Graf Spee (The)

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GRAF SPEE, THE. AKA and see "Galbally Lasses," "Grand Spey (1) (The)," "Grand Spee (The)," "Grand Spy (1) (The)," "French Spy (The)." AKA and see "Galbally Lasses," "Grant of Strathspey (The)," "Lassie wi' the lint-white locks," "Rothiemurchus Rant," "Rothiemurcus Rant," "Tartan Reel (The)," "Winnie Greene's Favorite," "Winnie Green's Reel," "Western Lasses." Irish, Reel. C Major (Flaherty, O'Neill, Vallely): D Major (Alewine, Black). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC (Flaherty): AABCCD (Black): AABBCCD (Alewine): AABB'CCD (O'Neill): AABCCDDE (Mulvihill, Vallely). Seattle (1987) believes the name to be a curious corruption of the title "Grant of Strathspey (The)" (sometimes "Grant's Strathspey") transformed into the name of the famous World War II German battleship (itself named after a famous German admiral, Maximilian Graf von Spee, born in 1861).

"Rothiemurchus Rant" is the Scottish ancestor of the melody. A version of the tune was entered as an untitled reel in Book 2 (No. 228) of the large c. 1883 music manuscript collection of County Leitrim fiddler and piper Stephen Grier (c. 1824-1894). Flaherty's version is somewhat distanced from O'Neill's. "Western Lasses" is a variant and is more noticeable in the second and third parts of the tune rather than the first (Alan Ng says: "compare 2nd and 3rd parts with the 3rd and 2nd parts, respectively, of The Western Lasses"). Philippe Varlet finds an early recording of the tune on a 78 RPM disc by an American Irish piper named Martin Beirne (who led the Blackbird Orchestra) on which it is called "The Grand Spy" (see note under that title for more on American versions).

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - fiddler Fred Finn {1919-1986} (Kiltycreen, Kilavil, County Sligo) [Flaherty]; Jim McElhone (County Derry) [Mulvihill]; New York fiddlers Andy McGann and Brian Conway [Black]; Tony Smith [Bulmer & Sharpley].

Printed sources : - Alewine (Maid that Cut Off the Chicken's Lips), 1987; p. 20. Black (Music's the Very Best Thing), 1996; No. 189, p. 100 (appears as "The Grand Spey"). Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland), 1976, vol. 3, No. 44. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 83. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 137, p. 37. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 162. Vallely (Armagh Pipers Club Play 50 Reels), 1982; No. 50, p. 24.

Recorded sources: -Green Linnett GLCD 1155, Martin Hayes - "Under the Moon" (1995). SIF 3002, Kevin Burke & Jackie Daly - "Eavesdropper" (1981). Green Linnet SIF 3018, "Molloy/Peoples/Brady" (1978).

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

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