Tune Notes - Spring 2022

Charlie Mulvihill's/The Star of Munster (reel)
Charlie Mulvihill's
Reel, D Ionian (major) (AABB)
Also known as "Muckross Abbey", "Murphy's Reel (1)", "O'Brien's Reel", "Paddy Murphy's Wife"

Charlie Mulvihill was born in Manhattan on May 15, 1917, the second child of Tom Mulvihill – Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare & Mary (O'Connor), Shanagolden, Co. Limerick. He learned concertina from his father starting around the age of 9 or 10 and made the switch to accordion soon after. He met Noreen Fleming on the day of his discharge and they were married July 14, 1946 and lived initially in the South Bronx and had two children, Tommy in July 1947 and Geraldine in March 1951. His friends were his contemporary trad musicians of the day, Lad O'Beirne, Paddy Killoran, Dennis Murphy, Paddy Sweeney and Jackie Roche. These gentlemen graced each other’s apartments with many all night long music sessions. My father worked at IT&T in the Wall Street area as a teletype operator until poor health forced him to retire in 1965. On the weekends he played the Ballroom circuit (Jaeger House, Tuxedo Ballroom, Star of Munster to name a few) and work was plentiful in the 1950’s playing for dancers. But his musical journey was just beginning. He started to teach me all the tunes he knew and my sister and I recorded all of them on his reel to reel tape recorder. There are volumes of those, many with his original compositions. He would record all the house sessions of musicians of the 60’s and 70’s, notably Andy McGann, Larry Redican, Dennis Murphy and Paddy Reynolds. He would play gigs in the Catskills and the Rockaways in the summertime (Mullan’s, O’Neill House in East Durham) and house parties the rest of the year and of course, every Sunday would be at one of the Irish Traditional Musical Clubs (Paddy Killoran Club at the Irish Institute in Manhattan, Patsy Touhey Club in Brooklyn, Michael Coleman Club in the Bronx). He was a quiet man, beloved by his fellow musicians as a man who knew more tunes than anyone. He would have me record tunes from books that he didn’t know. I told him I could teach him to read in 15 minutes but he said NO, I learn by ear! He gave his heart to his family and his music and unfortunately passed away too young at age 58 on August 9, 1975 in the Catskill Mountains. His legacy will now live on thanks to his induction into the Hall of Fame. He would wonder what the fuss was all about!!!

-- Tommy Mulvihill
Excerpts from Mid-Alantic Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Hall of Fame
Honored posthumously, April 25, 2014
The Star of Munster
Reel (A Dorian)
Also known as "The Bright Star Of Munster", "Munster", "Munster's Stars", "Realt Na Mumhain"
Early Transcription: O'Neill - Dance Music of Ireland. 1001 Gems (1907), No. 495
Early recording: Irish Dance Music (Topic: 1995). Reissue of a 1973 Folkways anthology of 78 rpm records made between 1922 and 1948. Notes by Reg Hall.

Munster (Irish: 'an Mhumhain or Cúige Mumhan') is one of the provinces of Ireland, in the south of Ireland. In early Ireland, the Kingdom of Munster was one of the kingdoms of Gaelic Ireland ruled by a "king of over-kings" (Irish: 'rí ruirech').

In the 5th century, Saint Patrick spent several years in the area and founded Christian churches and ordained priests. By the 9th century, the Gaels had been joined by Norse Vikings who founded towns such as Cork, Waterford and Limerick. By 1118, Munster had fractured into the Kingdom of Thomond under the O'Briens, the Kingdom of Desmond under the MacCarthy dynasty (Eóganachta), and the short-lived Kingdom of Ormond under the O'Kennedys (another Dalcassian sept). The three crowns of the flag of Munster represent these three late kingdoms.

-- Wikipedia
By Golly/The Pipe on the Hob/Old Hag You Have Killed Me (jig)
The Pipe on the Hob
Double Jig, Adorian (AABBCC)
Also known as "The Piper on the Hob", "The Pipes on the Hob"
Early transcription: O'Neill – Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems (1907), No. 9
Early recording: Séamus Ennis, The Return from Fingal (RTÉ: 1997). Recordings from the RTÉ archives dating between 1940 and 1980. Notes by Peter Browne.

A hob is a flat metal shelf at the side or back of a fireplace or stove used for heating pots or pans.

Old Hag, You Have Killed Me
Double Jig (AABB) (D mix)
Also known as "O Hag, You Have Killed Me", "A Chailleach", "Do Mharais Mé", "The Sheep on the Mountain"
Transcription: Francis O'Neill and James O'Neill - "O'Neill's Music of Ireland", No 831
Recording: The Pipering of Willie Clancy. Volume 2 (Claddagh: 1983). Material recorded for Radio Telefís Éireann between 1958 and 1973. Tune notes by Pat Mitchell.

In Irish and Scottish mythology, the cailleach is a hag goddess concerned with creation, harvest, the weather, and sovereignty. In partnership with the goddess Bríd, she is a seasonal goddess, seen as ruling the winter months while Bríd rules the summer. In Scotland, a group of hags, known as The Cailleachan (The Storm Hags) are seen as personifications of the elemental powers of nature, especially in a destructive aspect. They are said to be particularly active in raising the windstorms of spring, during the period known as A Chailleach.

A hag, or "the Old Hag", was a nightmare spirit in English and anglophone North American folklore. This variety of hag is essentially identical to the Old English mæra—a being with roots in ancient Germanic superstition, and closely related to the Scandinavian mara. According to folklore, the Old Hag sat on a sleeper's chest and sent nightmares to him or her. When the subject awoke, he or she would be unable to breathe or even move for a short period of time.

-- Wikipedia
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