Paddy in London (1)

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PADDY IN LONDON [1] ("Paidin ann Lungoun" or "Paidin i Lungdun"). AKA and see "Bear leigean doibh," "B'fhearr leigean dóibh," "Cat in the Corner (4)," “Four Courts (4) (The),” "Piper Hick's Favorite." Irish, Double Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'CC (O'Neill/1850 & Krassen): AABCC (O'Neill/1915). The melody was first printed by Dublin publisher Smollet Holden in his A Collection of Old Established Irish Slow and Quick Tunes, vol. 2 (c. 1805) as "Bear leigean doibh" or "B'fhearr leigean dóibh" (Better let them be). However, the tune along with the title "Paddy in London" was first printed in W. West's Irish Country Dances (London, c. 1820).

Despite the number of Irish musicians hired on the Chicago police force, Captain Francis O’Neill generally did not allow himself to be distracted from his work by music, which he kept to home and while visiting friends, however, there were occasions when this was impossible, as O’Neill describes:

John McFadden

One Monday morning I unexpectedly encountered John McFadden in the corridor outside my office in City Hall, and wondering what' could have happened since we parted the evening before, I asked, ‘What brings you here so early, John?’ ‘I wanted to see you privately in your office, Chief’, he quietly replied. To my suggestion that we could transact our business just as well where we were as in my office, where so many others were waiting, he did not agree, so in we went through three intervening rooms. When the door was closed behind us Mac did not keep me in suspense. ‘Chief, I lost the third part of ‘Paddy in London’ which you gave me last night & when I got up this morning, all I could remember were the first and second parts, and I want you to whistle the missing part for me again.’

Using an early Edison cylinder machine, O’Neill later recorded McFadden playing the tune. Philippe Varlet believes O’Neill acquired it after seeing it at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

The group Buttons and Bows recorded the tune in 1987 as "Four Courts (4) (The)," while fiddler and accordion player Frank Quinn recorded the jig in the 78 RPM era as "Cat in the Corner (4)." See also the related melodies “Paddy from Cork” (Goodman) and “Carrickmacross” (Joyce).

Source for notated version: John Hicks (c. 1880’s), “celebrated from Washington to Boston as a great Irish piper, a protégé of ‘Sporting’ Captain Kelly of the Curragh of Kildare [O’Neill]. In a 1906 letter to Alfred Percival Graves in 1906 (printed in "A Few Gossipy Notes" in the Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, London, O'Neill wrote: “More than a third of a century ago, a renowned Irish piper named John Hicks, a protégé of the sporting Captain Kelly, from the Curragh of Kildare, came to Chicago to fill an engagement at a theatre. Among the tunes memorized from his playing were “Paddy in London (1)”, “Hick's Hornpipe,” and the 1st and 3rd parts for “Old Grey Goose (1).”

Printed sources: Hughes (Gems from the Emerald Isles), 1867; p. 79, p. 18. O'Neill (O’Neill’s Irish Music), 1915; No. 136, p. 79. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 60. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1040, p. 194. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1986; No. 250, p. 55.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]




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