Gray Hen (The)

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GRAY HEN, THE. AKA and see "Old Grey Gander (The)." Irish, Reel (cut time). A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Francis O'Neill printed the tune under the title "Old Grey Gander (The)" in his Music of Ireland (1903). Researcher Conor Ward finds a nearly identical version of the reel in the c. 1885 music manuscript collections of fiddler Francis Reynolds of Gaigue, Ballinamuck, Co. Longford. In the Reynolds MS, it is called "Gray Hen (The)." Ward remarks: "This similarity in versions is due to the fact that O’Neill obtained the tune from the fiddler James Kennedy (1861-1927), who was raised in Curraghashillaun, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, not far from where Francis Reynolds lived in Ballinamuck. Kennedy had learned this tune from his father, Peter Kennedy (c.1822-1902), who was a renowned fiddle master in south Leitrim. Apart from the geographical connection between the two fiddlers, Kennedy and Reynolds, it's amazing how similar the two versions are, almost note for note!"

Silver Grey Dorking Hen



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