Richard Brennan's Favorite

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X:1 T:Richard Brennan's Favorite M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig K:D D/E/|~F3 FED|FAF FEF|DFA dAF|A,CE A,CE| ~F3 FED | FAF FEF | DFA dAF | A,CE D2 :| |: g | fed edc | dcB AFA | fed edc | dfb a2g | fed edc | dcd AFA | dFA GFE | DCE D2 :|]



RICHARD BRENNAN'S FAVORITE. AKA – “Brennan's Favourite,” "Richard Brennan's Delight," “Richard Brennan's Jig.” AKA and see "Bad Luck to this Marching," "Exile's Lament (The)," "Origin of Ireland," “Paddy O’Carrol (1),” “Shaun Maguire's,” “Tell Her I Am (3).” Irish, Jig (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Miller & Perron): AABB (Flaherty, McGuire & Keegan, Perlman): AA’BB’ (Mulvihill, O’Malley). Dick Brennan (d. 1968) was a fiddler from Killavil, County Sligo, and has been called (by Gregory Daly and P. J. Hernon) one of the finest players of his generation. Killavil is called Coleman Country, as it was also the birthplace of the famous fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945). Brennan (who was slightly older than Coleman) was a member of the Glenview Céilí Band with fiddlers Peter Horan (also a flute player, who was Brennan’s brother-in-law), Willie Coleman, Fred Finn, and other musicians. "Richard Brennan's Jig" was recorded in New York by both Michael Coleman (who recorded it twice for Decca Records, in 1922 and 1936[1]) and James Morrison (1891-1947), who also hailed from County Sligo. Morrison recorded the jig as the second of a medley called "Maurice Carmody's Favourite" (preceded by "Stick across the Hob (The)" AKA “Morrison's Jig (1)."

The tune, however, is a derivation of an older jig called “Paddy O’Carrol’s,” appearing in different forms throughout the Britain and Ireland. In fact, Luke O’Malley has it in his collection as “Paddy O’Carroll,” though clearly it is the “Richard Brennan” melody. In England, an early version can be found in the c. 1847 music manuscript collection of Ellis Knowles (Radcliffe, Lancashire, north-west England) under the title “Dennis McCaster.”

Pipers and flute play the tune but forgo variations that go below these instruments' lowest note (D).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - flute player Pat Meehan (b. 1960, Killaraght, south Sligo) [Flaherty]; Sterling Baker (b. Mid-1940's, Morell, North-East Kings County, Prince Edward Island; now resident of Montague) [Perlman]; Michael Coleman’s 1920’s Decca recording [Miller & Perron]; fiddler and accordion player John McGrath (d. 1955, New York) [O’Malley].

Printed sources : - Cranitch (Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; No. 19, p. 132 (appears as “Brennan’s Favourite”). Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 109. McGuire & Keegan (Irish Tunes by the 100, vol. 1), 1975; No. 23, p. 6. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music vol. 3), 1977; No. 25. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 33. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 69, p. 79 (appears as “Richard Brennan’s”). O’Malley (Luke O’Malley’s Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 80, p. 40 (appears as “Paddy O’Carroll”). Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 137.

Recorded sources : - Bowhand Bow 0001, James Kelly – Capel Street” (1989). Copley Records EP9-20 (45 RPM), Paddy O’Brien (195?. Appears as “Brennan’s Favourite”). Decca Records (78 RPM), Michael Coleman (1922). Decca Records 12085 (78 RPM), Michael Coleman (1936). Gael-Linn CEF 161, “Michael Coleman 1891-1945” (1992. Reissue). Buddy MacMaster – “Judique on the Floor” (appears as “Richard Brennan’s Jig”). Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW CD 40545, Tony DeMarco - "The Sligo Indians" (2008).

See also listing at :
Hear Michael Coleman's 1936 recording at the Internet Archive [1]
Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [2]
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [3]
Alan Ng’s Irishtune.info [4]



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  1. The 1936 recording was a medley with "Tell Her I Am (1)", and resulted in "Richard Brennan" tune also sometimes being called "Tell Her I Am (3)".