Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

""The Dawning of the Day and Irish Molly-O.

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Comment by Wes Merchant on March 13, 2015 at 7:55pm

The first tune is one I've known for many years, there are at least four different tunes known by this title, I think this one is the most common. I couldn't find a reference to this particular melody before O'Neill's but I suspect it's older. The second tune is from Howe's Jigs and Reels (1867) and turns up in some of the 1860's song books and broadsides as the specified tune.

Comment by Al Smitley on March 13, 2015 at 8:14pm

Very nice, Wes.  Wish we lived in closer proximity!  That dog wasn't "Sallie" of the 11th PA.

What dog was that?  I suppose this will sound ridiculous to most but I always feel bad about other species that get dragged into human warfare.

Comment by Wes Merchant on March 13, 2015 at 8:29pm

That's the Irish Wolf Hound on the Irish Brigade Monument at Gettysburg, the other monument is by the sunken road at Antietam.

Comment by Wes Merchant on March 14, 2015 at 8:19am

One more bit on Irish Molly-O, the song Green above the Red goes to this tune, it was sung on in the camp of the Irish Brigade on Christmas Eve 1861 according to  David Power Conyngham 

Comment by Tim Twiss on March 14, 2015 at 8:33am

Fiddle and banjo together are so great. Somehow they make something tonally unique together that just isn't there when separate

Comment by James Pentecost on March 14, 2015 at 9:46am

Beautiful Wes!

Mark Weems and I both have ancestors who fought in the sunken road at Sharpsburg.

I suppose you could say that they helped to make the Irish Brigade famous.


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