Traveller (1) (The)

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X:1 T:The Traveller M:C| L:1/8 B:O'Neill's Music of Ireland. 1850 Melodies, 1903, p. 276, no. 1495 Z:François-Emmanuel de Wasseige K:G D2|G2(BG) dGBG|ABcd cBAG|Bdgd (3efg dB|cBAG FADF| G2(BG) dGBG|ABcd cBAG|Bdgd (3efg (dc)|BGAF G2H|| (Bd)|{a}g2(dg) Bgdf|gabg agef|g2(dg) BgdB|cBAG FADF| {f}g2(dg) Bgdg|gabg agef|gfga gfed|(3efg (fa) gedB!D.C.!|]



TRAVELLER [1], THE (An Siubaltac). AKA - "Traveller's Reel [1]." AKA and see "Reel Roarer," "Walker Street." Irish, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill/1850 & 1001): AA'BB' (O'Neill/Krassen). The reel was printed as "Walker Street" in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) and "Walker Street Hornpipe" in Kõhler's Violin Repository vol. 3 (c. 1885), and "Walker Street" is given as a supplemental title in the O'Neill collections. Caoimhín Mac Aoidh points out that the Irish translation given by O'Neill, "An Siubhaltach" (spelling updated) translates as "walker" and not "traveller", while Paul de Grae concludes that O'Neill's source was either Ryan's Mammoth or Kõhler's Violin, or some other source that gave the title "Walker Street"[1] (with the implication the title was mistranslated for O'Neill's collection). Comparing the titles, Kate Dunlay suggests that the "Traveller" title may stem from the French travailler, to work or labour. Variants have been collected and recorded in both Anglo- and Franco-phone communities in Canada. French-Canadian variants are “Reel des ouvreirs” (The Laborer’s Reel), "Reel de Saint-Malo" (both Joseph Allard recordings) and "Gigue des artisans" (Isidore Soucy).

An early version of the tune, nearly identical to later versions but with a third strain, was entered into the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of Bellport, Long Island, fiddler and ship-builder Isaac Homan with the title "Reel Roarer" (which presumably was a play on the word 'reel'/'real').


Additional notes



Printed sources : - O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 150. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1495, p. 276. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 719, p. 126.

Recorded sources : - Green Linnet SIF 104, Joe Burke & Michael Cooney "The Celts Rise Again" (1990). Green Linnet SIF 1069, Joe Burke, Michael Cooney "Happy to Meet & Sorry to Part" (1986). Rounder 1087, Eleanor Kane/Neary - "From Galway to Dublin: Early Irish Traditional Music" (1992. A reissue of the 1935 original).




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  1. Paul de Grae, "Notes on Sources of Tunes in the O'Neill Collections", 2017 [1].