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"We have been so lucky to have Flo teach at the South East Tionól for the past three years. Flo has the ability to instruct beginners as well as advanced concertinists in the same class at our small annual workshop. Each student has walked away with the confidence, technique and musicality to become a better traditional Irish musician all thanks to Flo. The tunes she chooses to teach and perform come from the very essence of her upbringing and the rich concertina tradition of County Clare. She truly has the gift to communicate her love for the instrument and the music of her home... We are looking forward to having Flo teach at the 2013 South East Tionól in Orlando, Florida"
Kathleen Cavanagh South East Tionól Organizer
"Among the minority of younger players who continue to sustain the older dialects of Clare are Jacqui McCarthy, Florence Fahy, Breeda Green, Louise Pyne, and Francis Droney"
Gearoid O hAllmhurain
"Clare -The Heartland of Irish Concertina
"TUNES FROM THE FLAGGY SHORE"
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TUNE FOR DECEMBER
AN BUACHALAN BUI - REEL
Welcome to my tune of the month for December. The tune is entitled "An Buachalan Bui", pronounced (bu-a-k-lawn bwee). It refers to a type of yellow ragweed which I recall seeing when I was younger in the fields and sides of the road. It is notorious for us allergy sufferers and produces huge amounts of pollen late into the Summer season and proves poisonous to cattle and animals if eaten. Here is a little information I found on Facebook about the ragweed if you'd like to learn more! A man from Inver in Co. Donegal wrote a little bit about the stories and beliefs associated with ragweed. Let's just say it is worth the read, quite interesting!!!! Reminds me of my grandfather's stories when I was young.
The tune is a composition of the great Sean Ryan. I play this tune before last months tune of the month which was "The Gooseberry Fair". The change from the 1st tune to the 2nd is quite lovely and so I paired these 2 together. You can find this tune in the Sean Ryan tunebook, 2nd edition of tunes entitled "Sean Ryans Farewell". I am finding many a good tune in there indeed.
You can practice these two together or indeed just play them seperately. However you do it, enjoy learning and playing them as much as I have.
On a final note, I'd like to wish you all a very Merry and Peaceful Christmas. I will be staying stateside this year much to my disappointment but hope to make the best of it. Our next tune of the month will be next year, 2019 and so I'd like to thank you all again for visiting my site and spreading this wonderful music. Don't forget my CD makes a wonderful stocking stuffer and why not gift somebody you know with a private lesson with me online or in person if you live in MA. I might even stick in a free CD for those who do book private lessons with me before the New Year! Please spread the word!
All are wonderful gift ideas :-)
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A PEACEFUL AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!
BEST WISHES FOR 2019
The Buachalan Bui or ragwort is a plant that you associate with mid to late summer. This bright yellow daisy like flower with its toxic leaves was regarded as the fairy plant. Though it is toxic especially to farm animals, it was also valued as a folk cure for several ailments including jaundice, inflammation, colds and coughs. I have learnt that this plant goes by many other names including Benweed, fairy horse James Wort, Ragged Jack and even Yellow Boy. The Buachalan Bui has been associated with many myths here in Ireland. One of these was that it was used like a horse for the fairy to ride on and one of their favourite time of the year for doing this was Halloween. There are stories of people being abducted and forced to ride about with the fairies all night, these people would wake up the next morning exhausted and holding a Buachalan Bui, (ragwort)
I often remember my father telling me not to hit a cow with the Buachalan Bui. He said it was bad luck . But the myth goes that if you did hit them that the fairies would then come and steal their milk.
In other counties in Ireland for example, Co. Meath, water was sprinkled on the open fire with the Buachalan Bui to bring good luck.
Ragwort was often called "Herba Santi Jacob. (The Herb of St James)
St James is also known as the patron saint of horses. Though ragwort is toxic to both cattle and horses. When I was young I often heard my father say that you could be prosecuted if you did have it growing on your farm or you may be fined. In parts of Ulster the ragwort was kept near where oats were stored to keep mice away.
TUNES, TUNES, TUNES