Geogehan's Reel

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GEOGEHAN'S REEL. AKA and see "Eileen O'Callaghan's Reel)," "Geehan's Reel," "Geoghan's Favorite," "Geoghegan's Favorite," "Grogan's Favourite," "Paddy Canny's (2)." Irish, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. As "Geaghan's Favourite" it was recorded in 1937 by the Aughrim Slopes Céilí Band, the earliest known recording of the melody. "Grogan's Favorite" is the title on Paddy Canney and P.J. Hayes' famous 1960 recording (in honor of which it is sometimes called "Paddy Canny's (2)"). The tune is a version of "Trim the Velvet." The alternate spellings of the name Geoghegan come about through variations in its pronuncition, which is 'Gay-g'n' (rhyming with 'pagan') in Ireland.

Although it has no direct connection with the tune, living in New York and liking local history, I can't play this tune without thinking of the story of Owney Geogheghan, a New York City saloon operator in the mid-1800's. His establishment, "...at 103 Bowery...was one of the scurviest joints along that extensive and crowded avenue. It was a hangout much esteemed by unprincipled beggars, who know they could discard their superfluous glasses and crutches in that understanding environment, and it was so regularly the scene of gang brawls that Geogheghan, a thoughtful host, kept a large supply of police clubs on hand, to pass out among his steady patrons in the event of a skirmish. This disorderly tradition was maintained right up to and throughout Owney's funeral, a ceremony enlivened by the presence of two Mrs. Geogheghans, each of whom, unaware until then of the existence of the other, sought to assume what she though was her rightful spot in the funeral procession. All the way from the Bowery to Calvary Cemetery, two hacks bearing the rival widow Geogheghans jockeyed for a position directly behind the hearse, while their tearful occupants exchanged ringing maledictions." (E.J. Khan, Jr., The Merry Partners: The Age and Stage of Harrigan and Hart, Random House, 1955, pp. 130-131).

Source for notated version: flute player Colm O'Donnell (b. 1962, Aclare, Co. Sligo) [Flaherty].

Printed sources: Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 16.

Recorded sources: Green Linnet SIF 1069, Joe Burke, Michael Cooney & Terry Corcoran - "Happy to Meet & Sorry to Part" (1986. Appears as "Geoghegan's"). Paul McGratten - "The Frost is All Over" (1992. Appears as "Geehan's"). Outlet 1010, Na Filí - "Farewell to Connacht" (1971. Appears as "Eileen O'Callaghan"). Joe Burke (et al) - "The Big Squeeze."

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




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