Paddy Taylor's Reel (1)

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PADDY TAYLOR'S REEL [1] (Ríl Phádraig Táilliúir). AKA and see "Anderson's Reel," "Lady Gordon," “McCabe’s Reel (2).” Irish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B (Breathnach): AABBCC (Black). It is named for, and usually credited, to Paddy Taylor (1914-1976), a London-based flute player originally from Loughill, west County Limerick. Piper Tommy Keane, however, relates that Paddy Taylor's son Kevin told him that the tune was jointly composed by his father and Sligo fiddler Martin Wynne. Paddy Taylor was born into a musical family—his father (who died young) was a singer, his mother a noted concertina player, two cousins played the flute and his maternal grandfather, Patrick Hanley, was a renowned piper and flute player. Hanley even played before Queen Victoria. Taylor learned his music from his mother, Katie or Honora Taylor, a concertina player. He moved to London in 1934, was a founding member of the West London branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and played with Frank Lee’s Tara Band Band (1934﷓8) and the Garryowen Band (1938 to early 1960s), and with Sligo fiddlers Joe O'Dowd and Martin Wynne. Anthony Buffery says he was a “live wire” who played in all the local Hammersmith (London) ceili bands and was a regular at sessions.

Brendan McGlinchey remembered the Taylor family in London, and said that “old Mrs. Taylor” used to get Paddy to round up musicians on a Sunday to come over for dinner at the family home in Chiswick. He remembers she had an extensive collection of 78 RPM Irish music records and a lovely concertina, and used both to entertain her guests. “Anybody (i.e. musicians) around London at the time would be in that house.” McGlinchey also recalled that she sent her sons out on Christmas day to Hammersmith Broadway to round up stray Irishmen to come home for holiday dinner! See also the related "Errigal Braes."

According to Marie O’Keeffe (in liner notes to “The Smoky Chimney”), the tune was popularized by the Castle Ceili Band when they played it during the 1966 Fleadh Cheoil in Boyle, County Roscommon. It is sometimes played in two parts, though Black’s setting, and versions recorded more recently, have three parts.

Source for notated version: fiddler Seán Keane (County Clare, Ireland) [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Black (Music’s the Very Best Thing), 1996; No. 146, p. 77. Breathnach (CRÉ III), 1985; No. 154, p. 72. Vallely (Play 50 Reels with the Armagh Pipers Club), 1982; 49.

Recorded sources: Claddagh Records CC17, Sean Keane - "Gusty's Frolics" (1975). Gael-Linn Records CEF 069, Sean Keane - "An Fhidil II" (1980). Shanachie SH-78010, Solas - “Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers” (1997). Shanachie 34014, James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien & Daithi Sproule – “Traditional Music of Ireland” (1995). Shanachie 78031, James Keane – “Sweeter as the Years Roll By.” Spin CD1001, Eoghan O’Sullivan, Gerry Harrington, Paul De Grae - “The Smoky Chimney” (1996. Learned from Denis McMahon and Connie O’Connell, a fiddle duo from the Cork/Kerry region).




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