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 Post subject: The Banks of the Suir
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:12 am 
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I’ve been asked to perform at a venue in a few weeks and decided that one of the airs I’ll play is “The Banks of the Suir.” Both because the audience may not know much about Irish music and because the event coordinator asked, I will need to say a little something about each piece I perform. Does anyone know any interesting facts or anecdotes about this beautiful air that I could use? Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:26 am 
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David Power taught us this one in a workshop once, if he is watching the forum, perhaps he could comment?

JVF


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:03 am 
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Is this the air used to set the text "The Lovely Sweet Banks of the Suir"? There are a few broadsides featuring it, including one printed in New York!

http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/search/roud/17001

"Lovely sweet banks of -" seems to have been a ballad commonplace.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:58 am 
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myles wrote:
Is this the air used to set the text "The Lovely Sweet Banks of the Suir"? There are a few broadsides featuring it, including one printed in New York!

http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/search/roud/17001

"Lovely sweet banks of -" seems to have been a ballad commonplace.


Thanks, guys. Myles, regarding “The Lovely Sweet Banks of the Suir,” I wondered the same thing, but they seem different. I learned “The Banks of the Suir” at the NYC Irish Center airs workshop that the late great Bill Ochs held a decade or so ago. If I remember correctly, he said that it was a very old air that wasn’t connected with any known song.

I also remember Torrin Ryan playing it at the Catskills East Coast Pipers’ tionol 5 or 6 years ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:11 pm 
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I'd think of Liam Walsh of Nelius O'Cronin when it comes to this air.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:42 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
I'd think of Liam Walsh of Nelius O'Cronin when it comes to this air.


Yes, I should have said that that was the model that Bill used in his seminar for this.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:10 pm 
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Joyce (Ancient Irish Music) prints that air and says it was used for the song beginning "The very first day I left Carrick" - definitely the same as the broadside "Lovely Sweet Banks..." then.

Sadly he doesn't say much else about it.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:35 am 
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myles wrote:
Joyce (Ancient Irish Music) prints that air and says it was used for the song beginning "The very first day I left Carrick" - definitely the same as the broadside "Lovely Sweet Banks..." then.

Sadly he doesn't say much else about it.


Thank you. Yes, that’s about all I’ve been able to find too. I’m playing in a couple of weeks and it’s the usual thing where most know little about the instrument and its music so the people putting this thing on want me to say a few things about each piece before I play it. E.g., “it’s a song of unrequited love... (Bean Dubh an Ghleanna),” that sort of thing. I guess I could just say that some think its quite old and it name comes from the beautiful river... I just wondered if there was anything else out there to tack onto this. Again, I appreciate the feedback!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Well for me that tune is forever linked to Chris Langan. It was more or less his "tuning piece." the first thing that would come out of the chanter when he strapped in. I remember imagining that the tune was constantly playing in his head, and there were a few times I remember him interrupting a set of reels played by us, his students and friends, completely oblivious to what we were playing, so strong was the hold of that tune on him.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:51 am 
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bensdad wrote:
Well for me that tune is forever linked to Chris Langan. It was more or less his "tuning piece." the first thing that would come out of the chanter when he strapped in. I remember imagining that the tune was constantly playing in his head, and there were a few times I remember him interrupting a set of reels played by us, his students and friends, completely oblivious to what we were playing, so strong was the hold of that tune on him.


Thanks for that information. It is a good one for tuning as you can go up and down the regulator keys on it to make sure everything’s in tune.


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