Lady on the Island

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LADY ON THE ISLAND (An Bhean Uasal ar an Oileán). AKA - "Lady of the Island." Irish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Breathnach, Flaherty, Miller & Perron, Mulvihill, Tubridy): AAB (Brody, O'Neill, Taylor). Ciaran Carson, in his book Last Night's Fun (1996), eloquently describes flute player Seamus Tansey's playing of this tune, then comments: "'The Lady' is very rarely used as a first tune, because it's so handy for going into from another tune, or for tacking on to the end of a set if you can think of nothing else. It's a kind of floating tune which gets promiscuously attached to other tunes; come to think of it, it's a variant of 'Rolling on the Ryegrass'". It has been suggested, without any evidence whatsoever, that the title refers to the Statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor, built in 1884.

Sources for notated versions: Seán Keane with the Chieftains (Ireland) [Brody, Miller & Perron]; flutist Eamonn de Stabaltun (Ireland) [Breathnach]; fiddler Jimmy Murphy (b. 1938, Meelick, near Swinford, County Sligo) [Flaherty]; fiddler Brendan Mulvihill (Baltimore, Md.) [Mulvihill].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ I), 1963; No. 188, p. 73. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 162. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 41. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol. 1, No. 43. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 82. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 205, p. 55. O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 303, p. 151. Taylor (Crossroads Dance), 1992; No. 21, p. 16. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, vol. 1), 1999; p. 18.

Recorded sources: 3 SCONES 2008, Dermy Diamond, Tara Diamond, Dáithí Sproule - "Seanchairde/Old Friends" (2009). Coleman Music Center CHC 009, Dick Brennan & Tommy Hunt - "The Coleman Archive, vol. 2: The Home Place" (2003. Reissue recording by various artists. The cut was originally recorded in Ireland c. 1932). Green Linnet SIF 1018, Joe Heaney (with Gave O'Sullivan) - "Joe & the Gabe." Island 9379, Chieftains- "Chieftains 3" (1971). Shanachie 79006, Mary Bergin- "Feadoga Stain/Traditional Irish Music." Shanachie 79023, "Chieftains 3" (1971/1982). Tara 3001, Planxty - "After the Break." Kilfenora Ceili Band - "Irish Traditional Fiddle Music." Shaskeen - "My Love is in America." Dale Russ - "Jody's Heaven." Paddy O'Brien (Co. Offaly) - "The Paddy O'Brien Collection." Various artists - "The Pride of Erin."

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]
Hear a 1971 recording by flute player J.J. Gardiner at the Comhaltas Archive [3]
Hear a 1973 recording by Tony Smith and Michael Gavin at the Comhaltas Archive [4]
Hear a recording of James Scanlan, Martin Wynne and Lad O'Beirne playing the tune at the Comhaltas Archive [5] (2nd tune, following "Boys of the Lough (The)").




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