Back to Lawson's Favorite
LAWSON'S FAVORITE ("Roga Ui Lauson" or "Roga Mic Laid"). AKA and see "Farewell to Leitrim," "Fiddlers' Frolic (2)," "Hawthorn's Reel," "Kennaw's Reel," "Maude Miller (1)," "Molloy's Favourite (1)," "Patsy Campbell's," "Reidy Johnson's (1)," "Roll Her in the Haystack," "Take Her Out and Air Her (2)." Irish, Reel. D Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill/1850 & 1001): AA'B (O'Neill/Krassen). The tune was recorded under this title by famed County Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman in New York in 1921, the second tune in a set following "Reidy Johnson's (1)."
Source for notated version: "Lawson" [O'Neill]. A Robert Lawson is mentioned in O'Neill's Irish Minstrels and Musicians (1913), in a passage (p. 349) in which O'Neill explains that Lawson, originally a flute player, obtained a set of uilleann pipes from (Chicago Police) Sergeant James Early, an expert piper and member of the Irish Music Club. Early had obtained the set of pipes from Dan O'Keefe, an older immigrant who was a noted dancer and Highland piper, but who had not succeeded with the uilleann set, which, when Early received it, was in poor condition, dried up and disjointed. Early reconditioned the set (which proved to have been made by Egan). Lawson became proficient enough to be hired to play the pipes on the front porch of the McKinley cottage in the Irish Village at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis in 1903.
Years afterwards this splendid, sweet-toned set of Union pipes...was stolen from Lawson at New York City. After playing a few tunes in a Bowery bar-room, the piper was given some "knock-out drops", and when he came to his senses the next morning in some out-of-the-way place, he had neither pipes nor knowledge of where he had been "doped." No trace of the instrument has been discovered from that day to this.
Printed sources: O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 115. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1307, p. 245. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 570, p. 105.
Recorded sources: Columbia 33223-F (78 RPM), Frank Quinn and Joe Maguire (192?. Under title "Donovan's Reel"). Yazoo 7008, Frank Quinn & Joe Maguire - "The Wheels of the World" (1997. Reissue recording, various artists.).
See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info 
Hear the tune played by Montreal fiddler Jean Carignan on youtube.com  (following Morning Star (The), recreating a set recorded in the 78 RPM era by fiddler and accordion player Frank Quinn (b. 1893) and fiddler Joe Maguire).