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IRTRAD-L  June 2009

IRTRAD-L June 2009

Subject:

Re: The Bellharbour Reel ?(was New Town Bridge (reel) ABC)

From:

Alan Ng <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Irish Traditional Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 11:49:50 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (183 lines)

If Chris Droney claims he did indeed compose it, i.e., a first-hand  
source, that would constitute the strongest claim of any I've  
documented so far. As I detailed, the other four published composer  
attributions I discussed are all second or third-hand claims and as  
usual I wouldn't trust such claims any farther than simply quoting them.

I wasn't quite aware of Chris's true age (nor was I making any  
confident statement relating to it) - he sure plays like a much  
younger man!

And yes, I, too, don't put much stock in the Raymond Roland claim -  
especially because the "Drop in the Ocean" book, despite the core  
value of its transcriptions, is full of a great many ... um, let's  
say "unique" ... tune titles and composer claims that disagree with  
the rest of the body of my tune research.

- Alan

On Jun 23, 2009, at 7:02 AM, Blarney Star wrote:

> Thanks Alan, but  a 1949 recording date does not make it impossible  
> for Chris Droney, who would have been 23 or 24 at the time, to have  
> composed the "Bellharbour Reel" that is on The Flowing Tide (i.e.,  
> your no. 635). Many composers are at their most prolific at that  
> age (Martin Mulhaire would be a good example).
>
> Paddy O'Brien's posthumously published tune collection does not  
> include this tune, and the only reason it is attributed to him is  
> that Martin Mulhaire had the impression it was one of Paddy's and  
> passed that info on to Billy McComiskey, who put it in the liner  
> notes of the Trian recording.  I don't know what Josephine Keegan's  
> source was for her attribution to Raymond Roland. It is not clear  
> from Jardine's thesis whether he got the tune directly from Droney  
> or from the Flowing Tide LP. I don't think that any of these tune  
> book or recording citations prove anything decisively.
>
> Unfortunately, the mere assertion of authorship by a senior and  
> respected musician doesn't prove anything either.  I have had quite  
> a few experiences with that problem.  Memories are faulty.  But if  
> Chris, who is still in great shape and playing very well, claims  
> the tune as his, I'd want to give him the benefit of the doubt.
>
> Don
>
>> Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:11:12 -0500
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: The Bellharbour Reel ?(was New Town Bridge (reel) ABC)
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>
>> Gentlemen, you may not have availed yourselves already of
>> irishtune.info. A solution to this particular long-standing  
>> confusion of
>> titles and authors was published there some years ago:
>>
>> http://www.irishtune.info/tune/3018/
>>
>> http://www.irishtune.info/tune/635/
>>
>> Here are the nitty-gritty details about the authorship claims I  
>> publish
>> there:
>>
>> Tune #3018 is, according to all three sources I list there,  
>> composed by
>> Chris Droney (although the Mulvihill book I cite only cites Chris  
>> Droney
>> as the source and as the tune title, not confidently as the  
>> composer).
>> This tune seems to be the "real" Bellharbour Reel.
>>
>>
>> Tune #635 is the one that Sean posted the abc for and is the one  
>> that is
>> publicly and clearly in dispute (yes, that sounds like an  
>> oxymoron, but
>> it's true). Most of the fourteen sources I list do not claim that  
>> this
>> tune has any particular composer (i.e. implied "traditional"), and a
>> slight majority of sources agree that the title is "New Town Bridge".
>> The fact that we have a 1949 recording of this tune (see the "CmA 1"
>> source) probably eliminates Chris Droney as a likely composer. The  
>> next
>> oldest source is Breathnach's collection of this tune in 1966 from  
>> Jimmy
>> Ward in Clare.
>>
>> The four sources listed for tune #635 which do offer a composer  
>> credit
>> are, in chronological order of publication date:
>>
>> 1992: Trian's first album, which credits it to Paddy O'Brien  
>> (presumably
>> the Tipperary one), and acknowledges Martin Mulhaire as their source.
>>
>> 1998: John Whelan's "Come to Dance" album also credits it to Paddy
>> O'Brien (again, presumably - but not clearly - the Tipperary one)
>>
>> At some point before 2001 Henrik Norbeck's online tunebook  
>> includes this
>> tune and credits it to Chris Droney. I suggest that Norbeck's
>> attribution simply and accurately reflects the obviously popular
>> confusion (via title alone) of this tune with the "real" Bellharbour
>> Reel tune #3018.
>>
>> 2004: Josephine Keegan's tunebook "A Drop in the Ocean" credits it to
>> Raymond Roland.
>>
>> I hope this is helpful in some way.
>>
>> -- 
>> ____________________________________________________________
>> Alan Ng, PhD  .  Madison, Wisconsin, USA
>> [log in to unmask] .  http://www.alan-ng.net
>>
>>
>> Blarney Star sent on 6/22/09 5:38 PM:
>>> "The Flowing Tide" was a Topic LP and is entirely different from  
>>> "The Fertile Rock," which was issued many years later and  
>>> includes piano accompaniment from George Byrt.  I don't have the  
>>> CIC disc handy but I'll take your word that the two "Bellharbour"  
>>> tunes are different as well.
>>>
>>> I have had plenty of experience with disputes over authorship and  
>>> titles of tunes and don't wish to get in the middle of another  
>>> one. My original source for the claim that Droney composed the  
>>> tune called "The Bellharbour Reel" on the Topic LP was Stephen  
>>> Jardine's master's thesis from UCC.  If Mr. Droney comes over to  
>>> New York for another visit, I'll have to ask him directly.
>>>
>>> Don Meade
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 23:12:10 +0100
>>>> From: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: The Bellharbour Reel ?(was New Town Bridge (reel) ABC)
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>
>>>> A couple of months ago there I contributed to brief discussion  
>>>> regarding a
>>>> tune allegedly composed by Chris Droney called variously The  
>>>> Bell Harbour
>>>> Reel or Newtown Bridge or The Rough Road or The Sailor's  
>>>> Farewell or The
>>>> Sailor's Return (what I knew it as).
>>>>
>>>> Blarney Star had written:
>>>>> This is really "The Bellharbour Reel" by Chris Droney, which he  
>>>>> recorded
>>>>> as the first tune on his Topic LP "The Flowing Tide."
>>>> I had to wait until now to get my hands on a friend's copy of  
>>>> Droney's CIC
>>>> CD "The Fertile Rock" on which track 6 is "Thady Casey's Fancy  
>>>> and the Bell
>>>> Harbour Reel" to confirm that the Bell Harbour Reel on this CD  
>>>> is NOT the
>>>> tune that Jeff posted.
>>>>
>>>> Is it the same tune as Track 1 on his LP "The Flowing Tide" ?
>>>>
>>>> Any help in solving this one appreciated - it's one of  my  
>>>> favourite tunes.
>>>> I always thought it was a Paddy O'Brien Composition anyway :-)
>>>>
>>>> As posted by Jeff:
>>>>> X:56
>>>>> T:New Town Bridge
>>>>> C:Paddy O'Brien
>>>>> R:reel
>>>>> M:C|
>>>>> L:1/8
>>>>> Q:1/2=92
>>>>> K:G
>>>>> D~G3 DGBd|g2dg (3efg dB|~A3G AcBA|GBAF GFEF|
>>>>> D~G3 DGBd|gd (3Bcd eBdB|GA (3Bcd gBdB|1 AcBA G2 GE:|2 AcBA G2 Bc||
>>>>> dggf gGBd|gbaf gfed|eaag abag|eaag edBc|
>>>>> dggf gGBd|gbaf gedB|GA (3Bcd gBdB|1 AcBA G2 Bc:|2 AcBA G2 GE|
>>>
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Lauren found her dream laptop. Find the PC thatís right for you.
> http://www.microsoft.com/windows/choosepc/?ocid=ftp_val_wl_290

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