Heather Breeze (1)

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X:1 T:Untitled Reel T:Heather Breeze [1] M:C L:1/8 R:Reel S:Stephen Grier music manuscript collection (c. 1883, No. 272) N:Grier was a musician from Gortletteragh, Co. Leitrim N:Communicated by Conor Ward Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G F|DGBG dGBG|FGAB cFAF|DGBG cGBG|cAFA AG G:|| f|g2 ag/f/ gbag|f2 gf/e/ fagf|g2 ag/f/ gbag|fdcA AG G2| g2 ag/f/ gbag|f2 gf/e/ fagf|bgaf gbag|fdcA AG G2||



HEATHER BREEZE [1], THE ("Leoithne an Fhraoigh" or "Feoitne Fraoc"). AKA and see "Blind Fiddlers (The)," "Coppers and Brass (1)," "Coppers of Brass (1)," "Crossing the Field," "Dublin Lasses (1)," "Fitzmaurice's Flight," "Heather Bloom (The)," "Heathery Breeze (The)," "Heathery Braes of Ballyhealy (The)," "Humors of Appletown (The)," "Ladies Pantalettes," "Ladys Pantaloos," "Lady's Pantaloonns," "Limerick Lasses (1)," "McNamara's Reel." Irish, Scottish; Reel. G Major (most versions): G Major/Mixolydian (Kerr). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Allan's, Flaherty, Feldman & O'Doherty, Harker/Rafferty, O'Malley, Tubridy): AABB (Russell): ABC (Breathnach, O'Neill): AA'BCC'DD' (Kerr). The title "Heather Breeze" is thought to be a corruption of "Heathery Braes"--the Gaelic word brae referring to the slopes of a hillside. Doolin, north County Clare, tin whistle player Micho Russell (1989) thought a 'heathery breeze' was some kind of fairy wind, an isolated but strong gust which "roots up the grasses out of the ground," and offered the folklore vegetables grew better in the soil where heather grows and that it is also a good place to find a shamrock.

P.W. Joyce collected the tune (which appears identified only as "an old reel" in his Old Irish Folk Music and Songs, 1909) in Kilkenny in the mid-19th century. Brendan Breathnach found the melody in Co. Monaghan as "Coppers of Brass (1)," "Heather Bloom (The)" and "Heathery Braes (The)." "Coppers and Brass (1)" was a Tipperary and Kerry title and "Heathery Braes of Ballyhealy (The)" was collected in Leitrim from the Alex Sutherland MS (c. 1900) of Toome, Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim ( entitled "The Heathery Brays of Ballyheady"--Breathnach may have corrected the title, notes researcher Conor Ward. Ward also finds that Sutherland entered another version of the melody in his ms. as "Coppers and Brass (1)"). The melody appears as untitled reels in the c. 1883 music manuscript collection of musician Stephen Grier (Gortletteragh, County Leitrim), and in Feldman & O'Doherty's Northern Fiddler (1979, p. 76), transcribed from the playing of Donegal fiddler John Doherty. Breathnach (1976) concluded O'Neill's "Crossing the Field," in Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, was a related tune. O'Neill's three-part version of the tune in his Dance Music of Ireland (1907) adds a part to the tune usually played in two parts, while the setting in Kerr's runs to five parts, although some of those are close variants of one another. See also the related but untitled "Reel (101)" from County Leitrim musician Stephen Grier (c. 1824-1894).

The reel was popular in the early 20th century and was recorded several times in the 78 RPM era by, for example, "Blind Fiddlers (The)" in March, 1928, by the Hyde Brothers, and by Packie Dolan and his Melody Boys as "Fitzmaurice's Flight."

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - fiddler Tommy Peoples, 1968 (Co. Donegal & Dublin, Ireland) [Breathnach]; fiddler Kathleen Morris (Corlisheen, Ballyrush, Co. Sligo) [Flaherty]; Donegal fiddler John Doherty (1895-1980) [Feldman & O'Doherty, Jordan]; New York fiddler John McGrath (1900-1955), originally from County Mayo [O'Malley]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : - Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 149, p. 79. Feldman & O'Doherty (Northern Fiddler), 1979; p. 76b (appears as "Untitled Reel"). Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 60. Giblin (Collection of Traditional Irish Dance Music), 1928; 19. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 148, p. 45. Jordan (Whistle and Sing!), vol. 2. Lyth (Bowing Styles in Irish Fiddle Playing, vol. 1), 1981; 61. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 4), c. 1880's; No. 122, p. 15. McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), c. 1920; No. 61, p. 15. O'Malley Collection, 1976; No. 38, p. 19. O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 285, p. 144. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 779, p. 135. Russell (The Piper's Chair), 1989; p. 15. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, Book Two), 1999; p. 20.

Recorded sources: -Flying Fish 266, Malcolm Dalglish & Grey Larsen - "Thunderhead" (1982). Folkways FW 6818, Leo Rowsome (1966. A re-release of the HMV IM 283 78 RPM recording of 1937). Green Linnet GLCD 1184, Patrick Street - "Made in Cork" (1997). Shanachie 79064, Matt Molloy - "Heathery Breeze" (1999).

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



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