Back to Mackilmoyle Reel
MACKILMOYLE REEL. AKA - "Macalmoyle's Reel," "McKilmoyle's Reel." AKA and see "Galope de la Malbaie," "Galop de Malbie," "Galope de la Mal Baie," "Tiddle Took Todfish." French Canadian, New England; Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A popular dance tune in Eastern Canada and New England. Amherst, Mass., fiddler Donna Hebert (Hinds, 1981) related that the late Ontario fiddler Graham Townsend said Joe Bouchard (1905-1979) of Quebec probably wrote the tune, however, if this is so, it may be he was inspired by or adapted an older tune, given the relationship between "Mackilmoyle" and the south-west Virginia-collected "Folding Down the Sheets," a similar tune particularly in the second strains, and "Republican Spirit" in Knauf's Virginia Reels vol. 1 (1839). "Folding Down the Sheets" dates back to at least the middle of the second half of the 19th century. Bouchard recorded the tune as "Galop de la Malbaie, or Mackilmoyle's Reel" for RCA Records in Montreal in 1938, released on their Bluebird label.
There are two versions of "The Mackilmoyle" tune extent; one treats the first four notes of the tune as the pickup notes to a first measure, the other treats them as the beginning of the tune. This difference in phrasing came about due to the differences in Quebecois music ("Galope de la Malbaie") and the 'straightened out' "Down-East" version of Messer and others. In general, "Galop" begins on the downbeat, while "Mackilmoyle" begins on the upbeat. Don Messer and his group recorded the tune c. 1943, some five years after Bouchard's recording.
Source for notated version: 'Down-East' fiddler Don Messer [Hinds/Hébert]; Donna Hébert [Hart & Sandell].
Printed sources: Hart & Sandell (Dance ce Soir), 2001; No. 26, p. 57. Hinds/Hébert (Grumbling Old Woman), 1981; p. 13. Messer (Way Down East), 1948; No. 25. Messer (Anthology of Favorite Fiddle Tunes), 1980; No. 45, p. 31. Miller & Perron (New England Fiddlers' Repertoire), 1983; No. 150. Sannella (Balance and Swing), 1982. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 128. Spadaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1980; p. 17.
Recorded sources: Apex Records, "The Best of Don Messer and His Islanders: Volume 1." Arc A616, Earl Mitten and the Valley Rhythm Boys - "Old Time Dance Party." Bluebird B-1143 (78 RPM), Joe Bouchard (78 RPM). Fretless FR200, Yankee Ingenuity - "Kitchen Junket" (1977). Mariposa Records S 29397, Rudy Meeks - "Heritage Fiddle" (1976). Rounder 7002, Graham Townsend, "Le Violon/ The Fiddle" (appears as "Galop de Malbaie").
See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources 
Hear Joe Bouchard's 1938 recording of "Galop de la Malbaie, or Mackilmoyle's Reel" at the Virtual Gramophone 
Hear Don Messer's recording at Ted McGraw's site  (2nd tune, preceded by "Lord Alexander's Reel").