Humors of Scarriff (The)

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HUMOURS OF SCARRIFF, THE (Sugra Scairb). AKA - "Humours of Scariff." Irish, Reel. D Dorian (most versions): E Dorian (Miller & Perron/McGuire setting). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Cranitch, Miller & Perron): AAB (Vallely): AABB (McGuire & Keegan, Sullivan). Scarriff is located in east County Clare, between Killaloe and Mountshannon, on the banks of the river Scarriff, near the shore of Scarriff Bay on Lough Derg. It can therefore be considered a Clare tune. Francis O'Neill, writing in Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby (1910, p. 122), states he collected the tune on a trip to East Clare in 1906, where, in the Sliabh Aughty area, he had several tunes from fiddlers Johnny Allen, a dance musician and contemporary of Pat Canny, and Michael Touhey, both pupils of a blind fiddler named Paddy MacNamara ("Paddy Mack"). The latter taught music in the region in the early part of the 20th century. A transcription of the tune was supplied to O'Neill by a Mr. Tubridy, who was a schoolteacher from Tulla in attendance the day of O'Neill's small session, and as it had not title it was called "Humors of Scarriff" in honor of the visit.

Henrik Norbeck points out that Clare fiddler Paddy Canny slides into the 'f' notes in the 'A' part.

Sources for notated versions: east Clare fiddler Paddy Canny [McGuire & Keegan]; Belfast fiddler Seán McGuire [Miller & Perron].

Printed sources: Cranitch (Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; No. 66, p. 151. McGuire & Keegan (Irish Tunes by the 100, vol. 1), 1975; No. 71, p. 19. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol. 3, No. 27 (appears as "S. McGuire Reel"). Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; pp. 76-77 (two versions). O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 776, p. 135. Sullivan (Session Tunes), vol. 2; No. 13, p. 6. Vallely (Learn to Play the Fiddle with Armagh Pipers Club), 197?; No. 43, p. 38.

Recorded sources: Compass 7 4287 2, Cathal McConnell - "Long Expectant Comes at Last" (2000. Learned from a recording of accordion player Joe Burke and fiddler Andy McGann). Green Linnet SIF - 3005, Bothy Band - "Old Hag You Have Killed Me" (1981. Reissue of 1976 Mulligan LP). Shanachie 29012, Joe Burke, Andy McGann & Felix Dolan - "The Funny Reel" (1979). Viva W103, Sean McGuire - "Irish Jigs and Reels" (c. 1960's, a reissue of "Sean Maguire Plays," the first recording of McGuire that Josephine Keegan accompanied on piano).

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]
thesession.org [3]
Hear the tune at the Comhaltas Archive [4]




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