Hunter's Purse (The)

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HUNTER'S PURSE, THE. AKA and see: "Bridie Morley's," "Old Bush (2) (The)," "Five Leaved Clover (2) (The)," "Five Leaf Clover (2)," "Hawthorn (1) (The)," "Haymaker Reel (2) (The)," "Heel of the Hunt (The)," "Indian on the Rock (The)," "My Love is but a Lassie Yet (3)," "Sceach (An)," "The Thornbush [2]." Irish, Reel. A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Mixolydian versions also are played. A version of this tune is in the music manuscript collection of the Gunn family (County Fermanagh, 1865), under the title "Hetty's Wishes." County Sligo fiddler Paddy Killoran recorded the tune on 78RPM, under the title "Hunter's Purse," the name by which it is usually called nowadays, although other titles seem to have predated it. John Glatt writes in his biography The Chieftains (1997) that band leader and piper Paddy Moloney hired the services of a lilter, Pat Kilduff, especially for their recording of "The Hunter's Purse" on their album "Chieftains 3." The recording studio was in London, however, and Kilduff had never ventured from Athone, County West Meath, where he was born. The first night the nervous man was put up in a hotel in Dublin, and Pat was told to stay put-which he did, only wandering to the hotel bar for a pint of stout...where he chanced to meet the famous Belfast fiddler Seán Maguire. The two ended up staying up all night lilting and playing music, and when he was collected by Moloney in the morning Pat was hardly in shape for his very first plane ride. Kilduff endured the flight but rushed for the bathroom as soon as the plane landed, having been too frightened to relieve himself on the plane. While in London 'the boys' (the more 'worldly' members of the band) showed the lilter 'the sights', including pornographic book shops in Soho. "It was a terrible shock and such madness. We knocked great fun out of it," said Moloney (Glatt, p. 82).

See the cognate "My Love is but a Lassie Yet (3)" contained in vol. 2 (p. 150) of the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper James Goodman. The reel is similar to, but probably not cognate with, "Paddy Kelly's Reel (3)."

Source for notated version: Pete Sutherland with the Arm and Hammer String Band (northern Vermont) [Brody]; a 1961 recording of fiddler Seán Ryan and piper Peter Carberry [Miller & Perron]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources: Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; pp. 138-139. Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 31, p. 14. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 76, pg. 24. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 75, p. 43. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol. 1, No. 45. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 77. McNulty (Dance Music of Ireland), 1965; p. 8.

Recorded sources: Claddagh CC10, The Chieftains - "Chieftains 3" (1971). Copley DWL-9-617, Jack Wade - "Ceili Music From Ireland." Green Linnet GLCD 3009/Mulligan LUN 021, Kevin Burke - "If the Cap Fits" (1978). Island ILPS 9379, Chieftains - "Chieftains 3." Kicking Mule 216, The Arm and Hammer String Band - "New England Contra Dance Music" (1978). Shanachie 79023, "Chieftains 3" (1982).

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 Belhavel Trio playing the tune at Juneberry 78's [4] (last tune in medley)
Hear recordings of "The Hunter's Purse" at the Comhaltas Archives [5]




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