Paddy O'Rafferty (1)
X:2 T:Paddy o Rafferty  M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig S:Gow – The First Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels (1784, revised edition, 1801) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:A B|:(A/B/c)E TE>FE|Edc TBAB|(A/B/c)E TE>FE|(Ac).B A<FB| (A/B/c)E TE>FE|(Ed).c Td>ef|ecA TB>cd|(c<d).B (AF).B:|| (Ac).e (Ac).e|(Ac).e fdB|Ace Tf>ga|(Ac).B (AF).B| (Ac).e (Ac).e|Ace efg|Taga ecB|(Ac).B (AF).B| (Ac).e (Ac).e|(Ac).e fdB|Ace Tf>ga|(Ac).B (AF).B| (Ac).e (Ac).e|Ace efg|Taga ecB|(Ac).B (AF).B||
PADDY O'RAFFERTY  (Páidín Ua Rabartaig). AKA – "Paddy O'Raverty." AKA and see "Drink of This Cup," "Padeen O'Rafferty," "Paudeen O'Rafferty." Irish, English, Scottish; Double Jig (6/8 time). C Major (Clinton, Thompson, Wilson): A Major (Coles/Ryan's): Bb Major (Button & Whitaker). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Clinton, Wilson): AAB (Gow): AA’BB’ (Breathnach): ABCD (Mitchell, O'Sullivan/Bunting): AABB (Button & Whittaker, Cole, Kerr, Ryan, Thompson): ABBCC (Cole, Kerr): AABBCCDD (Kennedy): AABBCCDDEE (Mulvihill, O’Neill): AABB’CDD’E (Feldman & O’Doherty). Breathnach (1976) remarks the tune is extremely well known in Ireland, “and there are as many versions of it as there are musicians.” Curiously, however, is the lack of alternate titles for such a common tune (with such a relatively ancient pedigree), whereas other common tunes have (a sometimes bewildering) array of titles; there are, however, many songs and ditties written to it in both Irish and English. The 'A' and 'B' sections of Carlin/Gow and Kerr's version (which are very similar) correspond generally and respectively to the 'B' and 'D' sections of Bunting's version and the ‘C’ and ‘D’ sections of John Doherty’s Donegal version in The Northern Fiddler (1979). O'Sullivan (1983) also finds the melody in the following publications: O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish Pipes (volume I, p. 106), Holden's Collection of Irish Slow and Quick Tunes (book II, p. 32), Brysson's Curious Selection of Favourite Tunes (p. 11), O'Neill's 'Dance Music of Ireland (No. 178), and Murphy's Irish Airs and Jigs (p. 9). It also appears in dancing master Thomas Wilson’s Companion to the Ball Room (London, 1816). In America, “Paddy O’Rafferty” was published by John Paff in Gentlemen’s Amusement, No. 2 (New York, 1812).
O’Neill himself remarked what was “probably the original setting in two strains” was printed in Aird’s Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3, 1789, as “Paddeen O’Rafardie, Irish” and Breathnach agrees Aird’s is the earliest printed version. O’Neill (Irish Folk Music, 1910) maintains that the jig is:
…another of those ancient tunes which has been the subject of embellishments or variations about the end of the 18th century. It is said to have been composed by O’Carolan in honor of a little boy of that name who won immortality by obligingly opening the gate for the bard while paying a visit to his first love, Bridget Cruise.
Fleischmann and Ó Súilleabháin cite the source of the jig as John Macpherson Mulhollan's Selection of Irish and Scots Tunes, Consisting of Airs, Marches, Strathspeys, Country-Dances, etc. (Edinburgh, 1804). O'Sullivan (1983) came across a single set of words to the tune, in Irish, in a booklet of songs by the late Fionan Mac Coluim called Cosa Buidhe 'Arda. Paddy O'Rafferty is also the name of a Scottish country dance, frequently taught by 19th century dancing masters. The tune was known in County Donegal, Ireland, collected by Feldman & O'Doherty (1979), but also as evidenced by the diary entry of a fiddler named William Allingham, who was employed as a customs officer and whose vocation was traditional music. He visited a poor fiddler named Tom Read in the (probably Ballyshannon) poorhouse who played for him both “Ain Kind Dearie” and “Paudeen Ó Rafferty” in November of 1847, the time of the potato famine. Allingham gave George Petrie several tunes which appear in the latter’s collection of Irish music. A rather simple setting of the tune from north Clare appears in Breathnach’s CRÉ 5 (1999) from the playing of father and son concertina players James and Chris Droney.
One of the oddest instances of the tune is on the barrel organ from the polar expedition of Admiral Parry of 1819. In place of a ship’s fiddler (common in those days), Parry introduced a mechanical barrel organ on board ship to provide entertainment and a vehicle to which the men could exercise (i.e. by dancing). “Paddy O’Rafferty” was one of eight tunes on barrel no. 4.