Happy Days of Youth (1)

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X:1 T: Happy Days of Youth [1] S: Liam Og O'Flynn D: The Piper's Call M: 4/4 L: 1/8 Z: Transcribed by Dennis J. Gormley 26 March 1999 K: G (3ABd | e2 ed B2 BA | GA (3BAG AEED | ~G3 B dBeB | dBAc BGG2 | e2 ed B2 BA | GA (3BAG AEED | ~G3 B dBeB | dBAc BGG2 || faag fded | (3Bcd ef g2 gf | eB ~B2 gefd | BAGA Bcde | faag fded | (3Bcd ef ~g3 a | bgaf gfed | (3efg fa g2 ||



HAPPY DAYS OF YOUTH [1], THE. AKA and see "John McKenna's (2)," "Sean McKenna's (2)," "Seán McKenna's (1)," "McKenna's Reel (2)." Irish, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Miller & Perron): AAB (Moylan): ABAB'AB (Harker/Rafferty). The tune was recorded by flute player John McKenna [1] (1880-1947) for Decca in 1934 (paired with "Colonel Rogers"), accompanied by Michael Gaffney on banjo; both originally were from County Leitrim. In fact the tunes became so associated with the flute player's name that they have often simply been referred to as "John McKenna's" or "McKenna's Reels." The fidelity to which the tunes have become attached in tradition has led to some confusion between the titles of the generically titled "McKenna's Reels" (e.g. "Colonel Rogers" is sometimes called "Happy Days of Youth" and vice versa). McKenna and Gaffney were fast friends, remembers McKenna's daughter Catherine, who told Harry Bradshaw and Jackie Small that she could not remember a week that Gaffney was not in her father's house playing his banjo or rehearsing new numbers with the flutist for recordings, dances, weddings and other events they had booked.

John McKenna & Michael Gaffney


Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - accordion player Johnny O'Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border) [Moylan]; flute player Séamus Tansey [Miller & Perron]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : - Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland, vol. 2), 1974; 28. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 74, p. 23 (appears as "McKenna's No. 2"). Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 75. Moylan (Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra), 1994;

Recorded sources: -Claddagh 4CC 39, "The Pipering of Willie Clancy vol. 2" (1983. Appears as "McKenna's"). Coleman Center CD CC004, Gregory Daly & Ted McGowan - "The Mountain Road" (1999. Various artists. "A Compilation of tunes popular in South Sligo"). Coleman Music Center CHC 009, flute player Éamonn Cullen (Cloontia) - "The Coleman Archive, vol. 2: The Home Place" (2005. Various artists). Gael-Linn CEFCD 103, Frankie Gavin - "Croch Suas É/Up and Away" (1983. Appears as "McKenna's"). Larraga TR 1103, Mary Rafferty - "Hand Me Downs" (2002).

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]



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