Mary MacDonald Reel (A)

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MARY MACDONALD REEL, A. AKA – "Mary's Fancy (1)," "Old Mary Beaton Reel (An)." Canadian, Reel (or Hornpipe). Canada, Cape Breton. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. In liner notes to Rounder 7039 Vince MacLean and Mark Wilson note, "Mary MacDonald (née Beaton) of New Waterford knew a large number of these “traditional arrangements” and old house party tapes of her are avidly cultivated by Cape Breton’s best players (the only published examples of Mary’s playing, made at the very end of her life, can be found on an old Topic LP)."

Mary Jessie MacDonald (d. 2007) was the daughter of Hugh and Mary (Beaton) MacDonald of Inverness County. She lived in Boston for many years, but returned to Cape Breton upon her retirement. Mary was a much sought-after accompanist, who played with Angus Chisholm, Winston Fitzgerald, Bill Lamey and Tom Doucette (see Boston Globe obit [1]]).

Source for notated version: Ashley MacIsaac (Cape Breton) [Dunlay & Greenberg].

Printed sources: Cranford (Brenda Stubbert: The Second Collection), 2007; no. 35, p. 15 (as "Mary's Fancy"). Dunlay & Greenberg (Traditional Celtic Violin Music of Cape Breton), 1996; p. 53.

Recorded sources: A & M Records 79602 2000-2, Ashley MacIsaac – "Close to the Floor" (1992). Rounder Records 7039, "Traditional Fiddle Music of Cape Breton: Bras d'Or House" (2008, cut #9. Appears as "An Old Mary Beaton Reel").

See also listing at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [2]




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