Bird in the Tree (The)

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 Also known as    An tÉan ar an gCrann, Éan ar an gCrann (An t-), Billy Hanafin's Reel, Bird in the Bush (The), Bird on the Tree (The), Dhá Éan ar an Crann
 Composer/Core Source    
 Region    Ireland
 Genre/Style    Irish
 Meter/Rhythm    Reel (single/double)
 Key/Tonic of    G
 Accidental    1 sharp
 Mode    Ionian (Major)
 Time signature    4/4
 Structure    AABB
 Editor/Compiler    Biography:Pat McNulty
 Book/Manuscript title    Book:Dance Music of Ireland
 Tune and/or Page number    p. 5
 Year of publication/Date of MS    1965
 Artist    Biography:Michael Hanafin
 Title of recording    I'm Leaving Tipperary
 Record label/Catalogue nr.    Globestyle
 Year recorded    1995 (reissue recording)
 Score   ()   

BIRD IN THE TREE (An tÉan ar an gCrann). AKA and see "Bird in the Bush (The)," "Bird on the Tree (The)." (Dhá Éan ar an Crann). Irish, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Breathnach, Moylan): AABB (Brody, Miller & Perron, O'Malley). A very popular Irish session reel that has gained currency in other genres, including American contra dance circles and Cape Breton sessions. See also the related tune "Two Birds in the Tree." The tune was recorded on a 78 RPM by Michael Hanafin (1875-1970) under the title "Billy Hanafin's Reel" (Billy {1885-1924} was his brother, and an associate of piper Patsy Tuohey's). Sligo fiddle great Michael Coleman popularised the melody through his influential 1924 78 RPM recording for Victor Records. It was first recorded in Cape Breton by musicians Johnny Wilmot and Tommy Basker.

Sources for notated versions: piper Matthew Tiernan/Maitiu Mac Tighearnain (Ireland) [Breathnach]; accordion player Johnny O'Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border), recorded at Na Píobairí Uilleann, October, 1984 [Moylan]; students of New York fiddler John McGrath (1900-1955, originally from County Mayo) [O'Malley]; County Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945) [Miller & Perron].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ I), 1963; No. 87, p. 38. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 44. Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 185, p. 70. McNulty (Dance Music of Ireland), 1965; p. 5. Miller & Perron (Irish Tradtional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol. 3, No. 6. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 49. Moylan (Johnny O'Leary), 1994; No. 151, p. 88. O'Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 26, p. 13.

Recorded sources: Globestyle Records, Michael Hanafin - "I'm Leaving Tipperary" (Reissue. Appears as "Billy Hanafin's Reel"). IRC Records, Michael Coleman - "The Musical Glory of Old Sligo" (1967). Shanachie 33002, Michael Coleman - "The Legacy of Michael Coleman." Legacy 120, Jean Carignan - "French Canadian Fiddle Songs" (learned from the 1924 Coleman recording). Philo 2001, "Jean Carignan."

See also listings 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]

X: 1
T: The Bird in the Tree
T: Bird in the Bush
S: David Lyth
R: reel
L: 1/8
K: G
"Coleman's Version"
vdgeB d(B B2 | cA)AB (G2 A)(G | EA)A/2A/2A (BG)G/2G/2G | B(GB)d ~g3 e |
vd2 u(dB dB ~B2 |cA)AB ~G3 (E | DE)GA (~B3 c) | v(d/2c/2Bc/2B/2A BG)GA :|
|: vB/2^c/2def ug2 (fg|a)fd(f {a}gf)ed | v(B/2^c/2de)(f ga)(b/2a/2g | a)(gab) (~g3 a|
b)(g ~g2) (age)(f | gb)g/2g/2e dBgB | (DEG)(A ~B3 c)| v(d/2c/2Bc/2B/2A) BGGA :|