Back to John Kelly
JOHN KELLY. AKA and see "Planxty Miss Burke." Irish, Planxty (6/8 time). B Flat Major (O'Sullivan): C Major (Mulhollan): G Major (S. Johnson). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (S. Johnson): AB (O'Sullivan): AABB (Mulhollan). Composed by blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). Edward Bunting (1773-1843) noted this melody in his c. 1800 manuscripts (held at the Library of Queens University, Belfast), albeit under the title "Planxty Miss Burke." O'Sullivan (1958) finds earlier printings in John Lee's A Favourite Collection of the so much admired old Irish Tunes (Dublin, 1780), Thompson's Hibernian Muse (London, c. 1786) and Mullholland's Collection of Ancient Irish Airs (Belfast, 1810), all under the "John Kelly" title, and concludes Bunting is probably wrong in his "Miss Burke" title for the melody. O'Sullivan believes the tune may have been either for Colonel John Kelly of Skreen, County Roscommon (whose daughter married Sir Ulick Burke, the subject of another Carolan composition), or John Kelly of Castle Kelly or Aghrane Castle, Cloonlyon. The latter also had connections with the bard, for his sister-in-laws were Lady Laetitia Burke and Lady Dillon, the subjects of two other of his compostions.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Bunting (The Ancient Music of Ireland), 1840; p. 43 (appears as "Planxty Miss Burke"). Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 72, p. 63. S. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 3: Carolan), 1983 (revised 1991, 2001); p. 12. Mulhollan (Selection of Irish and Scots Tunes), Edinburgh, 1804; p. 3. O'Neill (Music of Ireland), 1903 (appears as "Planxty Miss Burke"). O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 72. Samuel, Anne & Peter Thompson (The Hibernian Muse), London, 1787; No. 55, p. 33.