Real Thing (The)

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REAL THING, THE (An Rud Ceart). Irish, Hornpipe. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB.

Source for notated version: Chicago flute player and piper Ennis [O’Neill].

The Irish Music Club in Chicago, around 1900. John Ennis is in the middle of the photograph, above and just to the left of his son, young Tom Ennis.

Chicago police patrolman, piper and flute player John Ennis, was originally from County Kildare. Francis O'Neill (Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby, 1910) says of him:

Not the least prolific of our contributors was Patrolman John Ennis, a native of County Kildare, who was both a fluter and a piper. His tunes were, as a rule, choice and tasty, and his interest in the success of our hobby was displayed in a curious way. Suspecting that several pet tunes were withheld from us by a couple of good players, he conceived the scheme of ingratiating himself with the musicians. Affecting unconcern, he contrived to memorize the treasured tunes, and then had them promptly transferred to James O’Neill’s notebook. To him we are indebted for many good tunes, among them being the following: “Young Tom Ennis,” “Bessy Murphy,” “Ask My Father,” “Child of My Heart,” and “Will You Come Down to Limerick” - jigs; “Toss the Feathers,” “Jennie Pippin,” “Miss Monaghan,” “Kitty Losty,” “Trim the Velvet,” “The Dogs Among the Bushes,” “The Sligo Chorus,” “College Grove,” “Over the Bridge to Peggy,” and the “Reel of Bogie.” Two excellent hornpipes, “The Kildare Fancy” and “The Wicklow Hornpipe,” were also contributed by Ennis. None of the above dance tunes, so far as the writer is aware, has ever been published in an Irish collection.

John Ennis was also a good entertainer, and many a Sunday afternoon was pleasantly passed at his hospitable home by a coterie of kindred spirits in those years. Besides, he possessed literary ability of no mean order, and contributed some able and interesting article on Irish music and dances to the press from time to time. His son Tom displays much musical talent and bids fair to rank high as an Irish piper.


Printed sources: O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 167. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1570, p. 291.

Recorded sources: Green Linnet GLCD 1149, Joe Derrane & Felix Dolan - "Give us Another" (1995).




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