Miss Thornton’s Reel

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X:1 T:Miss Thornton’s Reel M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel S:Michael B. Shanahan S:P.D. Reidy music manuscript collection, London, 1890’s (No. 29) N:”Professor” Patrick Reidy of Castleisland was a dancing N:master engaged by the Gaelic League in London to teach N:dance classes. He introduced “Siege of Ennis” and “Walls N:of Limerick” ceili dances and wrote a treatise on dancing. N:Reidy told O’Neill that his source, Shanahan was a “celebrated N:violinist”, the son of a piper born in Kilrush, Co. Clare, with a N:great reputation in Kerry and Limerick in the 1860’s. It is unclear N:where Shanahan was in relation to his acquaintance with Reidy N:(i.e. in London or Ireland). F: http://rarebooks.library.nd.edu/digital/bookreader/MSE_1434-1/#page/1/mode/1up Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G [G2g2] [Bg]f gdBd|cBAB cedc|BcBA GBdg|ecAF GBdf| gagf gdBd|cBAB Bedc|BcBA GBdg|ecAF G2 Bd|| b2 ag b2 ag|egdg egdg|b2 ag b2 ag|egfa g2 ga| b2 ag b2 ag|egdg egdg|bagf gfed|egfa gdef||

MISS THORNTON'S {REEL} ("Seisd Ingean Ui Tornton," "Cor Ingean Ni Turntuin," "Iníon Uí Dhroighneáin"). AKA and see "Boat Street Lasses (The)," "Coming Through the Field," "Coming Through the Fields," "Creeping Mouse (The)," "Down the Street," "House on the Hill (4) (The)," "Lady Ann Hope (1)," "Maid of the Forest (The)," “Miss Dalton's,” "O'Loughlin's Reel,” "Salamanca (2)," "Sets canadiens (3b)," "Spike Island Lasses (2)," “The Tiger Hornpipe (The),” “Thro the Fields (2),” "Winding Stream." Irish, Reel. G Major (most versions): D Major (Moylan). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Breathnach/CRÉ V, Moylan, O'Neill {All versions}): AAB (Kennedy): ABB' (Breathnach/CRÉ II): AABB (Brody): AA’BB’ (Taylor/Tweed). Breathnach thought this tune related to (or derived from) the Scottish strathspey “Lady Ann Hope” and also said that other names for it were “Boat Street Lasses,” “Maid of the Forest,” “(Coming) Thro' the Fields” (R.M. Levey), “Creeping Mouse (The),” “Down the Street,” “Spike Island Lasses,” “Salamanca” and “O'Loughlin's Reel.” In Ceol Rince na hÉireann V Breathnach prints a hornpipe version from Sliabh Luachra fiddler Denis Murphy called the “Tiger Hornpipe," and Paul de Grae notes that 19th century Irish violinist R.M. Levey's "Coming Through the Fields" (Dance Music of Ireland, vol. 1) is a very similar setting to "Miss Thornton's Reel." Philippe Varlet finds the “Miss Dalton” title for “Miss Thornton” only on one 78 RPM recording by an accordion player named Eddie Herborn, released in 1916. Cognate versions of the melody can be found in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) as "Nimble Fingers (1)", which is a near copy (in a different key) of "Lady Caroline Bligh's Reel."

A close variant was entered as an untitled reel in Book 2 (No. 203) of the large c. 1883 music manuscript collection of County Leitrim fiddler and piper Stephen Grier (c. 1824-1894), and (as "Miss Thornton's") in dancing master P.D. Reidy's music manuscript collection, London, 1890’s (No. 29)

The tune was recorded by piper Tom Ennis and John Gerrity in 1922, and piper Leo Rowsome in 1944. South County Sligo fiddler James Morrison also recorded it in 1936 in New York. Canadian fiddler Georges Frappier also recorded the reel as the second tune in his "Sets canadiens (3b)", in Montreal in 1921.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 172, p. 90. Breathnach (CRÉ V), 1999; Nos. 120 (i) & 120 (ii), p. 62. Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; p. 193. Giblin (Collection of Traditional Irish Dance Music), 1928; 20. Kennedy (Traditional Dance Music of Britain and Ireland: Reels and Rants), 1997; No. 138, p. 33. Moylan (Johnny O’Leary), 1994; No. 200, p. 116. O'Neill (O’Neill’s Irish Music), 1915; No. 232, p. 123. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 108. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1266, p. 238. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 534, p. 100. Taylor (Traditional Irish Music: Karen Tweed’s Irish Choice), 1994; p. 30.

Recorded sources : - Gennet 5003 (78 RPM), Tom Ennis & John Gerrity (1922). Green Linnet 1020, Brenden Mulvihill "The Flax in Bloom." HMV IM 1001 (78 RPM), Leo Rowsome (1944. Paired with "Broken Pledge (The)"). Shanachie 78015, James Keane – “With Friends Like These” (1998. “My father Patrick, who was from Lavalla, Ballynacally, County Clare {and a fine fiddle player}, loved to play ‘Miss Thornton’s Reel.’ There’s a lovely bridge between the second and first parts, and I attribute this great version to him.”). Liam O'Flynn - "Fine Art of Solo Piping."

See also listing at :
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Hear John Joe Gannon playing the tune at the Comhaltas Arcive [3]
Hear the 1922 recording by Tom Ennis & John Gerrity at the Internet Archive [4] (1st tune in medley, followed by "Merry Blacksmith (The)" and "Bush in Bloom (The)").

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