Annotation:Ryan's Rant

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X:1 T:Ryan's Rant M:C L:1/8 R:Reel B:Morris/Maurice Hime – Forty Eight Original Irish Dances never Before Printed B:with Basses for the Piano-Forte, vol. 2 (Dublin,1804, No. 23) F: Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Ador cege afge|cege dBGB|cege afge|afge dBGB:| |:ceAe ceAe|ceAe dBGB|ceAe ceAe|a^fge fdBG:|]

RYAN’S RANT (Siamsaíocht an Rianaigh). AKA and see "Rayan's Rant." Irish, Scottish; Reel (whole time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Alexander, Breathnach): AABBCCDD (Kerr). The tune has a long history, dating at least to the end of the 18th century when it was printed by Glasgow music publisher James Aird under the title "Rayan's Rant," followed by an appearance in Dublin music publisher Morris/Maurice Hime's Forty Eight Original Irish Dances Never Before Printed with Basses, vol. 2 (1804, No. 23). The tune was entered in the music manuscript collection of the Gunn family of County Fermanagh (1865) as a two part tune, and in County Leitrim musician Stephen Grier's 1883 copybook under the title “Ray's Rant.” The tune is mentioned in a passage describing a 'rural ball' (i.e. a country mansion) in Tipperary in the anonymously written book Ierne: or, Anecdotes and incidents during a life chiefly in Ireland (1861, p. 47).

The noble hall of the mansion being cleared, and snow not being dirt, the qualifying falls did not disqualify the lads for tripping it in another fashion, at which they were much more 'au fait'. To be sure, they made the boards resound to "Jig Polthogue" and "Ryan's Rant," and other rattling tunes; and then as pretty reels for four and eight (persons) as ever I saw, even in Kerry, a long time after, were danced by the farmers' daughters and the élite of the swains that waited on them. After a time, some of us were enabled to join them, 'con amore', having the advantage of good and pretty partners; not being able to resist so trying a temptation when they courtesied so modestly before us, as the custom there has been, and is, beyond all recollection.

"Ryan's Rant", with parts reversed, was entered into the music manuscript collection of biography:Rev. Luke Donnellan (1878-1952), Oriel region, south Ulster[1]. Fr. John Quinn links "Ryan's Rant" with the family of tunes that includes "Around the World (1)," "Fairy Hurlers (The)," "Gravel Walks (The)," "Highlandman Kissed His Mother (The)," "Highland Man that Kissed His Grannie (1)," "Jakie Stewart's Reel," "Jolly Seven (The)," "Miss Kelly’s (1)," and "Miss Percy's Reel."

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - from fiddler and uilleann piper Stephen Grier (Farnaght, County Letirim), whose collection dates from the 1880's [Breathnach]; Rev. Luke Donnellan music manuscript collection [O'Connor].

Printed sources : - Alexander (Alexander’s Fifty New Scotch & Irish Reels & Hornpipes), c. 1826; No. 45, p. 22. Breathnach & Small (Ceol Rince na hÉireann vol. IV) 1996; No. 136, p. 67. Hime (Forty Eight Original Irish Dances Never Before Printed with Basses, vol. 2), 1804; No. 23. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 4), c. 1880’s; No. 140, p. 17. O'Connor (The Rose in the Gap), 2018; No. 123, p. 73.

Recorded sources : - Maggie's Music MM 306, Bonnie Rideout - "Scottish Fiddle Collection" (2006). Shanachie 34014, James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien & Daithi Sproule – “Traditional Music of Ireland” (1995). Téada – “Ainneoin na stoirme / In spite of the storm “ (2013).

See also listing at :
Alan Ng’s [1]

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  1. Donnellan researcher Gerry O'Connor came to believe the ms. is not the work of the curate but rather was originally compiled by an unknown but able fiddler over the course of a playing lifetime, probably in the late 19th century. The ms. later came into the possession of Donnellan, who was also a fiddler.