Annotation:Ravelled Hank of Yarn (1) (The)

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X:1 T:Ravelled Hank of Yarn [1], The R:reel M:4/4 L:1/8 Z:transcribed by Mike Hogan K:D ~B3d ~A3B|G~B3 G~B3|d~A3 d2eg|fd=cA AGG2| ~B3G ~A3B|G~B3 G~B3|d~A3 d2eg|fd=cA AGG2|| d~G3 dG(3Bcd|~g3a bgaf|d~G3 d2eg|fd=cA AGG2| d~G3 dG(3Bcd|~g3a bgaf|~g3a bgaf|ged=c BGG2||

THE RAVELED HANK OF YARN [1] (An Ceirtlín Snáithe in Aimhréidh). AKA and see “Ho! Awake,” "Kate Kelly's Fancy," “Killoran's Reel (2),” “Michael Carney's Reel,” "Nellie Donovan," “Peeler's Jacket (5),” “Twin Katy's,” "Ceirtlín Snáithe in Aimhréidh." Irish, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Harker/Rafferty): AABB (Breathnach, Mitchell, Taylor). Captain Francis O’Neill relates that an elderly uilleann piper, John Cummings, originally of County Galway (b. 1828) but removed to San Francisco by way of England for forty years, had his Boswell in a younger friend named Leech. Cummings would play occasionally at the home of his daughter with whom he lived. Leech overwrites: “One night I played ‘The Ravelled Hank of Yarn’ and the old man shook his head reminiscently, remarking, ‘I had forgotten that tune and didn’t play it for forty years.’ Gradually the smile came over his face, and he commenced to pump the bag, and out came the tune, but with such grace notes, embellishments, and variations, that I stood aghast, enraptured by the soul of music which brought me back to the time when Erin was melodious with our own dear strains” (O’Neill, 1913). Breathnach identifies “Kate Kelly's Fancy,” “Nellie O'Donovan” and the O’Neill printing of “Ravelled Hank of Yarn” in Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922, No. 233) as of the same stock as his reel. The Sliabh Luachra staple “Doon Reel (1) (The)” is a closely related tune (esp. the first strain), as is “Bonny Bunch of Ferns (The).” The alternate title “Cat that Ate the Sidecomb (The)” is from O’Neill. Philippe Varlet remarks (Irtrad 9/12/05) the earliest recording of the melody with the “Ravelled” title appears to be on piper Willie Clancy’s 1957 album “Seoda Ceoil,” although, “curiously, on a Gael-Linn 78 RPM of Clancy from the same period the title is ‘Ril Mhichil Ui Cheithearnaigh,’ i.e. ‘Michael Carney’s’, after the New York piper with whom (fiddler) James Morrison recorded the tune under the title ‘The Peeler’s Jacket’.” Josephine Keegan idiosyncratically titles the reel "Fulham Broadway" in her tunebook A Drop in the Ocean.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Breathnach (CRÉ 1), 1963; No. 102, p. 43. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 114, p. 35. Mitchell (Dance Music of Willie Clancy), 1993; No. 2, p. 29. Taylor (Music for the Sets: Blue Book), 1995; p. 32. Vallely (Companion to Irish Traditional Music), 1999; p. 308.

Recorded sources : - Claddagh 4CC 32, Willie Clancy – “The Pipering of Willie Clancy, vol. 1” (1980). Gael-Linn Records, Willie Clancy – “Seoda Ceoil” (1957).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng’s [2]

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