Reilly of the White Hill

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REILLY OF THE WHITE HILL. Irish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Miller): AA’BB’ (Reavy). Claimed as a composition of County Cavan/Philadelphia fiddler and composer Ed Reavy (1898-1988) in the book published by his son Joe. Reilly, according to Joe's notes on the tunes, was one of the “White Hill people” from the region north of the Reavy family farmland in Cavan. Though his first name is not remembered, he himself had a reputation as a wild volatile man, wont to cheat at cards.

The tune was recorded as "The Maid in the Dawn" by Sligo fiddler Joseph Tansey on a 1926 Victor disc. Perhaps Tansey got it from Reavy, or perhaps Joe Reavy was mistaken in assigning authorship to his father. Mick Moloney has written that Really only began composing in the 1930s.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Miller (Fiddler’s Throne), 2004; No. 240, p. 146. Reavy (The Collected Compositions of Ed Reavy), No. 20, p. 21.

Recorded sources: Victor 79201-B (78), 1926, Joseph Tansey (as "The Maid in the Dawn"). Rounder Select 6008 (LP) Ed Reavy, 1979, played by button accordionist Billy McComiskey.

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