As I’ve said before Cole’s 1000 fiddle tunes is one of my stand by resources for fiddle music. And, Old Joe Sife’s Reel is a tune I learned out of there. Actually, I taught it to one of my fiddle students.
As my students advance, I like to help them learn how to pick tunes that they like themselves so that they learn tunes that they like. One of the things we do sometimes is play through a bunch of tunes in Cole’s together until we find a tune that they like.
I will usually comment on what makes the song interesting or fun, and then they get to learn it. This is one of those tunes. The A Part of Old of Old Joe Sife’s is a bit repetitive, but the way the repetition flows I find it a bit hypnotic. The B Part breaks out of the pattern with a little bit of acrobatics, and some harmonic variation. I think it’s a fun tune. What do you think?
ps. This is Old Joe Sife’s Reel, not Old Joe Sites’ Reel.
Old Joe Sife’s Reel according to Fiddler’s Companion
OLD JOE SIFE’S REEL. AKA and see “Farrell O’Gara’s Favorite Reel,” “Last Night in Leadville,” “Last Night’s Fun ,” “The Macroom Lasses,” “Stick it in the Ashes.” American, Reel. A Major. Standard tuning. AABB. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; pg. 30. Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; pg. 56.
FARRELL O’GARA’S FAVORITE REEL. AKA and see “Last Night in Leadville,” “Last Night’s Fun ,” “The Macroom Lasses,” “Old Joe Sife’s Reel,” “Stick it in the Ashes.” AKA – “Farrell O’Gara Schottische.” Irish, Reel or Schottische. A Major. Standard tuning. AABB. See also “More Power to Your Elbow” in O’Neill for a version in the key of ‘G’ major, and Coleman’s “Killarney Wonder Schottische .” This is not the “Farrell O’Gara” reel famously recorded by Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945) in 1927 in New York, but rather the first tune in his “Killarney Wonder” set, where it is called “Farrell O’Gara Schottische.” Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; pg. 47. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; pg. 150. Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; pg. 76.
Pretty much all of these tunes just reference back and forth to each other, so I didn’t put in the info from all of them.