Miss Langford

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James Morrison

MISS LANGFORD (Inion Langfort). AKA and see "James Morrison's," "Lady Mary Montague," “Lass of Carracastle," "Lass of Carrowcastle (1) (The)," "Morrison's Reel (3)." Irish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Cranitch): AA'B (Breathnach). Popularized by south County Sligo fiddler James Morrison (1891-1947), who recorded the tune in New York in January, 1935 (paired with "Milestone in the Garden (The)"). Morrison, who also played the tin whistle, accordion and banjo, was nicknamed “The Professor” for his teaching and his formal musical skills. The alternate title “Lass of Carracastle” comes from Morrison’s contemporary, another Sligo fiddler by the name of Paddy Sweeney, who had recorded the tune a year prior to Morrison, again in New York. The tune is sometimes attributed to Sweeney but is clearly derived from the Scots reel "Lady Mary Montague." There is a related, untitled, reel in Breathnach’s CRÉ 5 (1999, No. 201, p. 96). The "Morrison's" title is the name of the tune on De Danann's 1978 "Star Spangled Molly" album.
A possible candidate to have been Morrison's "Miss Langford" is Mary Langford, a young dancer who appeared with her teacher Sean Murphy and another Murphy student, Eileen Kenny, at a show produced by James Hayden's WARD radio program at Brady's Cabaret and Ballroom in Woodside, Queens (Irish Advocate, December 30, 1933).

Source for notated version: whistle player Johnny Maguire, 1966 (Co. Cavan and Belfast, Ireland) [Breathnach]; Jimmy McGettrick (b. 1909, Aughris, Rathmullen, Ballymote) [Flaherty].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ 2), 1976; No. 144, p. 77. Ceol, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 4. Cranitch (The Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; p. 111. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 138 (appears as “Unknown”).

Recorded sources: Columbia 33538-F (78 RPM), James Morrison (1935). Rounder 1123, James Morrison – “Milestone at the Garden” (Morrison originally recorded the melody in 1935). Shanachie Yazoo 7008, James Morrison – "The Wheels of the World: Early Irish-American Music, Classic Recordings from the 1920s and 1930s, Vol. 1" (1997). Tara CD 4011, Frankie Gavin – “Fierce Traditional.”

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Hear Morrison's 1935 recording at the Comhaltas Archive [3]




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