Phelim's Frolic

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PHELIM'S FROLIC. AKA and see “Guiry's Reel,” “Lady Montgomery's Reel (1),” “Miss Montgomery,” “Rising Sun (3) (The).” Irish, Reel. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The tune is a variant of the Scottish "Lady Montgomery's Reel (1)." Patrick J. McCall, in his poem "The Dance at Marley" (1861), names a man named Phelim as the musical inspiration for his fictional frolic. The first two stanzas go:

Murtagh Murphy’s barn was full to the door when the eve grew dull,
For Phelim Moore his beautiful new pipes had brought to charm them;
In the kitchen thronged the girls - cheeks of roses, teeth of pearls -
Admiring bows and braids and curls, till Phelim’s notes alarm them.
Quick each maid her hat and shawl hung on dresser, bed, or wall,
Smoothed down her hair and smiled on all as she the bawnoge entered,
Where a shass of straw was laid on a ladder raised that made
A seat for them as still they stayed while dancers by them cantered.

Murtagh and his vanithee had their chairs brought in to see
The heels and toes go fast and free, and fun and love and laughter;
In their sconces all alight shone the tallow candles bright -
The flames kept jigging all the night, upleaping to each rafter!
The pipes, with noisy drumming sound, the lovers’ whispering sadly drowned,
So the couples took their ground - their hearts already dancing!
Merrily, with toe and heel, airily in jig and reel,
Fast in and out they whirl and wheel, all capering and prancing.


Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Bronx-born fiddler Andy McGann (1928-2004) [Miller & Perron].

Printed sources : - Miller & Perron (The Fiddlecase Book of 101 Polkas), 1977; No. 20. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 97.

Recorded sources: -Dezi Donnelly – “Familiar Footsteps.” Shaskeen Records OS-360, Andy McGann, Felix Dolan & Joe Burke - "Tribute to Michael Coleman" (c. 1965).

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



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