Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 46, Page 23

Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 46, Page 23
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
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Píobaire, An
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24The “Piper’s Chair” is a natural stone feature,resembling a stone seat, sitting in a wind-swept field overlooking the sea about a milefrom Doolin on the old road to the Cliffs ofMoher. It is near the cliff edge, at a height ofabout 100 feet above sea level, and faces theAran Islands. The view from here for thosewho take the mile of a walk is rewarding. Tothe south are the Cliffs of Moher, westwardsare the Aran Islands, and to the north is apanoramic view of Doolin.Micho published a few little booklets onDoolin from time to time, and in one of these,Music and Folklore of Doonagore – Doolin,he gives us the notes of the jig, “Cathaoir anPhíobaire” – “The Piper’s Chair”, which hetells us he learned from Paddy Killoughery.(In his story Micho tells us that his source ofthe tune, Paddy Killoughery, learned the tunefrom his own mother). The Killougherys, whowere related to the Russells, lived inDoonagore. The village is now deserted,though I remember it about thirty years ago asa quiet little hamlet with a shop and a fewhouses. In Micho’s booklet he tells us:“Doonagore in the old days was as Doolin istoday – full of music, talent and characterswho told ghost stories etc. It was a villagewith buzz, always something happening. Withits Post Office, Shop and Pub, everybody wasfull of life and one could hear music and songat any time . . .” Micho tells us that Buntingcollected the tune “The Piper’s Chair”,though I have been unable to locate it inBunting’s collection under this name, orunder the other name which Micho gives,“The Catholic Boy”. He also alludes in hisstory to the Piper’s Stone, Carraig anPhíobaire, on Inisheer. This stone is recordedon Tim Robinson’s map of the Aran Islands.Robinson writes: “A piper who went into it [acave on Inisheer which Robinson describes inhis guide to the islands] was never seenagain, but his music is heard from underCarraig an Phíobaire / Piper’s rock, off thewest coast of Inis Oirr”. Micho recorded afew other instances of piping, piping families,and visiting pipers to the Doolin area in hisother booklets, though his most entertainingstory is that of “The Piper’s Chair”.In the notation of the tune above, which istaken from Micho’s book on Doolin, I havetaken the liberty of making the “F” in bar 3 ofthe second part of the tune, as “F” natural. Ihave also added, over bar 4, second part of thetune, the notes C B A, which is the more com-mon version of the tune in Co. Clare.Cathaoir an PhíobaireLearned from Paddy Killoughery by Micho Russell
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Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 46

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