Lads of Laoise (The)

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X:1 T:Lads of Laois T:Lads of Leith [2] Z:Juergen.Gier@post.rwth-aachen.de M:C| L:1/8 K:EDor EB,~B,2 EGFE|DA,~A,2 DEFD|GEED EFGA|(3Bcd ec dBAF| EB,~B,2 EGFE|DA,~A,2 DEFD|E2BE dBAF|1DEFA BEE^D:|2DEFA BE~E2|: |:eB~B2 egfe|defa gfed|(3Bcd e^d efge|fgaf gfed| eB~B2 GBFB|EBBA Bdef|~g3e ~f3d|1efed BABd:|2efed BAFD|]



LADS OF LAOIS{E} (Gearrbhodaí Laoise). AKA and see "Adam Ferguson's Reel," "Lads of Leith (2) (The)," "Sic a Wife as I hae gotten," "Sir Adam Ferguson." AKA - "Lads of Leix." Irish, Reel. E Minor/Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Breathnach, Feldman & O'Doherty): AA'B (Miller & Perron/2006): AABB (Miller & Perron/1977): AA'BB' (Songer). The tune is the Irish adaptation of the ancestral Scots reel "Lads of Leith (The)," and in fact the Irish word Laois is similarly pronounced 'leash'. The reel is also known in Scotland as "Sic a Wife as I hae gotten," from Lowe's Collection, Book 6 (1844) and "Sir Adam Ferguson" from John Riddell's 1766 collection. The earliest Irish printing appears in Breathnach's Ceol Rince na hÉirreann (vol. 1, 1963) wherein it is identified as having a Scottish provenance. Philippe Varlet finds that fiddler Paddy Killoran was the first to record it around 1945 for the Standard label, in a medley simply titled "Dublin Reels." Despite its having being recorded on the influential 1965 Michael Coleman tribute album by Andy McGann, Felix Dolan and Joe Burke, there is no evidence that Coleman ever recorded the reel. McGann's version is much admired and imitated in North American traditional music circles, particularly in New York. It appears that another line of influence for the "Lads of Laois" stems from Liberties area, Dublin, fiddler Tommy Potts, somewhat altered to make it his own (as was his gift), although it does not appear in his commercially recorded output. "The Lads of Laois" is occasionally attributed to him (e.g. Mallinson's Evergreen Irish Session Tunes) although he did not claim it. Fiddler Sean Keane learned his version of the tune from Tommy Potts (according to the liner notes of Molloy, Keane, O'Flynn's "Fire Aflame" album). Paul de Grae poses the possibility that Killoran, who visited Dublin in the 1940's, could have met Potts and played with him. Killoran's "Dublin Reels" titling of the medley that included "Lads of Laoise" (paired with "Martin Wynne's No. 1") may also be a clue to the connection, suggests Paul. Kevin Reitman notes there exists an acetate recording (see link below), unlabled but probably of the playing of New York fiddlers Lad O'Beirne and Louis Quinn, and that it is contemporary with the Killoran recording (Kevin points out that O'Beirne & Quinn followed "Lads of Laoise" with another of Martin Wynne's tunes, his "No. 2").

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - Bronx-born fiddler Andy McGann (1928-2004, New York) [Miller & Perron]; flutist Ned Stapleton/Éamonn de Stabaltún (Ireland) [Breathnach]-note Paul de Grae suspects this might have been a setting from fiddler Tommy Potts from whom Breathnach collected 23 other tunes for his CRE I; fiddler Dan Compton (Portland, Oregon) [Songer]; fiddlers Francie and Mickey Byrne (County Donegal) [Feldman & O'Doherty].

Printed sources : - Breathnach (CRÉ I), 1963; No. 192, p. 75. Feldman & O'Doherty (The Northern Fiddler), 1979; p. 170 (appears as untitled reel). Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music vol. 1), 1977; No. 21. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 81. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 121.

Recorded sources: -Capelhouse Records, James Kelly - "Traditional Irish Music" (1996). The Orchard, "John Vesey: Sligo Fiddler" (2000). Green Linnet SIF-1110, Andy McGann - "My Love is in America: The Boston College Fiddle Festival" (1991). Ringsend Road Music Group 1, Nollaig Casey & Artie McGlynn - "Lead the Knave" (1989). Shaskeen Records OS-360, Andy McGann, Felix Dolan, Joe Burke - "A Tribute to Michael Coleman" (c. 1965). Arvid Lindin & Jack Lindberg - "Joined at the Ear."

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]
Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [3]
Hear the Lad O'Beirne & Louis Quinn home recording at the Comhaltas Archive [4]
Hear Andy McGann playing the tune at the Comhaltas Archive [5]
Hear Joe Down playing the tune at the Comhaltas Archive [6]



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