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Heart & Home

‘Irish Fiddle Music from:'


Lucy Farr

(click on the artistes name to see a photo and /or a short biography)


The music on this album spans some seventy years, from Lucy Farr's childhood in Ballinakill, County Galway, right up to 1992. For part of that time, between the mid-1930s, when she left home, until the 1950s, Lucy did not play at all because of the demands of raising a family and working as a nurse, then, greatly encouraged by her husband, Eric, she rediscovered her musical interests and, subsequently figured prominently in London Irish music circles from the 1960s on (see Paddy in the Smoke' TSCD603). She inevitably, had forgotten more than she could recall.

Nonetheless, some of the tunes here have clear echoes of Ballinakill: her father's march, for instance (tr.24) and the Round Polka (tr.16); Sonny Comer's fling (tr.21) and the Slieve Aughty march (tr.3) got from her neighbour, Aggie Whyte. Indeed, most of the music has associations with friends and neighbours. On all tracks, the titles Lucy uses are given and alternatives provided where appropriate, and she usually names them after that particular musician from whom she got the music.

All the pieces have a characteristic stamp, a direct way of playing which yet enjoys subtlety of decoration, above all with timing and rhythm. Lucy has a strong affinity for the 'quare' tune and its wild yet plaintive streak. On these recordings she tends to play in a relaxed, 'listening' mode, often single tunes. There are two personal notes to add, shared, no doubt, by many others. First, Lucy is generous with her tunes and her time, a self-deprecating player and an excellent teacher. She still has the ability to absorb new tunes and, in a modest way, to compose (her own reel (tr.12) was put together late in 1990). Second, it was her insistence that Howard (Marshall) and I joined her on flute and concertina, on some tracks, and we hope that all the countless musicians who might have done so will take this simply as a demonstration of the here and now, of the way in which Lucy continues to be a remarkable and inspiring musician. - RoIy Brown (1992).

Lucy is joined by Roly Brown on concertina, tracks 3, 9, 17 & 24 and by Howard Marshall on flute, tracks 5 & 20. These are essentially field recordings made in 1991/92 at Lucy’s flat in Thatcham, Berkshire.



1 .  With in a Mile of Dublin [Reel]
2.  John Naughton's/ John P. Blessing's [Jigs]
3.  Sliabh Aughty [March]
4.  The Fisherman's Lilt (The Kerryman's Daughter) [Reel]
5.  Portroe (The Boys of the Town)/ The Killimor [Jigs]
6.  Paddy Fahey's [Reel]
7.  Packie Byrne's [Jigs]
8.  McFaddyen's (Reel)
9.  Gan Ainm (Lucy Farr's Barndance) [Fling]
10. Frank Downey's [Hornpipe]
11. Stepping Stones/ McShane's Rambles [Jigs]
12. Lucy Farr's (1990) [Reel]
13. Bobby Casey's (The Ragged Hank of Yarn)/ The Maids of Mitchellstown [Reels]
14. Paddy Fahey's [Jig]
15. The Pullet and the Cock (Drag Her Round the Road) [Reel]
16. The Ballinakill [Round Polka]
17. Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine/ Tomgraney Castle [Hornpipes]
18. Andy Davy's [Reel]
19. Pat McMahon's [Jig]
20. The Hunter's Purse/ The Hare's Paw [Reels]
21. Sonny Comer's [Fling]
22. Terry Teahan's/ Gan Ainm [Polkas]
23. McGovern's [Reel]
24. Martin Kirwan's [March]
25. Pat Burke's Jig


This is now a digital download release only.


MP3 downloads are available from all major digital retailers, as full albums or individual tracks, and there you can listen to a sample of each track. The following links will take you directly to this album's page on Amazon or iTunes.


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