Annotation:McSweeney's Reel

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X: 2 T: McSweeney's R: reel M: 4/4 L: 1/8 N:A two part tune--the first strain is repeated four times, with a different cadence N:the last time around. K: Gmaj |: DGGA B2ag | efdc AGGF | DGGA B2AG | AdcA G3F :| |: DGGA B2ag | efdc AGGF | DGGA B2AG |1 AdcA G3F :|2 AdcA G4 || |: fgag fdde | ~f3d cAG2 | fgag fdd2 | dgfa ~g3a | b2af gfde | ~f3d cAGF | DGGA B2AG |1 AdcA G4 :|2 AdcA G3F|]

McSWEENEY'S REEL. Irish, Reel (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAAA'BB'. The tune was a favorite of John Doherty [1] (1900-1980), a renowned fiddler from Co. Donegal who may have obtained it from the piping of Tarlach McSuibhne. Doherty recalled that the reel was played by his father, Mickey Mór, on the latter's deathbed. John had been playing the fiddle to console himself and his father, but listlessly, when his father rose out of bed and asked for the fiddle, then stood in the middle of the floor and played the tune. The reel was recorded in 1926 in Chicago by flute player Patrick Doran and fiddler Tom Cawley as "Sweeney's Favorite Reel"[1]. See also the strikingly similar "Glen Reel" claimed as a composition of County Cavan fiddler Ed Reavy, and "Feeding the Birds," claimed as a composition by flute player Mike Rafferty.

Additional notes

Recorded sources : - Folktrax FTX 074, John Doherty - "The Pedlar's Pack" (1952). Green Linnet SIF-104, Altan - "The Celts Rise Again" (1990). Green Linnet SIF-1095, Altan - "Horse with a Heart" (1989). Columbia 78 rpm 33110, Patrick Doran, Tom Cawley and Frances Malone as "Sweeney's Favorite Reel" - reissued on Old Time Records CD OTR 109 (2022).

See also listing at :
See/hear the tune played by fiddler Aidan O'Donnell at Na Píobairí Uilleann [2]
See a standard notation transcription of John Doherty's entire version, by Conor Caldwell, in his PhD. thesis "‘Did you hear about the poor old travelling fiddler?’ - The Life and Music of John Doherty", 2013, pp. 138-139 [3]

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  1. Conor Caldwell, "‘Did you hear about the poor old travelling fiddler?’ - The Life and Music of John Doherty", PhD thesis, 2013, p. 139 [1]