Otter's Holt (The)

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X:1 % T:Water Dog's Hole, The T:Otter's Holt, The C:Junior Crehan M:4/4 L:1/8 K:Bmin de|fBBA FEFB|~A2FB ABde|fBBA FEFA|BdcA B2de| fBBA FEFB|~A2FB ABde|fbaf egfe|dBAF B2|| (3ABc|d2fd adfa|bfaf efdB|d2fd adfa|bfaf e2 (3ABc| d2fd adfa|bfaf efde|fBBA FEFA|BdcA B2||




OTTER'S HOLT, THE (Poll an madra uisce). AKA and see "Aughdarra (The)," "Otter's Den (The)," "Otter's Hole (The)," "Water Dog's Hole (The)," "Water Hole (Th)," "Windy Lane (The)." Irish, Reel. B Minor (Black, Harker/Rafferty, Mallinson, Mulvihill, Sullivan): A Dorian (Breathnach). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by the late Clare fiddler Martin 'Junior' Crehan (1908-1998). In a 1980's interview with Crehan, Finbar Boyle asked him about the origins of the tune Crehan related that he and friends used to play by a stream associated with an otter den, and that cattle would come by and (according to Junior) be soothed by the music. The word holt is an archaic form (a phoentic variant of 'hold', generally from the English mid-lands), but is usually taken to mean a place of refuge or abode; an animal's den. There is an interesting connection with Paddy Killoran's "Old Dudeen," which shares some melodic material with Crehan's melody (see note). Andy Stewart's song "Take Her in Your Arms" (on Green Linnet SIF 1083, "Dublin Lady") is set to this tune.

West Clare fiddler Martin 'Junior' Crehan.
The reel is similar to Paddy Killoran's "Old Dudeen (The)" in the first strain.



Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - : Brendan Mulvihill (Baltimore, Md.) [Mulvihill]; the Bothy Band [Sullivan]; flute player Matt Molloy (Ireland) [Breathnach]; set dance music recorded at Na Píobairí Uilleann, late 1980's [Taylor]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : - Black (Music's the Very Best Thing), 1996; No. 159, p. 84. Breathnach (CRÉ III), 1985; No. 185, p. 84. Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland, vol. 4), 1976; No. 12. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 158, p. 48. Mallinson (100 Enduring), 1995; No. 5, p. 3. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 77, p. 20 (appears as "The Water Hole"). O'Brien (Paddy O'Brien Collection), No. 275 (appears as "Otter's Den"). Sullivan (Session Tunes, vol. 3); No. 60, p. 25 (appears as "The Water Dog's Hole"). Taylor (Music for the Sets: Blue Book), 1995; p. 32.

Recorded sources: - ANR 003, Todd Denman & Dale Russ - "Reeds & Rosin." Green Linnet SIF 3005, Bothy Band - "Old Hag You Have Killed Me" (1981. A reissue of the 1976 Mulligan LP). Mulligan Records LUN 004, "Matt Molloy" (1976). Shanachie 78001, Lawrence Nugent - "Traditional Irish Music on Flute & Tin Whistle" (appears as "Otter's Lair"). Paul McGrattan & Paul O'Shaughnessy - "Within a Mile of Dublin." "Music at Matt Molloy's." Barry Kerr - "The Three Sisters."

See also listing 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]
session.org [4]
Hear Crehan himself tell the story on youtube.com [5]


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