Plains of Boyle (The)

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X:1 T:Plains of Boyle, The M:C L:1/8 R:Hornpipe K:G G|FDDF ADDF|(3ABA GB ADDe|(3gfe df edce|dcAB cAGB| AD D2 FDDF|(3ABA GB ADDe|(3gfe dc ABA GB|A>BD>A D3:| |:f/g/|afdf g2 (3gfe|de (3fed BAFA|(3ABA FA (3ABA FA|(3ABA FA BAfg| afdf g2 (3gfe|de (3gfe BAFG|A3 B G2 AF|(3GFE D>A D2:|]



PLAINS OF BOYLE, THE (“Magh Luirg” or “Má Luirc”). Irish, Hornpipe. D Major (Harker/Rafferty, McDermott, Mitchell, Moylan, Mulvihill, O’Malley, Vallely): D Major/Mixolydian (Breathnach, DeMarco & Krassen). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Mitchell): AABB (most versions): AA’BB’ (Harker/Rafferty, Moylan, O’Malley). A very popular Irish session hornpipe. To the east of Boyle, County Roscommon, are rich flat limestone grasslands, known as the Plains of Boyle, famed for cattle pastures. It was the mensal lands of the MacDermots, Princes of Moylurg.

The hornpipe was recorded in New York in the 78 RPM era in 1924 by Gowlan, Killarga, County Leitrim flute and uilleann piper Michael Gallagher (1887–late 1950's) and again that same year by the duet of accordion player P.J. Conlon with flute player Tom Morrison. It was also recorded twice in 1929, both times for Columbia Records: by fiddler and accordion player Frank Quinn (1893–1964), originally from Greagh, Drumlish, Co. Longford, and by fiddler James Morrison (1891–1947), originally from County Sligo. Flute player Gallagher recorded the tune on the uilleann pipes, which he had picked up rather quickly after emigrating to America (according to the repeated story), inspired by Irish-American piper and stage performer Patsy Tuohey. Gallagher referred to his pairing of "Plains of Boyle" with the second tune in the medley, "Leitrim Fancy," as 'Moran's Hornpipe', a reference to his source, an unknown musician. Francis O'Neill, in his Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922), described Gallagher as "a clever performer on the Irish or union pipes, recently from Ireland."

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - Sligo-style fiddler James Morrison (Co. Sligo/New York) [DeMarco & Krassen]; piper Jim Brophy, 1972 (Dublin, Ireland) [Breathnach]; accordion player Johnny O’Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border) recorded in recital at Na Píobairí Uilleann, February, 1981 [Moylan]; Cape Breton fiddler Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald (1913–1987) [Miller & Perron]; piper Andy Conroy (New York, originally from Lough Glynn and Dublin) [Breathnach]; piper Willie Clancy (1918–1973, Miltown Malbay, West Clare) [Mitchell]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : - Breathnach, Ceol: A Journal of Irish Music, vol. 2, no. 1, 1965; 16a. Breathnach (The Man and His Music), 1997; No. 6, p. 9. Breathnach (CRÉ 2), 1976; No. 315, p. 160. Cotter (Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor), 1989; 81. DeMarco and Krassen (Trip to Sligo), 1978; pp. 31, 45, 59. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 262, p. 81. McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), 1920’s; No. 78, p. 20. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol. 2, No. 55. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 122. Mitchell (Dance Music of Willie Clancy), 1993; No. 1, p. 29. Moylan (Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra), 1994; No. 53, pp. 31-32. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 17, p. 93. O’Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music), 1976; No. 122, p. 61. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 217. Vallely (Learn to Play the Fiddle with Armagh Pipers Club), 197?; No. 41, p. 37.

Recorded sources: -3 SCONES 2008, Dermy Diamond, Tara Diamond, Dáithí Sproule - "Seanchairde/Old Friends" (2009). Celtic CX 34, "Winston Scotty Fitzgerald" (Cape Breton). Columbia 33330-F (78 RPM), Frank Quinn (1929). Columbia ‎33393-F (78 RPM), James Morrison (1929, paired with "Lawson's Hornpipe). Gael-Linn CE 18 (78 RPM), Liam (Willie) Clancy. Gael-Linn CEF 075, Liam (Willie) Clancy – “Na Ceirnini 78, 1957-1960.” Gennett 5451 (78 RPM), Michael Gallagher (1924). Green Linnet SIF 3007, Mick Hanley – “As I Went Over Blackwater” (1982). June Appal JA0026, Malcolm Dalglish & Grey Larsen – “First of Autumn” (1978). Kells Music KM-9510, Brendan Begley – “We Won’t Go Home ‘Till Morning.” Philo 2005, John McGreevy & Sean Cooley – “McGreevy & Cooley” (1974). Rodeo International RNT 2009, “Winston ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald and his Fabulous Entertainers” (197?). Shanachie 33004, “The Pure Genius of James Morrison” (1978). Gennett 5451 (78 RPM), Michael Gallagher (uilleann pipes) {1924}. Starr 9567 (78 RPM), Michael Gallagher (uilleann pipes) {1924}. Topic 12TS 373, John Rea – “Traditional Music on the Hammer Dulcimer” (1979).

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]
Hear Michael Gallagher's 1924 recording at the Internat Archive [4][5]
Hear P.J. Conlon and Tom Morrison's recording at the Internet Archive [6][7]



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