Controversial Reel (The)
CONTROVERSIAL REEL, THE (Ríl na Conspóide). Irish, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Black, Cranford/Holland, Miller): AA'BB' (Breathnach). Composed by Baltimore, Maryland B/C accordion player Billy McComiskey (originally from Brooklyn) who wrote it for Irish music teacher Maureen Glynn and initially named it "Maureen Glynn's Fiddle." The "Controversial" name was applied by Chicago fiddler Liz Carroll and accordion player Tommy Maguire on their 1978 Shanachie LP because Carroll had gotten it from McComiskey while Maguire maintained he had heard it years before in County Offaly. Billy McComiskey told New York musician Don Meade that he had played it in Tullamore, County Offaly in 1970 or 1971 while visiting his relation Ellen Flanagan, which may mean that Maguire indeed heard it from local sources.
Source for notated version: Tommy Maguire & Liz Carroll [Breathnach].
Printed sources: Black (Music's the Very Best Thing), 1996; No. 64, p. 33. Breathnach (CRÉ 3), 1985; No. 162, p. 75. Cotter (Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor), 1989; No. 56, p. 74. Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 189, p. 71. Miller (Fiddler's Throne), 2004; No. 139, p. 92.
Recorded sources: Green Linnet SIF 1034, Billy McComiskey – "Makin' the Rounds" (1981). Shanachie 29010, Liz Carroll & Tommy Maguire – "Kiss Me Kate" (1978).
See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources 
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info 
X:1 T: Controversial C: B. McComiskey Z: transcribed by B.Black Q: 350 R: reel M: 4/4 L: 1/8 K: G GA | B3 e dBAG | gfgb a2 ge | d2 Bd gedB | A2 BG AGEG | B3 e dBAG | gfgb a2 ge | d2 Bd gedB | GBAF G2 :| GA | B3 d A2 BA | GEDE GABd | gaba gedB | A2 BG AGEG | B3 d A2 BA | GEDE GABd | gaba gedB | GBAF G2 :|
X:2 T:The Controversial Reel R:Reel M:4/4 L:1/8 Z:Billy McComisky, from Cotter's with 'corrections' K:G G2 A|BABe dB~B2|gfgb abge|d2 (3Bcd gedB|AdBG AGEG| ~B3 e dB~B2|~g2 bg abge|d2 (3Bcd gedB|GBAF G3 A:|| ~B3 G ~A2 BA|GEDE GA (3Bcd|g2 ba gedB|AdBG AGEG| ~B2 dB ABBA|GEDE GABd|g2 ba gedb|GBAF G3 A:||