Week #260 Planxty Drew O'Carolan

  1. Marcelyn
    The tune chosen to kick off the Song-A-Week's fifth year is Planxty Drew by O'Carolan.
    Here's a link to the ABC notation page...
    Here's ABC notation from thesession.org...
    X: 1
    T: Planxty Drew
    R: jig
    M: 6/8
    L: 1/8
    K: Gdor
    GA| BAG Bcd| cdB AGF| GDG G2 G/A/| BGG G2 G/A/|
    BAG Bcd |cdB AGF| Ggg a/g/fd| cAF G||
    BA| GDG Bcd| Ggg gaf| gfd c/B/AG| Fff f2 f/g/|
    af/g/a/f/ ge/f/g/e/| fd/e/f/d/ cA/B/c/A/| Ggg a/g/fd| cAF G||

    Here's a link from The Session with a midi and sheet music...

    The ABC notation can be converted to midi, standard notation, or mandolin tab here...

    Here's a version with Brad Lewis on mandolin

    Here's a version from our own in-house O'Carolan specialist, David Hansen
  2. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Here's another standard notation from an O'Carolan page that is my go-to:


    Complete list here.
  3. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Thanks for the brilliant, multi-instrumental example, David. Played along with you for a while.
    Was not sure about the tempo for this one. Found out that the DUD DUD is difficult for me at a slow tempo.

  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I've come across an arrangement for harp at Free-Scores.com (Link), which I thought would translate into a nice mandolin duet. I've played the melody on my Ajr, doubled an octave down on waldzither for a richer sound, and played the harmony on the Mid-Mo.

    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    1925 Zimmermann waldzither


  5. Gelsenbury
    Those are really good early versions from Manfred and Martin. Did you know this tune before, or did you manage to rehearse and record all this in a day? Between these and David's earlier recording, we have a nice array of styles, tempos and lovely individual touches already. Good anniversary gifts to the group.
  6. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Thanks, Gelsenbury. I did not know the tune before. I practiced it for a while and then posted after about 10 takes or so. There have been other tunes that took me dozens of hours more to practice and record them to my satisfaction.
  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    David, Manfred and Martin - fine versions from all of you and interesting interpretations. Thought I'd try the piano for a backing this time to add variety to the octave and mandolin.

    My video clips are of yet another ancient Scottish ruin, Kilchurn Castle, again in my home county of Argyll.

  8. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Great! Very atmospheric, John. I guess one has to be from the Celtic fringe to play with this kind of feeling.
  9. GKWilson
    Gey crakin John.
  10. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Fine playing John. I thought you were using stills of the castle until the next to last shot when a bird suddenly flew over.
  11. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Well done, Manfred. Sometimes a tune just 'clicks' for some reason and seems to just flow right out of your mandolin. I guess it's probably the many, many hours of practice you've put in over the years...

    Martin, that was a very interesting and enjoyable version of this tune. Well done!

    John, the piano was a very good choice for backup on this one. It gave the tune a very refined and haunting feeling when contrasted with your mandolin and octave mandolin.

    Mr. Hansen, your arrangements and playing are nothing short of perfection...
  12. dustyamps
    Nice versions by everyone. Here's my usual solo take.
  13. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Very nice tone, dustyamps
  14. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Fine version, Dusty! I really like your pictorial content too and the very tongue-in-cheek final picture and sign-out!
  15. woodenfingers
    I have been busy getting other things done lately so haven't been posting but couldn't let this one slip by. I really enjoyed all the versions. David's great multi instrument sound is just wonderful. Manfred, your DUD is well done, I might be able to do it slow but certainly not fast... Martin, you get a great baroque (to me) type sound in your recordings that I quite like. John, the piano really hit just right. It really impresses me how you and David come up with the backing tracks out of thin air. I can't even figure out what chords would match. Dusty, another really cleanly played tune. I strive to play with no string buzzes but you seem to do it effortlessly.

  16. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Well played Woodenfingers-nice clear sound from your recording set up.
    Dustyamps- your version seemed to be a slightly different setting - very good.
    Decided to give the Herwiga an outing this week for my offering.
  17. Frithjof
    That sounds really great to my ears, maudlin. I like your playing as well as the tone of the old wood of your Herwiga.
    I very much love the O’Carolan tunes, have fun playing this one but need my time to increase my skills and make a decent recording.
    All the other versions are amazing too. I heard each one several times.
  18. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    The inspired versions already posted made me want to learn this tune. Here's my arrangement for mandolin and guitar... maybe just a little late!

  19. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    What a great tone you have there, Woodenfingers - you really need to get a new pseudonym as there is nothing at all wooden about your playing part from a lovely woody tone.
    Maudlin, good to see the bowlback getting an airing to contrast with the other instruments.
    Michael, another fine version; very good balance between guitar and mandolin and I love studious gaze into another dimension which you manage to hold right to the end!
  20. woodenfingers
    Michael, that was superb. I really liked the intro and the 'chord' play.
  21. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Thanks, Woodenfingers. John, I wasn't gazing into another dimension, just concentrating on the music which was set up behind and to the right of the camera...
  22. Gelsenbury
    What a beautiful tune for the group anniversary! Here's my attempt.

  23. Marcelyn
    I'm sure late on this one, but it's hard to let an O'Carolan tune go by. David, your version had me hooked from the start, and John that piano backing really stood out. I especially admire the energy and personality you got into your version Michael.
    Based on the beautiful solo versions from Gelsenbury, Manfred, Dusty, Bob, and Maudlin, I decided to take that direction this week too.

  24. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas

    That sounds lovely, especially the chords and the ornamentation!

    Good recordings all around (and thanks for the kind comments on my own early take). I especially liked John's piano and Michael's bluegrassy drive and syncopations.

    Carolan tunes have an essential quality that seems to fit every style and in turn distills the personal style of the musician. I enjoy playing them and hunting around for arrangements and harmonies to try, but whatever arrangement I use always ends up sounding like Baroque chamber music. Appropriately enough, I guess, as he was a Baroque composer and I gravitate towards that style anyway. However, other interpretations effortlessly slot into Irish session idiom, or bluegrass, or contra dance, which makes me suspect that the Baroque character is more in me than inherent in the tunes.

  25. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Yet another two individual offerings, each with its own stamp. Gelsenbury, a fine rendition and Marcy, yet another from someone who has developed so much as a player in the time I have been listening to your increasingly well-played postings.
  26. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    It's always best to play with a feeling you know - whether it be baroque or old time or traditional Irish. If a tune is played with feeling there's room for many stylistic influences on those little dots on the paper.

    Gerlsenbury: well done solo mandolin.

    Marcy: I agree with what John said. Your mandolin playing is excellent... with a totally individual style.
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