Wandering Minstrel (The)

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X:1 T:Wandering Minstrel, The R:jig L:1/8 M:6/8 K:D B|ADD BAF|Ade fdB|ADD BAG|F3 GFG| ADD BAF|Ade fdB|AdB AFE| FDD D2:| |:e|fdf ede|fdB AFA|~B3 Afd|AGF E2g| ~f3 ede|fdB AFA|~B3 AFE|FDD D2:| |:e|fef afd|gbe gbe|~f3 afd|ceA ceA |fef afd|gbe gbe|~f3 ede|fdc d2:|]



WANDERING MINSTREL, THE (An Ceoltóir Fánach). AKA and see “Cape Breton Jig,” “Dandy Scholar (The),” “Guiness is Good for You.” Irish (originally), Canadian; Double Jig (6/8 time). Canada; Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABC (Breathnach, Moylan): AABBCC (Miller & Perron, Mulvihill, Tubridy). The tune has been paired with “Lark in the Morning (The)” largely due to the influence of the great Co. Sligo/New Yorkfiddler James Morrison. Breathnach (1963) finds versions of this jig in the first part of O’Neill’s “Willy Walsh’s Jig” and “Merry Maiden (The),” although he thinks the second strain differs. Famed Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman recorded “Wandering Minstrel” in a medley (with “Fasten the Leggin' (1)” and “Coleman's Cross (4)”) in New York in 1934. Influential uilleann piper Seamus Ennis recorded the jig (paired with "Jackson's Morning Brush"), popularizing it with pipers. Ennis remarked (in liner notes to his 1974 Topic album):

Michael Coleman (1891–1945)

My earliest conscious memory of familiarity with The Wandering Minstrel is a 78-record I had of the famous Michael Coleman’s fiddle-playing during my mid-teens, although I must have heard my late father play it through the years. As undoubtedly Coleman did, I select its title as applicable to myself.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Chieftains fiddler Tommy Potts (Ireland) [Breathnach]; accordion player Johnny O’Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border) [Moylan]; fiddler Brendan Mulvihill (Baltimore, Md.) [Mulvihill]; Kenny Chaisson (b. c. 1947, Bear River, North-East Kings County, Prince Edward Island; now resident of Rollo Bay) [Perlman].

Printed sources : - Breathnach (CRÉ I), 1963; No. 36, p. 15. Guest (A Hundred Fiddle Tunes in Down East Style), 1980 (appears as “Cape Breton Jig”). Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music, vol. 2), 1977; No. 40 (appears as “Coleman Jig Medley”). Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 42. Moylan (Johnny O’Leary), 1994; No. 187, pp. 108-109. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 84, p. 82. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island) 1996; p. 136. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, vol. 1), 1999; p. 36.

Recorded sources : - A & M Records 79602 2000-2, Ashley MacIsaac – “Close to the Floor” (1992). Ace of Hearts AH 95, "Irish Dance Party." Cló Iar Chonnachta CICD 165, John Wynne & John McEvoy – “Pride of the West” (2007. Learned from an old recording by flute player and character Packie Duignan 1922-1992, from Arigna, County Roscommon). Decca 12015 (78 RPM), Michael Coleman (1934). Green Linnet SIF 1110, “My Love is in America: The Boston College Irish Fiddle Festival” (1991). Green Linnet GLCD, Billy McComiskey – “Makin’ the Rounds” (1981). Nimbus NI5415, Martin O’Connor – “Across the Waters.” RCA 09026-60916-2, The Chieftains – “An Irish Evening” (1991). Shanachie 79093, Paddy Glackin & Robbie Hannan – “The Whirlwind” (1995). Topic 12Ts250, Seamus Ennis – “The Wandering Minstrel” (1974). Kitty Hayes & Peter Laban – “They’ll be Good Yet.”

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 Irishtune.info [3]
Hear Michael Coleman's 1934 recording at the Internet Archive [4] [5] and Soundcloud [6] (Coleman is backed by guitar and banjo player Michael "Whitey" Andrews, who recorded with Coleman and Killoran in the 1930s. He was a member of Killoran's band in New York).



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