Musical Priest

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MUSICAL PRIEST, THE ("t-Sagart Ceolmar (An)" or "Sagart an Cheoil"). AKA and see "Buckeen (The)," "Mo Ceoil Sibh a Laochra" "New Bridge of Erin (The)." Irish, Reel. B Minor/Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABC (Miller & Perron/2006, O'Malley): AABC (O'Neill/1850): AA'BC (Breathnach): AABBCC (Brody, Mallinson, Miller & Perron): AA'BBCC (Moylan): AABB'CC' (O'Neill/Krassen). It seems likely the "Musical Priest" was derived from Scots composer William Marshall's strathspey "Belhelvie House" (which the Gows renamed "North Bridge of Edinburgh (The)"). Brendan Breathnach published the tune under the title "New Bridge of Erin (The)," a variant of "New Bridge of Eden (The)", the name under which it was entered into the mid-19th century music manuscript of the Gunn family of County Fermanagh. See also the related "George Gubbin's Delight," "Humors of Schull (The)," "Old Grey Gander (The)," "Wedding Ring (2), whose first strain is shared with the Scottish "Lord Kelly--Strathspey" or "Lord Kelly's Rant/Reel)" and "Cameron House."

James Morrison (1891–1947)

The reel was recorded and popularized by County Sligo fiddle master James Morrison in New York in 1935.

Sources for notated versions: fiddler James Morrison (Co. Sligo/New York) [Breathnach]; accordion player Johnny O'Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border) [Moylan]; Murt Collins of Cork, a student of New York fiddler John McGrath (1900–1955) [O'Malley].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ 3), 1985; No. 172, p. 78. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 200. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 10, p. 4. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music, vol. 1), 1977; No. 7. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 93. Moylan (Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra), 1994; No. 92, p. 53. O'Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music), 1976; No. 3, p. 2. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 111. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1284, p. 241. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 549, p. 102. Peoples (Fifty Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1986; 30. Vallely (Learn to Play the Tin Whistle with Armagh Pipers Club, vol. 3), 18.

Recorded sources: Bellbridge Records, Bobby Casey – "Casey in the Cowhouse" (1992. Originally recorded 1959). Columbia 33540-F (78 RPM), James Morrison (1935). Front Hall 08, Alister Anderson – "Traditional Tunes" (1976. From O'Neill's). Green Linnet SIF-104, John & Phil Cunningham – "The Celts Rise Again" (1990). Green Linnet SIF-3036, John & Phil Cunningham – "Silly Wizard: Live in America" (1986). GTD Heritage Trad. HCD 008, Tommy Peoples – "Traditional Irish Music Played on the Fiddle." Rounder 0113, Trapezoid – "Three Forks of Cheat" (1979). Shanachie 29004, "Andy McGann and Paddy Reynolds." Shanachie 33004, James Morrison – "The Pure Genius of James Morrison." Topic 12T357, Johnny O'Leary – "Music for the Set" (1977).

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]
Hear James Morrison's 1935 recording at the Comhaltas Archive [4] (2nd tune in medley, following "Irish Girl (5) (The)" and preceding "Lord Wellington (2)").




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