Johnny's Wedding

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X:1 T:Johnny's Wedding T:Johnnie's Wedding M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel S:James Goodman (1828─1896) music manuscript collection, S:vol. 3, p. 123. Mid-19th century, County Cork Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Amin c2 ec cA Ac|BGdG BG G2|c2 ec cA A2|edcB A2A2| c2 ec cA Ac|BGdG BG G2|cBcd efge|dcBG A2A2|| a2 ag efge|dedc BG G2|a2 ag efge|eaab a2a2| bagf efge|dedc BG G2|cBcd efge|dcBG A2A2||



JOHNNY'S WEDDING ("Banais Seanin" or "Posad Seaganin"). AKA and see "Colonel McBain's," "Devonshire Reel (1) (The)," "Seán Frank," "Smoky House (1) (The)," "Sporting Molly." Irish, Reel. G Dorian (O'Neill): G Major (Donnellan, Eames, Grier, O'Connor); A Minor (Goodman). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Goodman): AA'B. Probably derived from the Scots "Johnnie's Made a Wedding O't/Johnny's Made a Waddin' O't." "Colonel McBain's" is a closely related tune. The tune was entered into the music manuscript copybook of American fiddler M.E. Eames, frontispiece dated Aug. 22nd, 1859 (p. 9). Unfortunately, nothing is known of Eames, although a few of the tune titles in his manuscript suggest Philadelphia, Pa., connections. Eames set "Johnny's Wedding" in the key of 'G' Major, but by the time O'Neill printed it some fifty years later the tonality had migrated to the dorian mode. The tune and title also appear in the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork uilleann piper, collector and Church if Ireland cleric Rev. James Goodman [1] (vol. 3, p. 123) in the key of A minor. Other Irish manuscript versions of "Johnny's Wedding" can be found in the 1883 collection of County Leitrim musician Stephen Grier, and in the late 19th/early 20th century music ms. in the possession of Rev. Luke Donnellan (18778-1952), Oriel region, south Ulster[1]. Donnellan's version is musically quite similar to that in the Grier collection. The title is included in the tune list of piper Philip Goodman (c. 1831-1908), Carrickmacross, Ireland, who is variously described as "the last professional and traditional piper in Farney, Louth", and also recorded as having been from Donaghmoyne, County Monaghan (all of which are places from the same area, and contiguous to the Donnellan's Oriel region).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Rev. Luke Donnellan music manuscript collection [O'Connor].

Printed sources : - O'Connor (The Rose in the Gap), 2018; No. 108, p. 68. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 99. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1216. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 493, p. 94. Shields (Tunes of the Munster Pipers, vol. 1), 1998; No. 466, p. 183.

Recorded sources : - Green Linnet GLCD 1127, "Martin Hayes" (1993).




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  1. Donnellan researcher Gerry O'Connor came to believe the ms. is not the work of the curate but rather was originally compiled by an unknown but able fiddler over the course of a playing lifetime, probably in the late 19th century. The ms. later came into the possession of Donnellan, who was also a fiddler.
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