Irish Lilt (4) (An)
X:1 T:Irish Lilt , An M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel S:Henry Livingston's manuscript copybook, late 18th century Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D defg agTfe | defg (a2 d')A | defg agTfe | dB (3BcB g2 fe :| |: dB (3BcB cA (3AcA | dB (3BcB d2 fe | dB (3BcB cA (3AcA | dB (3BcB g2 fe :|
IRISH LILT , AN. American (?), Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A tune in the music manuscript copybook of Henry Livingston, Jr. Livingston purchased the estate of Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1771 at the age of 23. In 1775 he was a Major in the 3rd New York Regiment, which participated in Montgomery's invasion of Canada in a failed attempt to wrest Québec from British control. An important land-owner in the Hudson Valley, and a member of the powerful Livingston family, Henry was also a surveyor and real estate speculator, an illustrator and map-maker, and a Justice of the Peace for Dutchess County. He was also a poet and musician, and presumably a dancer, as he was elected a Manager for the New York Assembly's dancing season of 1774-1775, along with his 3rd cousin, John Jay, later U.S. Chief Justice of Governor of New York. It is possible that this 'Irish Lilt' derives from a stage production by the dancer Richard Aldridge. It is mentioned in the Recollections' (1824) of playwright John O'Keeffe:
Aldridge, the dancer, composed a national ballet, which he called 'The Irish Lilt'; it was made up of original Irish airs. One night, whilst dancing at the Limerick theatre, he met with an accident that likely shortened his life: springing up, and coming down, the boards gave way, and he went suddenly through the stage, a depth of about ten feet; but such was the ardour of his dancing spirit, that he ran up stairs, darted on the stage and gave a few steps, when, overcome with pain, he reeled and fell; yet I heard he afterwards taught dancing in Edinburgh.