Miss Dallahyde’s Reel

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X:1 T:Miss Dallahyde’s Reel M:C L:1/8 R:Reel S:Rev. Luke Donnellan – “Oriel Songs and Dances", S:Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society (vol. II, No. 2, 1909; No. 69) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G2 BG dGBG|(3FED AD BDAD|G2 BG dGBG|(3ABc BA BGGB|| d2BG dGBG|(3FED AD BDAD|d2 BG dGBG|(3ABc BA BGGB|| G2 Bd gdBd|gdBd cAAB|G2 Bd gdBd|cedc BGGB| G2 Bd gdBg|abag fgab|gdec Bdef|gdec BG G2||



MISS DALLAHYDE'S REEL. Irish, Reel (whole or cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABC. The reel was collected in the Slieve Gullion region of south County Armagh and is contained in the music manuscript in the possession of Rev. Luke Donnellan (1878-1952), a rector at Dromintee, who published a collection of over 100 tunes, mostly reels, in 1909 in an article entitled "Oriel Songs and Dances" in The Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society (vol. II, No. 2). Oriel [1] (now Oirialla), or Airgíalla, and Anglicizations, Oriel, Uriel, Orgiall, or Orgialla, was the name of an ancient Irish federation or kingdom largely in what is now the County Armagh, in the north of Ireland. Donnellan was enthusiastic about P.W. Joyce's then recently published Old Irish Music and Songs (1909), but found Irish music rather rare in his area.

The old people of Dromintee will tell you of the number and the skill of musicians who used to come to [nearby] Forkhill fair. I was told there used to be as many as thirty playing at it. They display an extensive knowledge of the names of songs and dance tunes, but cannot sing them. The reel known as “Black Haired Lass (2) (The)” No. 66 inf., seems to have been a great favourite with everyone. These facts point to a vanishing and disappearing musical culture.

Forkhill Fair, held on Michaelmas Day (Sept. 29th) was once the great horse and cattle fair, and festival of the area (St. Michael is the patron saint of horsemen).

The French-Canadian "Reel de Tadoussac (2)" is very similar in the first strain.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Rev. Luke Donnellan music ms. collection[1] (Oriel, Ireland) [O'Connor].

Printed sources : - Donnelllan (Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society, vol. II, No. 2), 1909; No. 69. O'Connor (The Rose in the Gap), 2018; No. 18, p. 34.






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  1. Donnellan researcher Gerry O'Connor believes the ms. that is identified with Donnellan was not from his own collecting. Rather, it was originally the work of an unknown but able fiddler who compiled it over the course of a playing lifetime, probably in the late 19th century. The ms. came into Donnellan's possession by the early 20th century.
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