Sunday, 15 November 2015

Bantry Bay (hornpipe): Brendan (eile)

Bantry Bay

Named after the bay separating the Beara and Sheep's Head peninsulas in West Cork, the traditional music collector Chief O'Neill described this tune as "one of the most delightful traditional hornpipes in existence." O'Neill picked up the tune from a fellow Chicago policeman and flautist Patrick O'Mahony from West Clare. Known as Big Pat, O'Neill recalled that "the 'swing' of his execution was perfect, but instead of 'beating time' with his foot on the floor like most musicians he was never so much at ease as when seated in a chair tilted back against a wall, while both feet swung rhythmically like a double pendulum" (Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby, 1910). 

Here is a 1927 recording of Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945) and Longford fiddler Packie Dolan (1904-1932) playing Bantry Bay after the Stack of Barley (the next tune on my list).

  And here's my attempt ...

And now onto the Stack of Barley!

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