Repeal of the Union (1)

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REPEAL OF THE UNION [1] ("Aisgairm na Aonacda" or "Aisghairm na hAontachta"). AKA and see "Emyvale (The)," "Gurtaglanna Reel," "Kate Gaynor's Fancy,""Peel of the Onion" "Peeling of the Onion (The)," "Roll Her in the Rushes (1)." Irish, Reel. Ireland, Donegal. D Mixolydian (Breathnach, O'Neill/Krassen): D Major (Cole, O'Neill/1001). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Breathnach, Coles, O'Neill/Krassen & 1001): AABB' (O'Neill). Widely played by County Donegal fiddlers, and a particular favorite with the famous Donegal fiddling brothers John and Mickey Doherty. The title commemorates over a century of political events arising from the Act of Union (1800) in which the Irish Parliament was merged with the British legislature. The Home Rule League finally gained momentum in the 1870’s, following the work of Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847) and his earlier victory of Catholic Emancipation. The first strain is also shared with the "Millstone (1) (The)/Milestone (1) (The)" family of tunes. The second strain of "Repeal of the Union [1]" is cognate with the second strain of "Kitty Gone a Milking."

Dennis “Dinny” Delaney (1836-1919) was a blind piper and character from Ballinasloe, east Galway, whose playing was recorded on an Edison cylinder at the Feis Ceol of 1898. He played “Kid on the Mountain,” “The Repeal of the Union” and “Woman of the House (The)” as well as “Hag in the Kiln (The).” Breathnach says: “Delaney it seemed was not one whit overawed by the occasion” (Ceol VIII, 1986):

When ‘The Repeal March’ was named, Dr. Joyce (the famous collector acting as one of the adjudicators for the event) jocularly asked the player if Repeal were abandoned. “No”, said Delaney, “until it is carried.” “But”, a spectator interposed, “it was rejected.” “Not rejected,” retorted the piper, “it was half passed. Did you ever meet a cow that gave all her milk at once?” and the discussion ended in laughter.


Source for notated version: piper Seán Potts (Ireland) [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ I), 1963; No. 129, p. 52. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 50. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 92. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1179, p. 222. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 459, p. 89. Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 78.

Recorded sources: Columbia 35612, "The Chieftains" (1978. The setting "would have been near to those of {piper Sean Potts'} grandfather {John Potts} and uncle Tommy," both Dublin pipers). Green Linnet SIF 3067, Jack and Charlie Coen – “The Branch Line” (1992. Reissue of Topic 12TS337. Learned from County Galway flute player Jim Conroy). Shanachie 78015, James Keane – “With Friends Like These” (1998). Shanachie 79093, Paddy Glackin and Robbie Hannon – “Whirlwind” (1995). Topic 12TS337, Jack and Charlie Coen – “The Branch Line” (1977).

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's irishtune.info [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Hear a 2010 field recording of Donegal fiddler Vincent Campbell playing the tune at ITMA [3]




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