Lady on the Island

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X:1 T:Lady on the Island M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel K:D dB|BAFB AFEF|D2 FA BAdB|BAFB AFAB|defd efdB| BAFB AFEF|D2 FA BAdB|BAFB AFAB|defd e2|| A/B/c|d2 fd efge|afdf eB B2|defd efge|afdf e2 A/B/c| d2 fd efge|afdf eB B2|defg afbf|afdf e2||

LADY ON THE ISLAND (An Bhean Uasal ar an Oileán). AKA - "Lady of the Island." Irish, Reel (cut time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Breathnach, Flaherty, Miller & Perron, Mulvihill, Tubridy): AAB (Brody, O'Neill, Taylor): AA'BB' (Prior). 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 that the title refers to the Statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor, built in 1884. However, the Philadelphia-based uilleann piper and pipe maker William Taylor noted it down for a friend, Henry Mercer, who wrote that Taylor had learned it in Ireland before he emigrated to America c. 1870 (see Nick Whitmer's biography at

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - 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 (Ceol Rince na hÉireann vol. 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 vol. 1), 1977; 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. Prior (Fionn Seisiún 3), 2007; p. 5. 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 listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's [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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