Reel of Rio (The)

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X:1 % T:Reel of Rio, The M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel S:O’Malley Collection K:G DEGA BABd | eg~g2 agea | gedg edBd | c2 Bc AGEG | DEGA BABd | efge agea | gd~d2 edBG | AcBA G2 Bc || dg~g2 ag~g2 | bg~g2 edBe | dB~B2 GA (3Bcd | gedB AGEG | DEGA BA (3Bcd | efgb ae~e2 | gedg edBG | AcBA G2 z2 ||

REEL OF RIO, THE. AKA and see “McCollam's Fancy,” “Rocky Road (3) (The),” “Road to Rio (The).” Irish, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O’Malley): AABB (Mallinson, Miller & Perron): AABB' (Flaherty): AA’BB’ (Harker/Rafferty). Composed by Nenagh, County Tipperary, fiddler and whistle player Seán Ryan (1919-1985). According to Seán’s son Brian the tune suggested a Latin beat, hence the title’s reference to the Brazilian city, although the title is also a pun on the name of the grain (rye). Seán Ryan’s nickname was ‘Rio’ (pronounced ‘rye-o’), and thus another layer of word-play in the title. Fr. John Quinn, in notes to the volume Sean Ryan's Dream, writes that the tune was popularized by banjo-mandolin player Noel Strange, a friend of Ryan's fond of tunes with a bit of rhythmic difference. He played the tune on a Raidió Éireann broadcast, "and both the name and the tune spread like wildfire through the country" (notwithstanding the name was pronounce "Reeo" instead of "Ryo" on the radio).

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - flutist Seamus Tansey (Miller & Perron); flute player James Murray (b. 1947, Ougham, outside Tubbercurry, County Sligo) [Flaherty]; a recording by George Wilson [O’Malley]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : - Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland, vol. 1), 1974, No. 42 (appears as “Road to Rio”). Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 169. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 57, p. 18. Mallinson (100 Enduring), 1996; No. 17, p. 7. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music vol. 1), 1977; No. 38. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 100. O’Malley (Luke O’Malley’s Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 21, p. 11. Ryan (The Hidden Ireland), 1988; 25.

Recorded sources: - Shanachie 29006, John Vesey.

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 [3]

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