Lady Elmer’s Reel

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X:1 T:Lady Elmer's Reel M:C L:1/8 R:Reel S:Rev. Luke Donnellan – “Oriel Songs and Dances", S:Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society (vol. II, No. 2, 1909; No. 32) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Gdor DGGA G2 GA|BGdG eGdG|DFFG F2 FG|AFcF dFcF| DGGA G2 GA|BAGA Bcde|fefd cBAc|BGAF GBAF:|| |:Ggfa g2 ga|bagf gfdc|dfeg f2 fg|agfe fedc| dgfa g2 ga|bagf gdde|1 fefd cBAc|BGAF GBAF:| |2 dg g2 bg g2|abag fede||

LADY ELMER'S REEL. AKA and see "Bunch of Keys (1)," "Cronin's Favorite (1)," "Ewe with the Crooked Horn (1)," "Ewie wi' the Crooked Horn (1)," "Flowers of Limerick (1) (The)," "Mills are Grinding (1) (The)," "Old Town Reel," "Paddy on the Handcar," "Paddy on the Turnpike (2)," "Telephone Reel," "Yellow Heifer (2) (The)." Irish, Reel. G Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'. A member of a large and varied tune family that goes by a number of titles, in modes from major (ionian) to dorian (as well as mixed modes). The reel under the "Lady Elmer" title was collected in the Slieve Gullion region of south County Armagh by the Rev. Luke Donnellan, a rector at Dromintee, who published a collection of over 100 tunes, mostly reels, in 1909 in The Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society (vol. II, No. 2). Donnellan was enthusiastic about P.W. Joyce's then recently published Old Irish Music and Songs (1909), but found Irish music rather rare in his area.

The old people of Dromintee will tell you of the number and the skill of musicians who used to come to [nearby] Forkhill fair. I was told there used to be as many as thirty playing at it. They display an extensive knowledge of the names of songs and dance tunes, but cannot sing them. The reel known as “Black Haired Lass (2) (The)” No. 66 inf., seems to have been a great favourite with everyone. These facts point to a vanishing and disappearing musical culture.

Forkhill Fair, held on Michaelmas Day (Sept. 29th) was once the great horse and cattle fair, and festival of the area (St. Michael is the patron saint of horsemen).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Donnellan (Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society, vol. II, No. 2), 1909; No. 32.

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