Moll Roe (1)

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X:1 T:Moll Roe [1] M:9/8 L:1/8 R:Slip Jig B:P.M. Haverty – One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 1 (1858, No. 28, p. 14) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C G|Gcc dec Bcd|ecc dBdf2G|Gcc dec Bcd|e>ee fdB c3!fermata!:| |:e/f/|gee fdc B>cd|gee fde f2 e/f/|gee fdB B>cd|e>ee fdB c2!D.C.!||



MOLL ROE [1] (Maire Ruaid). AKA – “Moll Roe’s.” AKA and see "Late on a Saturday Night," "Moll Roe in the Morning," "Mall Rua," "Sweet Molly Roe," "One bumper at parting," "Munsterman's Flattery (The)," "Market Stake (The)," "Ditherum Doodle," "Though late was I plump," "Come Under My Dimity," "Night of the Fun (3) (The)," "B'fhearr liomsa ainnir gan guna," "I'll Take a Glass with a Friend," "Jig an da Thuistiun." Irish, Slip Jig and Air. G Minor (Cole): G Major (O'Farrell, O'Neill): D Major (Breathnach/CRE II). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill/1850 & 1001): AABB (Breathnach/CRE II, Cole, O'Farrell, O'Neill/Krassen). Moll Roe is an anglicization of the Irish Mall (Máire) Ruadh, or Red (haired) Mary. This was a pipe tune written in praise of Miss Molly Roe, the daughter of Mr. Andrew Roe of Tipperary. The ten verses of the song attached to it were composed impromptu by several gentlemen at the County Tipperary Clubhouse in 1725, the last of which goes:

Come fill up in bumpers your glasses,
And let the brown bowl overflow;
Here's health to the brightest of lasses,
The queen of all toasts—Molly Roe.

Another, earlier, source for the title is given by Paul de Grae, who remarks:

The "Moll Roe" referred to was an actual historical person, a redoubtable 17th century lady called Ma/ire Ruadh Ni/ Mahon, thrice-married chatelaine of Leamaneh Castle in County Clare, whose impressive remains stand beside the road from Ennis up to The Burren (the castle's remains, that is, not Ma/ire Ruadh's). She was a formidable character, who lost her second husband, Conor O'Brien (who built Leamaneh Castle on the occasion of their wedding in 1639, grafting it on to an existing 15th century tower house), fighting Cromwell's invading army. When his grieving soldiers bore his body back to the castle, she shouted from the battlements, "We want no dead men here!", and refused them entrance. She subsequently married one of Cromwell's lieutenants (thereby securing the castle and lands for her young son), Coronet John Cooper, but some time later when husband no. 2 made some disparaging remark about husband no. 1, she kicked him from an upstairs window and killed him. I don't know who husband no. 3 was, but he must have been a very brave (or foolish) man indeed.

A contemporary portrait of this redoubtable lady shows her to have been no beauty, though magnificently dressed in a rich gown with a broad lace collar and adorned with many jewels. ... [The Houses of Ireland, by Brian de Breffny and Rosemary Folliott, p. 45].

The tune was introduced under the name "Moll Rue" in Henry Brooke's Jack the Giant Queller in 1748, and it was also called "Moll Rue in the Morning." It appeared in O'Keefe's Poor Soldier in 1783, and in O'Farrell's A Pocket Companion for the Irish Pipes in 1810.

In the journal Ceol (volume 2, No. 4) we are informed that "Moll Roe," as found in O'Neill's Dance Music of Ireland (No. 441), is a common name for the tune to the song "Taim in Arrears." Breathnach says O'Neill also prints variants under the titles "Ditherum Doodle", "Moll Roe in the Morning", "Though late I was plump" and "Munsterman's Flattery." As "I'll Take a Glass with a Friend" it appears in O'Farrell's Pocket Companion (printed before 1811). Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) has versions as "Moll Roe's" and "Come Under My Dimity," while Goodman gives it as "Late on a Saturday Night" is a variant printed by Goodman, and identifies "Night of Fun (The)" as a variant. The "Ditherum Doodle" title for the tune comes from its use as the vehicle for the song "Though late I was plump," in which 'ditherum doodle' starts off the burden or chorus. The lyric was printed in The Encyclopedia of Comic Songs (1820, p. 500):

Though late I was plump, round, and jolly,
I now am as thin as a rod;
Oh, love is the cause of my folly,
And soon I'll lie under a sod.
Sing ditherum doodle, nagety, nagety, tragety rum,
And goosetherum, foodle, fidgety, fidgety, nigety mum.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - accordion player James Gannon, 1960 (Dublin, Ireland) [Breathnach/CRE II].

Printed sources : - Breathnach (CRÉ 2), 1976; No. 93, p. 51. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 68. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs, vol. 1), 1858; No. 28, p. 14. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. 4), c. 1810; p. 99. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 87. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1169, p. 220. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 441, p. 86. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 98.

Recorded sources : - Rounder 0215, James Bryan – "The First of May."




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