Out on the Ocean (1)

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OUT ON THE OCEAN [1] ("Amac air an fairge" or "Amuig ar an fairge"). AKA and see "Banks of Ahasnagh," "Bucks of Ahasnagh (The)," "Crossing the Bogs," "Mick Mulcahy's (1)," "Over the Sea (2)," "O'Connell's Jig on the Top of Mount Everest," "Portroe (1) (The)," "Split the Whisker," "Tierney's Jig." Irish, Double Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Silberberg): AABB (Mallinson, Martin & Hughes, O'Neill): AABB' (Tubridy): AA'BB' (Harker/Rafferty, Songer). A popular session jig, particularly with those in the early stages of learning the repertory. The melody was collected by Irish collector George Petrie in the mid-19th century under the title "Bucks of Ahasnagh (The)." Jack Campin (jc@purr.demon.co.uk) identifies "Out on the Ocean" as one of many variants of the Lowland Scots tune "Rock and a Wee Pickle Tow," originally a women's spinning song. Francis O'Neill learned the tune from an accomplished West Clare flute player (and Chicago police patrolman) named Patrick "Big Pat" O'Mahony, a man of prodigious physique of whom he said: "...the 'swing' of his execution was perfect, but instead of 'beating time' with his foot on the floor like most musicians he was never so much at ease as when seated in a chair tilted back against a wall, while both feet swung rhythmically like a double pendulum" [O'Neill, Irish Folk Music, 1910].

While the jig is almost always played in 'G' major in modern sessions, the Boys of the Lough recorded it in 'A' major on their 1988 album "Sweet Rural Shade."

Sources for notated versions: "O'Mahony" [O'Neill]; flute player and piper Charlie Lavin (b. 1940, Cloonshanville, near Frenchpark, County Roscommon) [Flaherty]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker]; from a recording by Chris Droney [O'Malley].

Printed sources: Flaherty (Trip to Windsor), 1990; p. 154. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 178, p. 55. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 84, p. 37. Martin & Hughes (Ho-ro-gheallaidh), 1990; p. 47. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 89, p. 73 (learned from a recording by Clare musicians Canny and Hayes). O'Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 91, p. 46 (miss-titled as "The Blooming Meadows"). O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 795, p. 148. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 68, p. 27. Peoples (Fifty Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1986; No. 38. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 113. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 153. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, Book Two), 1999; p. 33.

Recorded sources: Shanachie 79044, Tommy Peoples - "Iron Man" (1985). Shanachie 79064, Matt Molloy - "Heathery Breeze" (1999). Tara 3005, Planxty - "The Woman I Loved So Well." Wild Asparagus WA 003, Wild Asparagus - "Tone Roads" (1990). Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40126, Lamprey River Band - "Choose Your Partners!: Contra Dance & Square Dance Music of New Hampshire" (1999).

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]




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