My Love is Fair and Handsome (2)
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MY LOVE IS FAIR AND HANDSOME . AKA and see "Coming Home from the Bog," "Gardener's Daughter (3) (The)." Irish, Reel. Uilleann piper Brian McNamara found this "My Love is Fair and Handsome" in the Steven Grier music manuscript collection, compiled in County Leitrim in 1883. McNamara also notes that a setting of the tune can be found from a transcription of the music of the Co. Westmeath piper Joe Kilmurray of Ballinacarrigy. The reel was also known by this name to Mayo and New York fiddler/buttton accordionist John McGrath (1900-1955), according to his student, accordion player Luke O'Malley. Sligo fiddler Paddy Killoran (1904-1965) recorded it on a Dublin Records side in the 1950s.
Killoran's second wife, Bettie Hayes, was from West Clare and Killoran visited there in the 1950s, during which time local musicians including Junior Crehan picked up some of his tunes. However, west Clare fiddler Bobby Casey's version, which was issued on the cassette Casey in the Cowhouse, is not Killoran's setting but a fancier version he called after after Kit O'Connor, a London-based button accordionist. Fiddler Tommy Peoples also recorded "Kit O'Connor's Reel" on his 1982 album "The Iron Man."
The O'Connor setting was very likely influenced by "McFadden's Handsome Daughter," a three-part elaboration of "My Love is Fair and Handsome" contributed by Mayo/Chicago fiddler John McFadden to Francis O'Neill's collection. As O'Neill had already gotten a different "My Love is Fair and Handsome" from a Missouri fiddler, he had to call McFadden's tune something else.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Fiddlers of Sligo (Oisín Mac Diarmada and Daithí Gormley), Ceol Productions, 1991, includes the Killoran setting. Martin Mulvihill - 1st Collection, self-published, New York (1986), No. 114.
Recorded sources: Bellbridge Records, Bobby Casey - "Casey in the Cowhouse" (1992. Originally recorded 1959). Brian McNamara - "A Piper's Dream." Dublin Records, Paddy Killoran.
See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info