First Month of Summer (The)

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FIRST MONTH OF SUMMER, THE ("An Cead Mi Samrad" or "An Chéad Mhi den tSamradh"). Irish, Reel. A Major (O'Neill): D Major (Flaherty): G Major (Mulvihill): A Major (Breathnach). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Breathnach, Miller & Perron, Mulvihill, O'Neill/1850 & 1001): AAB (O'Neill/Krassen): AABB (Flaherty). A version of this tune is the old-time "Grey Eagle." Flaherty's D Major variation could be considered a discrete version of this tune. New York fiddler Andy McGann famously recorded the tune in a set with "Lads of Laois (The)." According to New York fiddler Paddy Reynolds (via Don Meade), it was fiddler (and later accordion player) John McGrath who came up with the superior setting of "First Month of Summer" recorded by McGann in 1965 on his record with Joe Burke. The setting has been a standard at sessions ever since. See also the related "First Month of Spring (The)."

Source for notated version: fiddler Philip Duffy (b. 1966, London, now of Dublin) [Flaherty]; Liam Donnelly [Mulvihill]; fiddler and composer Brendan Tonra (originally from Doocastle, County Mayo, long resident of Boston, MA) [Breathnach]; Andy McGann (1928-2004) & Joe Burke [Miller & Perron].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ V), 1999; No. 148, p. 74. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 26. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 71. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 156, p. 42. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 98. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1214, p. 229. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 491, p. 94.

Recorded sources: Green Linnet SIF-1110, Andy McGann - "My Love is in America: The Boston College Irish Fiddle Festival" (1991). Shaskeen Records OS-360, Andy McGann, Felix Dolan, Joe Burke - "A Tribute to Michael Coleman" (c. 1965). Buttons and Bows - "The First Month of Summer." "Seán McGuire - "From the Archives."

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




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