On "The Drunken Landlady" -
drinking song is a dance form called the reel, its composer unknown, which
has been recorded by a number of different artists in various arrangements,
from solo and duets of fiddles, tin whistles, bagpipes and concertinas. That
the title and therefore subject of this tune is that "drunken landlady"
sometimes referred to by its Gaelic title, "Bean an Tí ar Meisce" -- is a
dance tune and references drinking suggests our drunken landlady is quite
the character. The tune also is referred to as Bridget Flynn's Reel and Joan
Culloo's as well, and somewhat related to the "Pigeon on the gate.". The
reel is in a square duple meter, quite distinct from the many Gaelic jigs in
an underlying triple meter.
tune along with many others is credited as having been "collected" by Séamus
Ennis (1919-1982) in his work in the 1940s for the Irish Folklore
Commission. As with many other collectors of tunes preserving folk materials
around the world, this work published into tune anthologies breathes
continuing life into that which might otherwise be lost. One might lift a
glass to such effort and such art.
pages, circa 3' 30" - an MP3 demo is here:
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano
On "The Drunken Landlady"