Greenfields of America (1)

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GREENFIELDS OF AMERICA [1] ("Garranta Glasa Mheiriceá," "Na Paircib Glais America" or "Páirci glasa America"). AKA and see "Greenfields of Virginia" (Pa.), "Greenfields of Canada (The)," "Pretty Molly Brallaghan," "Pretty Judy Brallaghan," "Judy Brallaghan (1)," "Judy Brannagan," "Charming Molly Brannigan," "Molly Brallaghan (1)," "Miss Wedderburn's Reel (1)," "Cossey's Jig," "Jimmy O'Brien's Jig," "Garranta Glasa Mheiruceá," "Under the Rose." See also the related Appalachian tune "Old Mother Flanagan." Irish, New England; Reel. USA; New England, southwestern Pa. A Major (Brody): G Major (Bayard, Breathnach, Cole, Miller & Perron, Mitchell, O'Neill, Phillips, Tolman). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Bayard, O'Neill/1915 & 1850): AAB (Mitchell): AABB (Miller & Perron, Phillips): AABB' (O'Neill/Krassen): AABC (Breathnach): AABBCC (Brody, Cole, Tolman): AABBCCDD (Kennedy). P.W. Joyce (1909) thought the melody of "Greenfields of America" was related to a group of song airs popular in Munster in the mid-18th century, that include "Grand Conversation of Napoleon (The)," "John Doe," and "McKenna's Dream." Francis O'Neill adds several others familiar to him from his time in South Munster, naming "Farmer Hayes," "Raking Paudheen Rue," "Bold and Undaunted Fox," and "Raking Red-Haired Pat." See McKenna's Dream for more on this. Samuel Bayard (1981) sees the tune as having two separate versions, a song air which is the elder and an instrumental air deriving from it. The song, says Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains, "is surely one of the finest songs of emigration in our tradition and many versions of it abound." It is generally thought to have Ulster origins, although at least one early version of the song has the emigrant bidding farewell to County Wicklow. The earliest published version is to be found in a 19th century collection by S.A. Such, London. Interestingly, the reel appears in the c. 1840's manuscript collection of Setauket, Long Island, New York, painter and fiddler William Sidney Mount [1] (1807–1868) in a setting little changed from that played at present. John Hartford believes the tune is a cousin to "Speed the Plow."

W.B. Laybourn, editor of Köhler’s Violin Repository, Book Second (p. 104), prints "Green Fields..." in the key of 'A' with the usual first strain given as the second strain, while Laybourn's first strain appears unrelated to other "Green Fields..." versions.

The melody has also been popular when set in 6/8 meter, and at least a few versions retain the "Greenfields" title (see Greenfields of America (4) (The)). Breathnach (1963) says "Greenfields..." is similar to "Cossey's Jig," first published in Jackson's Celebrated Tunes (1774), a version of which jig appears as "Maid in the Meadow (1)" and "Jimmy O'Brien's Jig," printed by O'Neill. A jig called "Humors of Newtown (1)" in the mid-19th century James Goodman manuscripts, collected in Cork and elsewhere in Munster, has a first part that shares melodic material with the first part of "Greenfields of America" but not the with the second. As "Casey's Jig (2)" the jig was printed by Glasgow publisher James Aird (Selections, vol. 3, 1788), and by Niel Gow as "Cossey's Jig" in the same year.

Source for notated version: Andy Cahan (North Carolina) [Brody]; Frank King (Westmoreland County, Pa., 1960), Irvin Yaugher (Fayette County, Pa., 1944),;Issac Morris (Greene County, Pa., 1930's) [Bayard]; April Limber [Phillips]; piper Willie Clancy (1918–1973, Miltown Malbay, west Clare) [Mitchell]; fiddler Tommy Potts [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 312A-C, pp. 264-266. Breathnach (CRÉ 1), 1963; No. 79, p. 36. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 126. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 17. Donnellan, Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society, vol. 2, no. 2, 1909; No. 52. Galwey (Old Irish Croonauns), 1910; No. 30, p. 19. Harding's Original Collection, 1928; No. 193. Howe (Diamond School for the Violin), 1861; p. 65. Jarman (Old Time Fiddlin' Tunes), No. or p. 29. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book: Reels & Rants, Flings & Fancies), 1997; No. 56, p. 15. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), p. 41. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3), No. 384. Köhler's Violin Repository, vol. 2, 1881–1885; p. 104. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1983; No. 111. Mitchell (Dance Music of Willie Clancy), 1993; No. 95, p. 83. O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 269, p. 137. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 103. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1240, p. 233. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 513, p. 97. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 104. Robbins (Collection of 200 Jigs, Reels, and Country Dances), 1933; No. 148, p. 47 (as "Molly Brallaghan"). Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 1), 1912; Nos. 121 (6/8 time) and 157. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 41. Tolman (Nelson Music Collection), 1969; p. 11.

Recorded sources: Claddagh 4CC 32, Willie Clancy – "The Pipering of Willie Clancy, vol. 1" (1980). Cló Iar Chonnachta CICD 165, John Wynne & John McEvoy – "Pride of the West" (2007). Edison 50604 (78 RPM), John H. Kimmel (accordionist from New York City), 1918 (appears as next to last tune in "Bonnie Kate Medley Reels"). Edison 51041 (78 RPM), John H. Kimmel, 1922 (appears as last tune of "Stack o' Barley Medley"). F&W Records, "F&W String Band 2." Front Hall 05, Fennigs All Stars – "Saturday Night in the Provinces." Kicking Mule 206, Tom Gilfellon – "Kicking Mule's Flat Picking Guitar Festival." Kicking Mule 208, Art Rosenbaum – "Five String Banjo" (appears as "Charming Molly Brannigan"). Kicking Mule 209, Andy Cahan – "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo." RCA 09026-61490-2, The Chieftains – "The Celtic Harp" (1993). Shanachie 33002, Michael Coleman – "The Legacy of Michael Coleman." Victor 18193 (78 RPM), John J. Kimmell (medley "Stack of Barley"/"Blackberry Blossoms"/"Green Fields to America").

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]
Hear John J. Kimmell's 1916 recording at the Victor Discography [4] (last tune in medley with "Stack of Barley" and "Blackberry Blossoms").




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