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MOTHER'S DELIGHT (Aoibhneas na Máthar). Irish, Reel. Ireland. D Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Breathnach): AABB (Taylor). Recorded in New York in October, 1928 by fiddler James (Jim) Clark (1887-1938) a native of Bawn, Killoe near Drumlish, in County Longford. Clark (or Clarke as his name was sometimes spelled) led a band on the "Smiles and Tears of Erin" program on radio station WLWL (and later WARD). With piccolo player George White, he operated a musical bar/restaurant in Manhattan where Sligo fiddler Paddy Sweeney served as musical director.
The tune has been associated in recent decades with Clare musicians, including Peadar O'Loughlin, Bobby Casey, Joe Ryan and John Kelly, but Oldtime Records co-founder Emmett Gill reports that their source was the Jim Clark disc, despite the fact that it was never released in Ireland. The reel has a marked resemblance to the family of tunes that includes "Colonel McBain" and "Johnny's Wedding." "Mother's Delight" also shares one part (albeit in a different key) with a three-part tune also recorded by Jim Clark, which he called "Dowd's Favorite" but that is better known as "Malloy's Favorite," the name under which it was privately recorded by Michael Coleman.
Sources for notated versions: flute player and fiddler Peter O'Loughlin, 1966 (Kilmaley, Co. Clare, Ireland) [Breathnach]; Jim Donoghue (b. 1910, Drimacoo, Monasteraden, County Sligo) [Flaherty].
Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 240, pp. 124-125. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 180 (appears as "Unknown"). Taylor (Where's the Crack), 1989; p. 6.
Recorded sources: Columbia 33309-F (78 rpm), James Clark (1928). Gael-Linn CEF060, "Paddy Glackin" (1977).
Cois na hAbhna Archive CNH 010 (CD), 2015, "Maestro," Bobby Casey and Joe Ryan. Green Linnet SIF 1026 (LP), 1980 "Roll Away the Reel World," James Keane (as "Sean Frank").