Road To Lisdoonvarna

the pressley girls playing music

The Pressley Girls playing Morning Song at JCCFS

As in years past the girls gifted Paul with a dvd of music videos they filmed for him.

One of the songs is “Road To Lisdoonvarna” a fiddle tune Chitter recently learned while playing a dance at the Folk School. I recognized the song from hearing it at contra dances, but never knew the name of it until Chitter told me.

A quick google found the following information from the site

“The slide “Road To Lisdoonvarna” was popularized on this side of the pond (the States) by Grey Larsen (b. 1955) & Malcolm Dalglish (b. 1952), on their album Banish Misfortune (1977). They played this tune in a set of four: “The Road to Lisdoonvarna/Trip to Sligo/Dennis Murphy’s Slide/O’Keefe’s Slide,” where the first and last tunes are very similar two-parters played in Edor — certainly in the same melodic family. Just to reduce confusion, note that though there is also a reel version of this tune called by the same name played in Edor and in Dmix,  there is also a “Lisdoonvarna Reel” which is a different tune altogether.

A slide as a tune-type, as opposed to playground equipment, is a member of the jig family.  If you want to know more about slides, visit the tune dictionary.

Now, on to more pertinent info. While the main road to Lisdoonvarna is the N67, the R478 will take you there too, as will the Kelfenora Rd. to the R478. So, perhaps this accounts for the different ways of playing the tune . Anyway, the town Lisdoonvarna (Lios Dúin Bhearna in Irish, perhaps meaning “Ring-Fort Gap”), in Co. Clare, is an hour south of Galway on the N67, and dates only to the early nineteenth century. It is associated with spas. In particular, its waters are associated with the humours, and thought to have special healthful qualities — so expect a tune called “The Humours of Lisdoonvarna” some time soon.”

I hope you enjoyed the song and the history.


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  • Reply
    December 30, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I do enjoy the history ,and can see how that would be great dance tune….I can almost here in my minds eye the sound of an Irish Bodhran hand drum playing right along ..enjoyed listening .

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 29, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Impressive! Is that a different fiddle Katie is playing? It has fine tuners on the tailpiece. I hadn’t noticed that before? Seems to have a deeper tone too! Irregardless it’s producing some fine music as is Corie’s Taylor. What key are they playing in? Do I ask too many questions?

  • Reply
    Allison B
    December 29, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Enjoyed!! Your videos are always very good!

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    December 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    I, too, have heard that tune a lot at contra dances and old time music jams but never knew the name of it. I love Irish music and the girls did a good job playing it.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 29, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Good job! I’ve never heard that one before.

  • Reply
    December 29, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Great tune. The girls are so talented and I know they work hard at their music.

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