Tom Billy's Jig (1)

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X:1 T:Tom Billy’s Jig [1] M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig K:Amix ~a3 ece|edB BAA|a^ga Ace|dcB Ace| a3 Ace|edB BAF|GBd g3|edB Ace:| |:g3a3|bag fed|gaf gdB|BAB def| gfg a3|bge gab|age dBe|1 ABA A2f:|2 ABA A2|| |:B|c3d3|ecA cBA|ABA cBA|ABA Aed| cBc d3|ede gab|age dBe|1 ABA A2:|2 ABA A3||



TOM BILLY'S JIG [1] (Port Tom Billy). Irish, Jig (6/8 time). A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'CC' (Breathnach, Mulvihill, Songer): AA’BB’C (Moylan). Tom Billy Murphy (1879-1944), a native of Ballydesmond, west Kerry, was an influential fiddler and teacher in the Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border during the early twentieth century, and was a contemporary of the great Kerry fiddler Pádraig O’Keeffe. Tom Billy himself learned much of his repertoire from a blind fiddle player named Taidhgin an Asail (Tadhg O Buachalla/Tadeen the Fiddler). Source Johnny O’Leary played extensively with fiddler Denis Murphy who was known for his vast repertoire, much of it Tom Billy’s. O’Leary never heard Murphy play this particular tune until he recorded it however, “He kept tunes up his sleeve all the time that I usen’t get. I got the land of my life when I asked him for it and ‘I thought you had it’, he says, ‘I always had that after Tom Billy.’ But he knew well I hadn’t it”[1].


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - fiddlers Julia Clifford & Denis Murphy (west Kerry, Ireland) [Breathnach]; accordion player Johnny O’Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border) [Moylan]; fiddler Brendan Mulvihill (Baltimore, Md.) [Mulvihill]; Kevin Burke (Portland, Oregon) [Songer].

Printed sources : - Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 48, p. 27 (appears untitled). Breathnach (CRÉ III), 1985; No. 13, p. 7. Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland, vol. 3), 1976; No. 68. Moylan (Johnny O’Leary of Sliabh Luachra), 1994; No. 241, pp. 139-140. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 88, p. 83. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 194. Vallely (Learn Tin Whistle with the Armagh Pipers Club), vol. 3, 5.

Recorded sources : - Claddagh Records CC5/Shanachie 34002, Denis Murphy & Julia Clifford ‑ "The Star above the Garter" (1969). Co. Donegal fiddler Tommy Peoples has recorded as "Paddy O'Brien's" on his Ovation album "Tommy Peoples: Master Irish Fiddle Player."RCA 09026-60916-2, The Chieftains - "An Irish Evening" (1991. Appears as “Paddy’s Jig”).

See also listing at :
Alan Ng’s Irishtune.info [1]



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  1. Quoted in Terry Moylan's Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra, 1994, p. 140.