Fiddle Tunes

Ballydehob Session regular Robin Lewando has sent in two great fiddle tunes for us to learn – excellent playing! Thank you, Robin – keep those tunes coming…

First up is Stonecutter’s Jig:

Robin tells us that this tune is taken from a 1909 collection by Patrick Weston Joyce (1827 – 1914):

Joyce was descended from Seán Mór Seoighe, a 17th century stonemason from Connemara, County Galway, so this tune is an appropriate choice! Seán Mór Seoighe was also an ancestor of the writer James Joyce. PW was born and brought up in the Ballyhoura Mountains, on the borders of counties Limerick and Cork. Described as a ‘key cultural figure of his time’ Joyce was one of the reorganisers of the national school system in Ireland in 1856, but also known for his 3 volume collection The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, and his studies in Irish language, folklore and traditional music.

I wasn’t intending to put music scores on this site, as there are comprehensive resources elsewhere (eg, but in this case the only example of this tune appears to be the one above, from the Joyce Collection, so I have included it. Robin’s rendition is faithful to this original. Here is the only photograph I could find of PW:

Next up from Robin is a reel, Cottage in the Grove:

This tune is included by Joyce, but also appears in a collection from Francis Roche (1866–1961): Irish Airs, Marches & Dance Tunes, 1912.

Roche was a violinist, pianist and dancer, and a teacher of music and dance. He, his father and two brothers ran a family academy in Limerick city. From about 1890, Francis was engaged in compiling and arranging a collection of Irish music for publication. This first appeared in January 1912. The contents were noted down from oral tradition and from manuscripts of his father and others.

Francis Roche

Many thanks for these, Robin: they are seldom heard tunes that certainly deserve a place in our sessions, both real and virtual! It’s also great to get away from the squeezeboxes for a while… How about some contributions now from flute, banjo or whistle – I know you are out there!!