Annotation:Shandon Bells

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X:1 T:Shandon Bells M:6/8 L:1/8 B:O'Neill's Music of Ireland. 1850 Melodies, 1903, p. 152, No. 814 Z:François-Emmanuel de Wasseige N:1st repeat mark added ; there is no repeat in part B K:D B|:A>FD DFA|d>ed cBA|B>GE EFA|B2A Bcd| A>FD DFA|d>ed cBA|Bcd ecA|1 d3 dcB:|2 d3 d2|| g|f2(d d)ed|faa afd|c>AA e>AA|cBc efg| f2(d d)ed|faa afd|Bcd ecA|d3 d2|]

SHANDON BELLS (Cloig an tSeandúin). AKA and see "Punch for the Ladies (1),” "Rakes of Listowel (The)," “Ronayne's Jig." Irish (originally), Canadian, American; Double Jig (6/8 time). USA; New England, Chicago. Canada; Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B (O'Neill/1850 & 1001): AABB (Miller & Perron, Perlman): AA'BB (O'Neill/Krassen & 1915): AA’BB’ (Bégin, Prior). The tune is named for a bell tower in the city of Cork. According to Francis O’Neill (in Irish Folk Music, p. 87), “No double jig ever introduced in Chicago met with such immediate popularity among musicians and dancers as Shandon Bells.” His source for the tune, Chicago fiddler Edward Cronin who was originally from County Limerick, had no title for the tune, so O'Neill supplied one of his own. Paul de Grae [1] explains that "Shandon Bells" refers to the bell tower of St. Anne's Church in Cork city, a famous landmark: "Though O'Neill was from west Cork rather than Cork city, his country pride no doubt persuaded him to put this tune first in Dance Music of Ireland (1907)--though its popularity musty have been a factor also." An untitled tune in Feldman's Northern Fiddler on p. 101 incorporates "Shandon Bells" as the first two parts of the tune (paired with two parts of "Young Tim Murphy" AKA "Paddy’s Return (1)" in reverse order).

A family of slip jigs, probably Scottish in origin, echoes the same melodic and harmonic material but is probably not cognate; see “Sailor Lassie (The) for more.

Additional notes

Source for notated version : -
Edward Cronin
Chicago fiddler Edward Cronin, originally from Limerick Junction, County Tipperary, who “learned it in his youth…but it was entirely unknown, it seems, except in that locality” [O’Neill]; Allan MacDonald (b. c. 1950, Bangor, North-East Kings County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman]; Dawson Girdwood (Perth, Ottawa) [Bégin].

Printed sources : - Bégin (Fiddle Music in the Ottawa Valley: Dawson Girdwood), 1985; No. 2, p. 16. Feldman & O’Doherty (The Northern Fiddler), 1976; 101 (appears as first two parts of untitled jig). Miller & Perron (New England Fiddler’s Repertoire), 1983; No. 28. O’Brien (Jerry O’Brien’s Accordion Instructor), 1949. O'Neill (O’Neill’s Irish Music), 1915; No. 156, p. 88. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 27. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 814, p. 152. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 1, p. 17. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 125. Prior (Fionn Seisiún 3), 2007; p. 22. Sannella, Balance and Swing (CDSS).

Recorded sources : - Fretless 200a, Yankee Ingenuity "Kitchen Junket" (1977). Green Linnet GLCD 1128, Brendan Mulvihill & Donna Long - “The Morning Dew” (1993). Rounder CD 7014, Anastasia DesRoches – “Fiddlers of Western Prince Edward Island” (1997). Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40126, Lamprey River Band – “Choose Your Partners!: Contra Dance & Square Dance Music of New Hampshire” (1999).

See also listing at :
Alan Ng's [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [3]

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  1. Paul de Grae, "Notes to Tunes in the O'Neill Collections", 2017 (organized alphabetically by title).