Recorded sources: Coleman Music Center CHC 009, John McGrath {born Co. Mayo, 1900-1955} & Lad O'Beirne (on fiddle and piano, respectively) - "The Coleman Archive, vol. 2: The Home Place" (2005. Various artists). Intrepid Records, Michael Coleman - "The Heyday of Michael Coleman" (1973). Nimbus NI 5320, Tommy Peoples & Seamus Gibson - "Fiddle Sticks: Irish Traditional Music from Donegal" (1991). Philo 2001, "Jean Carignan" (learned from a 78 by fiddlers Paddy Killoran & Patrick Sweeney). Tara 2002, Christy Moore - "The Iron Behind the Velvet" (1978. Learned from Pat Linnane of Corofin). Yazoo Records, Paddy Killoran & Paddy Sweeney - "The Wheels of the World, vol. 2." Tommy Peoples - "Traditional Irish Music" (appears as first tune of track 10).

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [3]

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