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The Schoolmaster's House back cover


The Schoolmaster’s House
Mike McHale with Mary Coogan

Tracks:
  1. THE GREEN MOUNTAIN/THE SKYLARK REELS
    Mike learned The Green Mountain from the playing of accordionist Bobby Gardiner and doctored it a little. Mike’s playing of The Skylark won him the All-Ireland in 1958.

  2. COLEMAN’S/MORRISON’S (WHELAN’S) JIGS
    This version of Coleman’s is the other one and it came from Paddy Kearney. Mike learned Morrison’s from the playing of Joe Dowd and Paddy Carty.

  3. THE BOYS OF THE LOUGH/THE DAIRY MAID REELS
    Mike created this version of The Boys Of The Lough from a recording by fiddler Sean McGuire. He learned The Dairy Maid from Pat Lavin.

  4. EAMON A CHNUIC (NED OF THE HILLS) SLOW AIR
    This is one of the airs Mike learned from his father.

  5. MCGLYNN’S/DUNPHY’S HORNPIPES
    Mike played McGlynn’s with Sean McGlynn. He learned Dunphy’s from Pat Lavin.

  6. COLONEL MCBAIN’S/THE BUNCH OF KEYS REELS
    At least three generations of McHales have played Colonel McBain’s reel. The Bunch of Keys came from recordings of the great piper Johnny Doran; it was also played by the Ballinakill Ceili Band, and Mike took the best of these two versions to make his own.

  7. THE BATTLE OF AUGHRIM MARCH/THE CORNER HOUSE REEL
    A recording of the Aughrim Slopes Ceili Band provided the basis for Mike’s interpretation of The Battle of Aughrim. The Corner House Reel was made from The Battle of Aughrim and came into circulation in the 1950s.

  8. ROISIN DUBH (MY DARK ROSALEEN) SLOW AIR
    Considered by many to be Mike’s signature tunes, the slow airs were in the school book for singing, and Mike’s father taught this one. The soaring bittersweetness of Roisin Dubh is haunting, its beauty a fragile loneliness that draws tears as it fills your heart.

  9. THE KILDARE FANCY/THE WONDER HORNPIPES
    Mike’s father and grandfather played The Kildare Fancy. Paddy Kearney played The Wonder.

  10. KIMALEY/AH, SURELY REELS
    This is a great pair of tunes that Mike learned from his father.

  11. KILLIMER/LEITRIM JIGS
    Mike learned the Killimer from accordionist Patsy McPhilips. The Leitrim came from the same area.

  12. THE COOLIN SLOW AIR
    This version is Mike’s own, first heard from an unknown flute player in Co. Sligo.

  13. THE STONE IN THE FIELD/THE COPPERPLATE REELS
    Mike first acquired The Stone In The Field from the playing of Leo Rowsome; he changed to the Paddy Carty version because he liked the difference in the second part. Mike knew The Copperplate before he could play any instrument.

  14. SLIABH NA MBAN (THE MOUNTAIN OF THE WOMEN) SLOW AIR
    Another breathtaking slow air.

  15. IMELDA ROLAND’S/GREGG’S PIPES REELS
    Imelda Roland’s was written by accordionist Raymond Roland. Mike learned Gregg’s Pipes from Miko Padian — “one hell of a piper.”

—Ellen Symth


 



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