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May 31, 2024 - 10:58:51 AM
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1357 posts since 1/30/2019
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The TOTW this week is an Irish fiddle tune with lots of different names. The most common seem to be The Merry Blacksmith, An Gabha Meadrac in Irish (translates as just The Blacksmith) The Boys of the Lough, and Paddy on the Railway, but there are lots more. Tunearch website has all of them.
tunearch.org/wiki/Merry_Blacksmith_(The)

It's usually played in D major but I've found a few versions in A major. I have a tab in A major - see below. My version is in standard G tuning, but you could obviously put a capo on the second fret to get it to A.

youtu.be/MWnUSgTUr94?feature=shared
Paddy on the Railway Patrick Murphy

youtu.be/zOCNUVSldlY?si=r2iJQz90B6Pk5ZO7
This link from "The Fiddlers Way" is a "play along" which starts slow, getting faster each time through.

Tune historians have found this in written  collections from the late 1800s, and recordings first show up in the 19teens and 1920s.

youtu.be/ka79YYlviq0?si=JpcRER_aKAEwqlWr
County Sligo/New York fiddler Michael Coleman recorded a version of this tune in 1921 as this second tune in this medley entitled "The Boys of the Lough."

youtu.be/xsz8B21CmWE?si=66BFPb6EKrONmLtB
Here's a fabulous tenor banjo version from Shane Farrell to give a banjo flavour to the proceedings.

There aren't many clawhammer versions out there, but one here from @zachwil on YouTube
youtu.be/jXUokktUeOU?si=pSjc8IkQklmHky5Nyoutu.be/jXUokktUeOU?si=pSjc8IkQklmHky5N


This one is a really nice version played in double D tuning by Steve Rosen of Rose banjo.com with Aodan Coyne on guitar.
youtu.be/dqBrEjBo9OQ?si=9BYsfzeRStAKo_n0

I have a version in standard G,
and a version in double C.
Tabs for both are included.

Have fun, post your versions please!


Jun 1, 2024 - 5:16:32 AM
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cmic

France

222 posts since 4/17/2010

Very nice tune and rendition !
The tune reminds me of Korkonian Reel as played and tabbed by Lylek.
cf vrteach.org/lylek/
Gonna try this Happy Blacksmith..

Jun 1, 2024 - 5:40:15 AM

ndlxs

USA

528 posts since 9/26/2006

That is a great, fun tune to play on banjo, and not too hard on fiddle, too. 

Jun 1, 2024 - 7:18:15 AM

1731 posts since 4/29/2013
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Andy, your link to Michael Coleman's recording led to an ad. Here's a link to the recording:

https://youtu.be/qMNOF3zXiLQ?si=C78_wwJR3CozO9em

A nice, cheery tune!

Edited by - Noah Cline on 06/01/2024 07:20:19

Jun 1, 2024 - 11:45:57 AM
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zach w

USA

146 posts since 9/2/2012

Excellent, it sounds great in G tuning! I learned it from Dan levenson on patreon.com, but it's also available in one of his banjo tab books!

Jun 1, 2024 - 12:20:02 PM
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7150 posts since 6/27/2009

Good choice, Andy, and so thorough in your presentation -- A+ for you!

I know this tune, but somehow haven't gotten around to playing it for decades. So I used a resource I used to have the book for -- Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland.  On-line you can purchase a complete set of the 1800 tunes with notation as well as midi files, so I used the midi today.

The Merry Blacksmith is an exercise in double thumbing, pull-offs, and hammer-ons. This new tab is similar to yours, Andy, in double C.

On a side note, my son, Ben, is a certified journeyman farrier and attends blacksmithing competitions. Two years ago he won the buckle for his division. The trade of blacksmithing is still quite alive and well. Ben has also been our volunteer town blacksmith at Smartsville's annual Pioneer Day and makes items other than horse shoes from the red hot steel heated in the forge and pounded upon the anvil.  Exploring artistic possibilities goes beyond the normal vocation of horse shoeing, but what nice keepsakes they make for Mom -- roses, picture frames, a sea horse, a business card holder, and a bottle cap opener.



Jun 1, 2024 - 1:01:54 PM

1357 posts since 1/30/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by cmic

Very nice tune and rendition !
The tune reminds me of Korkonian Reel as played and tabbed by Lylek.
cf vrteach.org/lylek/
Gonna try this Happy Blacksmith..


Thanks for that. The Corkonian does look very similar. (Lots of other lovely tabs on there too - thanks for sharing it!)

Good luck with the Blacksmith! Post it here if you get it recorded?

Jun 1, 2024 - 1:07:13 PM
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1357 posts since 1/30/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by JanetB

Good choice, Andy, and so thorough in your presentation -- A+ for you!

I know this tune, but somehow haven't gotten around to playing it for decades. So I used a resource I used to have the book for -- Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland.  On-line you can purchase a complete set of the 1800 tunes with notation as well as midi files, so I used the midi today.

The Merry Blacksmith is an exercise in double thumbing, pull-offs, and hammer-ons. This new tab is similar to yours, Andy, in double C.

On a side note, my son, Ben, is a certified journeyman farrier and attends blacksmithing competitions. Two years ago he won the buckle for his division. The trade of blacksmithing is still quite alive and well. Ben has also been our volunteer town blacksmith at Smartsville's annual Pioneer Day and makes items other than horse shoes from the red hot steel heated in the forge and pounded upon the anvil.  Exploring artistic possibilities goes beyond the normal vocation of horse shoeing, but what nice keepsakes they make for Mom -- roses, picture frames, a sea horse, a business card holder, and a bottle cap opener.



That's lovely playing Janet, thanks for sharing it. 

I have a cousin in Wisconsin, not sure where to be honest. 

It's good the old artisan trades keep going. Horses need shoes for sure, but the smithing on top must make for a better living and more creativity!

Jun 1, 2024 - 1:08:38 PM
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1357 posts since 1/30/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by zach w

Excellent, it sounds great in G tuning! I learned it from Dan levenson on patreon.com, but it's also available in one of his banjo tab books!


It was a coincidence that the first couple of versions I came across were in A, else I'd have started in double C I think!

Thanks for the comment!

Jun 1, 2024 - 1:10:16 PM

1357 posts since 1/30/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by Noah Cline

Andy, your link to Michael Coleman's recording led to an ad. Here's a link to the recording:

https://youtu.be/qMNOF3zXiLQ?si=C78_wwJR3CozO9em

A nice, cheery tune!


Ooo, thanks for correcting that. That old version is a good one to go back to.

I'd love to hear your version of you're doing one?

Jun 1, 2024 - 1:11:35 PM

1357 posts since 1/30/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by ndlxs

That is a great, fun tune to play on banjo, and not too hard on fiddle, too. 


It is a nice tune, with enough 1/4 notes to give a bit of a break, and plenty of 1/8ths notes for drive!

Jun 3, 2024 - 3:24:55 AM

banjopaolo

Italy

1925 posts since 11/6/2008

great playing Andy, I always love your relaxed way of playing this kind of tunes :-)

Jun 3, 2024 - 1:30:21 PM

1357 posts since 1/30/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo

great playing Andy, I always love your relaxed way of playing this kind of tunes :-)


Thanks Paolo, glad you like it. 

I also used a YouTube video from a fiddler called Liz Faiella to help learn this one, she has a relaxed flow to her playing, maybe it rubbed off on me!

Jun 21, 2024 - 4:14:33 PM

LyleK

USA

1052 posts since 9/21/2006

quote:
Originally posted by cmic

Very nice tune and rendition !
The tune reminds me of Korkonian Reel as played and tabbed by Lylek.
cf vrteach.org/lylek/
Gonna try this Happy Blacksmith..


Yes, Corkonian Reel is yet another name for The Merry Blacksmith.  As a blast from the past, go back to this old post from Schlange.  It will lead to an *.mp3 and tab that I did at banjohangout in 2007.

https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/287681

Jul 14, 2024 - 6:56:20 PM

jojo25

USA

1639 posts since 12/1/2004

thanks Andy...one of my fav OT war horse tunes...I have also heard it called Paddy on the Railroad...and Eminence Breakdown...which is...I think...a Missouri variation...I think the Gene Goforth version is crooked with an extra beat or two...but you can leave out the extra beats and works fine

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