On "The Drunken Landlady" - (2018)   

for piano


This 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.


The 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.  




3 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 score.


On "The Drunken Landlady"