St. Ruth's Bush

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X:1 T:St. Ruth's Bush B:Micho Russell, The Piper's Chair M:C K:Ador d|:eAA>B c2BA|GEE>E EDEG|A2A>B c3d|e2ag egd2| eAA>B c2BA|GEE>E EDEG|A2A>B cde>g|d>BG>B A4:| |:eaa>e a2ag|eaag bgag|dgg>f g2gf|dgg>f gfed| eaa>e a2ag|eaag bgag|e2e>f g2g>e|dBGB A4:|



ST. RUTH'S BUSH. AKA - "Ruth's Bush." AKA and see “Jude's Bush.” Irish, Reel. A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. According to Philippe Varlet the tune was composed around 1936-1940 by fiddler Paddy Kelly (of the Aughrim Slopes band) and was first recorded by the Kincora Ceili Band led by Ms. Kathleen Harrington. The bush (or tree) is where the French commander the Marquis de St. Ruth’s head was found after he was killed by a cannon ball while on his white charger at the Battle of Aughrim in 1691. Aughrim is approximately 30 miles east of Galway city. Micko Russell {1989}, who attributed the tune to Paddy Fahy, said: “Now I don't know how did the bush get that name, but if you go along the road from Gort to Loughrea there is a lonely place in the limestone lands. Standing by itself is this one bush. It is very remarkable how it has grown alone there. The name of that bush is St. Ruth's Bush."

Charlie Piggot, in his book Blooming Meadows (1998, written with Fintan Vallely), relates that he witnessed Doolin, County Clare, tin whistle player Micho Russell (1915-1944) hold spellbound a crowd of several thousand at the Circus Krone in Munich with his introduction to this tune. Russell was known for his gift of weaving lore, associations, assertions and traditions into his music, and regaled the audience with the stories of St. Ruth, incidents from the battle, and the bush that could still be seen. Pausing for an effectual moment, he then said, ‘faith’, that he wouldn’t play the tune after all but another instead!

The reel was also recorded for Dublin records by the Tulla and Leitrim Ceili bands around 1960.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Frank McCollam (Ballycastle, County Antrim) [Mulvihill]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : - Feldman & O'Doherty (The Northern Fiddler), 1979; p. 238 (appears as “Jude’s Bush”). Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 13, p. 4. McNulty (Dance Music of Ireland), 1965; p. 14. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 110, p. 29. Russell (The Piper’s Chair), 1989; p. 21. Sullivan (Sully’s Irish Music Book), 1979.

Recorded sources : - Green Linnet GLCD 1175, Cherish the Ladies - "New Day Dawning" (1996). Green Linnet GLCD 1187, Cherish the Ladies – “One and All: the best of Cherish the Ladies” (1998). Harp Records, Shaskeen - “Back to the Glen” (1981). HMV 231281 (78 RPM), Kincora Ceilidh Band (1945. Last tune in medley "Lasses of Carracastle/Maid of Mt. Kisco/St. Ruth's Bush"). Larraga MOR 1302, Mike & Mary Rafferty – “Speed 78” (2004). Topic TSCD 602, Kincora Ceilidhe Band – “Irish Dance Music” (1995. A reissue of the original 1945 HMV recording).

See also listing at :
Alan Ng’s Irishtune.info [1]
Hear the Kincora Ceilidh Band's 1945 recording at ITMA [2] and at europeana [3]



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