Star of Munster (The)

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X:1 T:Star of Munster, The M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:O'Neill's Music of Ireland. 1850 Melodies, 1903, p. 230, no. 1218 Z:François-Emmanuel de Wasseige K:Ador ed|c2 (Ac) B2(GB)|AGEF GED=F|EAAB cBcd|eaaf g=fed| !uppermordent!c2 (Ac) !uppermordent!B2(GB)|AGEF GED=F|EAAB cded|cAB^G A2z2|| (ea)ab ageg|agbg agef|{a}gfga gfef|geaf g=fed| (ea)ab ageg|agbg agef|!uppermordent!g2 ge !uppermordent!a2 af|b2 ba gfed|]

STAR OF MUNSTER, THE ("An Realt Mumain" or "Realt Na Muman"). AKA and see “Birds in the Bushes,” "Bright Star of Munster," "Conneberry Reel (2) (The)," "Eight O'Clock Train (The)," "Finean Reel (The)," “Kitty's Wishes,” “Millstone (2) (The),” "Miss Kitty's Wishes," "Miss Mary Eva Kelly of “Kitty's Wishes"," “Rock of Muff” (?). Irish, Reel. A Dorian (Am). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Joyce, Kennedy, O'Neill/1850 & 1001): ABB (Allan's): AA'B (O'Neill/Krassen): AABB (Brody, Mallinson): AABB’ (Songer): AA’BB’ (Harker/Rafferty): ABB’CDD’ (Mitchell). A star is a euphemism for a beautiful woman. The melody is at least as old as the latter 19th century, for O’Neill (1913) mentions it as one of the first reels learned as a boy by Callinafercy, Kilcoleman, County Kerry fiddler and uilleann piper William F. Hanafin, born in 1875 (who later, in his adolescence, emigrated to Massachusetts). O’Neill himself learned this tune from County Mayo piper James O’Brien, who visited Chicago (where O’Neill worked in the police department) in 1876. O’Neill describes him as “a neat, tasty Irish piper of the Connacht school of close players, and though his Union pipes were small, they were sweet and musical...One of his peculiarities—and an unpleasant one, occasionally—was a habit of stopping the music in order to indulge in conversation. He could not be induced to play a tune in full, when under the influence of stimulants, as his loquacity was uncontrollable, and he never hesitated under such conditions to express a passing sentiment. Amiable and harmless at all times, he died at a comparatively early age in Chicago, a victim to conviviality, his only weakness.” The great County Sligo-born fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945) recorded the tune in New York in April, 1922, released on a 78 RPM for the Vocalion label (paired with “O’Dowd’s Favourite,” both played in the unusual key of G Dorian). Another early recording of “Star of Munster” was by Ballybay, County Monaghan, piper Robert William “Willie” Clarke (1889-1934) for Columbia Records of London in 1928, for a series of records entitled “The Pipes of Three Nations” (which included a Highland piper and a Northumbrian small-piper). The reel has proved quite popular as an accompaniment for New England contra dances since the 1970's, and is frequently heard today at Irish sessions.

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - O'Brien [O'Neill]]--Jimmy O'Brien was a piper originally from County Mayo; "Portumna, Co. Galway; better known as 'Eva', the writer of national ballads in 'The Nation' newspaper, who seems to have had as cultivated a taste for Irish music as for literature. She is now Mrs. Doherty, the widow of the well known Dr. Kevin Izod Doherty, and is living in hale old age in Australia" (Joyce); piper Willie Clancy (1918-1973, Miltown Malbay, west Clare) [Mitchell]; New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; p. 265. Giblin (Collection of Traditional Irish Dance Music), 1928; 21. Hardebeck (A Collection of Jigs and Reels vol. 1), Dublin, 1921; pp. 16-17. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 5, p. 2. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 780, p. 381. Kennedy (Traditional Dance Music of Britain and Ireland: Reels and Rants), 1997; No. 184, p. 43. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 44, p. 19. McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), No. 49, p. 12. Mitchell (Dance Music of Willie Clancy), 1993; No. 64, pp. 66-67. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 99. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1218, p. 230. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 495, p. 94. O’Neill (O’Neill’s Irish Music), 1915; No. 238, p. 126. Peoples (Fifty Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1986; 10. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music vol. 1), 1912; No. 136, p. 55. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 190.

Recorded sources : - Bellbridge Records, Bobby Casey – “Casey in the Cowhouse” (1992. Originally recorded 1959). Front Hall 05, Fennigs All Stars "Saturday Night in the Provinces." Gael Linn 068, Maurice Lennon - "An Fihdil." Gael Linn 069, Seamus Creagh "An Fhidil Straith II." Green Linnett 1012, Martin Mulvihill "Traditional Irish Fiddling From County Limmerick." Green Linnet GLCD 1127, “Martin Hayes” (1993). Green Linnet GLCD 3009/Mulligan 021, Kevin Burke "If the Cap Fits" (1978). GTD Heritage Trad. HCD 008, Tommy Peoples - "Traditional Irish Music Played on the Fiddle." Island ILPS 9501, "The Chieftains Live" (1977). Larraga Records LR093098, Mike & Mary Rafferty – “The Old Fireside Music” (1998). Shanachie 29002, "Kathleen Collins." Shanachie 29008, Frankie Gavin "Traditional Music of Ireland.” Topic TSCD602, Michale Coleman – “Irish Dance Music” (1995. A reissue of the 1922 original).

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

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