X: 1 T: Sweeney's Buttermilk C: Brendan McGlinchey R: reel D: Kevin Burke "Sweeney's Dream" (Folkways ____) D: Touchstone "A New Land" D: Silly Wizard "So Many Partings" Z: Ken Fleming <firstname.lastname@example.org> irtrad-l 2000-02-27 M: C| L: 1/8 F:http://www.john-chambers.us/~jc/music/abc/mirror/irtrad-l/SweeneysButtermilk.abc K: Bm FB (3BdB fB (3BdB | dcBc AE (3EGE) | FB (3BdB ABce | afec Ba^ga | (3faf ecf2ec | BABc BAFE | FB (3BdB ABce | afec B2BA :| |:FBdc BF (3FFF | EAcB AE (3EGE | FBdc Bdfb | afec Bcdc | Bcde fB (3BdB | afec ABce | ~f3a bf (3faf | afec B2BA :|
SWEENEY'S BUTTERMILK. AKA and see "Charlie Lennon's Reel (2)," "Buttermilk Mary (2)," "Charlie's Buttermilk Mary," "Brendan McGlinchey's (2)," “Scarce o' Tatties (3)." Irish, Reel (whole or cut time). A Dorian: B Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A modern composition by fiddler Brendan McGlinchey (though sometimes mistakenly attributed to Charlie Lennon). The story (as told by Juergen Gier) goes that McGlinchey was attending a fleadh, tionol or similar event and found accommodations in the caravan of a man named Sweeney, with whom he shared his stay. Sweeney, as it happens, like McGlinchey was quite fond of buttermilk. The tune is usually played in the key of B Minor/B Dorian. It appears in Bulmer & Sharpley’s collection Music from Ireland, vol. 4 (No. 14, 1976) under the title “Charlie Lennon’s,” sourced to Lennon as at the time the tune’s title was unknown.
Sharon Goldwasser told this story on IRTRAD-L:
I was at Gaelic Roots in 1998, and Brendan McGlinchey taught fiddle classes that year. On the first day, he asked all of us to play a tune for him (to assess the class, I suppose). There were a few very talented young fiddlers (teens) and Brendan looked at one of them with a bit of a twinkle in his eye as the boy completed a reel. Brendan leaned forward and asked the young man "Do you know the name of that chune?". The boy replied "Sweeney's Buttermilk". And then Brendan leaned in a little closer and asked -"And do you know who wrote it?" The boy shook his head, and Brendan said "I did". The look on the boy's face was priceless!
See also the related “Margaret Stuart's Reel.”