George Brabazon (2)

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PLANXTY GEORGE BRABAZON [2] (Pleraca Seoirse Brabason). AKA and see "Prince Charlie's Welcome to the Island of Skye," "Prince's Welcome to the Isle of Sky (The)," "Isle of Skye (2)." Irish, Air. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddl). One part (O Canainn): AB (Complete Collection, O'Neill/1850): AABB (O'Neill {Complete Collection..., Krassen, Skye}). The composition has been credited to Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), for George Brabazon, a young bachelor. Donal O’Sullivan (1958) included this piece in his definitive work on Carolan, but noted there was no definitive evidence for its being composed by the harper. Some have attributed Captain Francis O’Neill’s over-zealotous assertion of tunes to O’Carolan as the source for naming him as composer, although stylistically it would seem to be a composition of his. After the Jacobite rebellion “George Brabazon” was re-titled in Scotland "Prince Charlie's Welcome to the Island of Skye" in honor of the Pretender; the first two parts of O'Neill's "George Brabazon" are the first two parts of Glasgow musician James Aird's four-part "Prince Charlie's Welcome" (printed in Selection of Scotch, Irish, English and Foreign Airs, vol. 3). It also appears in the Gow’s Complete Repository, Part Second (1802) under the title “Isle of Sky” (sic), set as a Scots Measure and with some melodic differences in the second part. This is significant, for it predates the earliest Irish source (O’Neill) by a century (Irish piper O'Farrell's early 19th century London-published version of the tune, "Isle of Sky" was taken from Scottish sources, and provenance is indicated). The Gows printed several O’Carolan airs, often with different titles.

“Planxty George Brabazon” was the first O’Carolan work the seminal Irish band The Chieftains recorded, taken by leader and uilleann piper Paddy Moloney from the O’Sullivan collection his sister had given him in 1959 for his 21st birthday (Glatt, The Chieftains, 1997). The tune is found in Scotland as the vehicle for the song “Twa Bonnie Maidens.”

Source for notated version: Yankee Ingenuity (Mass.) [Brody]; Francis O'Neill [O'Sullivan].

Printed sources: Brody (Fiddlers’ Fakebook), 1983; p. 220. Carlin (Gow Collection), 1986; No. 76 (appears as "Isle of Skye"). Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 7, p. 29 (2nd Air). S. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 3: Carolan), 1983 (revised 1991, 2001); p. 4. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887 (appears as "Prince Charlie's Welcome to the Island of Skye"). Ó Canainn (Traditional Slow Airs of Ireland), 1995; No. 83, p. 73. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 234. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 657, p. 118. O’Sullivan (Carloan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 7, p. 106.

Recorded sources: Claddagh CC7, The Chieftains – “Chieftains II” (1969). Claddagh CC18, Derek Bell - "Carolan's Receipt" (1975). Fretless 200A, Yankee Ingenuity - "Kitchen Junket" (1977). Island ILPS 9501, "The Chieftains Live" (1977). June Appal 014, John McCutcheon - "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" (1977). Rounder Select 82161-0476-2, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley: Hammered Dulcimer Music” (reissues, orig. released 1977).

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




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