I Wish I Never Saw You
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I WISH I NEVER SAW YOU. AKA - “I Wish I had Never Seen You.” AKA and see "Donegal Boys," "Eileen Curran's (2)," "Magic Slipper (1) (The)," "Maude Millar (2),” “Montua (The),” “Morrison's Reel (2),” “Mrs. Smullen's,” "My Love and I in the Garden," "My Love is Fair and Handsome (1)," "Paddy McFadden's (1)." Irish, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "I Wish I Never Saw You" (to use the title attached by Mary Bergin on her debut LP) is a member of a quite large tune family descended from a Scottish strathspey, "John Roy Stewart" from one of Scottish fiddler-composer Alexander McGlashan's late 18th century collections, albeit the strathpsey is in the key of D minor.
Sligo fiddler and composer Martin Wynne told New York musician Don Meade that the name "I Wish I Never Saw You" really belonged to the reel more commonly known now as "Maude Millar (2)". The tune Mary Bergin recorded as "I Wish..." is quite like "Maude.." (and the first strain quite like that of "Coleman's Cross (1)") but distinct enough to have acquired several other names used by musicians who play them all. Tom Ennis and James Morrison recorded it unnamed on a 78 rpm side along with "Limestone Rock (The)" but on the Topic LP reissue of that track, the name was given as "Hayden's Favorite," perhaps in honor of New York Irish music columnist and radio host James A. Hayden. Chicago fiddler Johnny McGreevy called it "The Tubbercurry Reel."
Fr. John Quinn has researched the tune family's development in Ireland, along with its bewildering variety of titles and variants, and finds it includes (in addition to the tunes named in the AKA section above) the hornpipe "Farewell to Leitrim," "(Ros na Ri Collection), "Fiddler's Frolic" (O'Neill, Waifs and Strays, 1922), "Glenloe Reel (The)" (Joyce, 1909), "Hawthorn's Reel" (Breathnach, CRE 3), "Jackdaw's Nest (The)" (Keegan, Drop in the Ocean), "Julia Delaney" (O'Neill, MOI), "Kennaw's Reel" (O'Neill, Waifs and Strays), "Lawson's Favourite" (O'Neill, MOI), "Molloy's Favorite" (McDermott, Allan's Irish Fiddler), "Roll Her in the Haystack" (Breatnach, CRE V), "Take Her Out and Air Her" (Breathnach, CRE IV), "Up against the Buachalans" (Fr. Quinn's manuscript from the playing of Joe Dowd, Magheraboy, Sligo, 1960), and "Up along the Buachalawns" (from the Eamonn Ceannt Ceili Band, a similar title, but distinct setting).
Other titled and untitled versions appear in both published and manuscript collections (e.g. "Irish Reel" from the Terence Reilly MS). Fr. Quinn also had settings of the tune from fiddler Frank McCollam (Ballycastle, Co. Antrim) named after his musician sources: "Burke's Reel," "Dunleavey's Reel" and "Raymond Roland's Fancy." He finds three versions in the 1883 Stephen Grier manuscript from County Leitrim.
In America, Boston publisher Elias Howe printed a variant as "Dublin Reel (The)" in his Musician's Omnibus (1863, p. 34).
Matt Seattle finds a British variants in William Vickers "Devil in a Bush," while other English cognates found are "England's Glory," "Mayday," "Duke of Sussex's Reel" and "Mr. Small's Favourite Reel."
Source for notated version: Mary Bergin (Dublin) [Black].
Printed sources: Black (Music’s the Very Best Thing), 1996; No. 200, p. 106.
Recorded sources: Topic LP 12T390, James Morrison and Tom Ennis (1980) as "Hayden's Favourite," originally recorded as the second tune on "Lime Stone Rock-Reels" (Vocalion 14588 and Beltona 838 78 rpm discs).