Nóra Críona (1)

Find traditional instrumental music
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Nóra Críona (1)[edit]


NÓRA CRÍONA (Wise Nora). AKA - "Nora Chreena," Nóra Críonna," "Nora(h) Creina." AKA and see "Hushed be sorrow's sigh," "Lancers Quadrilles Second Figure (2)," "Lesbia hath a beaming eye," "Metal Bridge," "Norah Jig, "Old Nora." Irish; Single Jig, Double Jig or Slide (12/8 time). G Major (most versions): D Major (O'Farrell). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Mitchell): ABB (Moylan): AABB (Mitchell, Tubridy): AABBCD (Mitchell): AABBCDD (Kennedy): AABBCCDD'EE (Goodman): AABBCCDD (O'Farrell): AABBCCDDEEFF (O'Neill). The melody was first published in O`Farrell`s Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes (1804-1816), and has a long history in uilleann pipe reportory. The tune, when played as a "piece," or listening tune (in Irish, piosa, the 'piece way'), is known as a showcase tune for uilleann pipers; although it is also played as a jig. Editor Jackie Small (CRÉ V) remarks that the tune was once quite popular although is not heard much in modern times, except in slide (12/8) versions. The late Donegal fiddlers, brothers Mickey and Johnny Doherty, played this as the middle tune in a set with "Enniskillen Dragoon (1) (The)" and "Miss McLeod's Reel (1)" (though sometimes "Piper of Keadue (The)" was substituted for the latter), in a rare AAae tuning (with the low string tuned up and the third string tuned down), which required playing the set in position (recorded in 1949 for the Irish Folklore Commission by Kevin Danaher & Sean Ó hEochaidh). Bulmer & Sharpley's "Metal Bridge" is a variant, and the tune appears in many publications under the names "Wise Nora" or "Old Nora," "Norah Jig (The)" etc. County Clare piper Willie Clancy's setting of "Nóra Chríonna" was said to have been derived from from a recording by Patsy Touhey [1] (1865-1923), however, such a recording does not seem to exist, and Clancy may have been referencing Tom Ennis's 1929 recording, or the fact that Touhey undoubtedly had it in his repertoire. Mitchell (in Dance Music of Willie Clancy) prints three settings: No. 151 is a close variant of the O'Neill's version; No. 152 a bit more distanced, and No. 150 could be a separate variant category altogether. The liner notes to Mitchell's Topic recording give that: "In the old Munster manuscripts tunes were divided into those that should be played the Piece Way and those played in the Jig Way." Both Mitchell and Jackie Small remark that one of Clancy's settings is set in highly ornamented 'the piece way'. The title "Lesbia hath a beaming eye" comes from a song by Thomas Moore adapted to tune. Philippe Varlet finds early versions recorded in the 78 RPM era under the titles "Nora Greena" (a 1929 recording by piper Tom Ennis) and "Sullivan's Jig" (a 1924 recording by piper Jimmie McLaughlin).

Lancashire, England, musician William Tildesley used the tune for the second figure of his "Lancers Set of Quadrilles," entering it into his 1860's music manuscript collection.

Sources for notated versions: accordion player Johnny O'Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border) [Moylan]; piper Willie Clancy (1918-1973, Miltown Malbay, west Clare) [Mitchell]; fiddler John M. Buckley (Sliabh Luachra region) [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ V), 1999; No. 8, p. 6. Clinton (Gems of Ireland: 200 Airs), 1841; No. 81, p. 41. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 76. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 2;), 1858; No. 175, p. 79. Kennedy (Traditional Dance Music of Britain and Ireland: Jigs & Quicksteps, Trips & Humours), 1997; No. 138, p. 33. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 228, p. 26. Moylan (Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra), 1994; No. 347, pp. 195-196. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. 1), c. 1805; pp. 60-61 (appears as "Nora Creena"). O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 36. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 126, p. 36. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 2), 1912; No. 312. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 108. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, Book Two), 1999; p. 29.

Recorded sources: Columbia 33394-F (78 RPM), Tom Ennis (1929). Spin CD1001, Eoghan O'Sullivan, Gerry Harrington, Paul De Grae - "The Smoky Chimney" (1996. Slide setting). Topic TSDL294, Pat Mitchell - "Uilleann Pipes." Mickey Doherty - "The Gravel Walks." Bob Smith's Ideal Band - "Better than an Orchestra" (1977).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]
Hear Tom Ennis's 1929 recording at the Internet Archive [4] (2nd tune in set, following "Ragan's Jig/Luck Penny (The)).




Back to Nóra Críona (1)[edit]