Drowsy Maggie is the Irish tune that I think when I want to play a raucous breakdown of the Irish persuasion. Really there’s nothing drowsy about it. The first part is rowdy and rolling in Em, and the second part is bouncy and in the key of D. Overall, it’s an interesting tune that’s lots of fun to play.
As a side note, I think I am going to play more Irish tunes for the next few days in honor of Saint Patty’s day. I’m not going to commit to playing all Irish tunes for the next 9 days. I am still going to leave myself open to the inspiration of the day, but I expect to be playing a little more of the green this next week.
I recorded this tune at Intricate Icings, the fanciest wedding cake artist in the Denver area. They created the cakes for the Marie Antoinette photo shoot that I helped out with on Wednesday.
Drowsy Maggie according to the Fiddler’s Companion
DROWSY/DROUSY/DROWSIE MAGGIE  (Mairgreadin Taimeac/Suantac). AKA and see “Sleepy Maggy/Maggie,” “Sleeping Moggie,” “Sleepy Moggie,” “Pegg in the Settle.” Irish, Reel. E Dorian or E Minor (‘A’ part) & D Major (‘B’ part). Standard tuning. AB (Cranitch, Feldman & O’Doherty/Byrne, Flaherty, Martin & Hughes, Mulvihill, O’Malley, O’Neill/1850 & 1001, Spandaro, Tubridy): AAB (Cranford/Holland, Kennedy, Roche, Raven): AA’B (Vallely): ABB’ (Feldman & O’Doherty/Doherty, O’Neill/Krassen): AABB (Brody, Phillips): AABB’ (Sweet): AA’BB’ (Harker/Rafferty, Reiner): AA’BC (Songer): ABCE (Breathnach). A very common reel, the basic form of which is known to most Irish traditional musicians. There is a version of “Drowsy Maggie” particular to County Donegal, where, again, it is a popular reel. A third part to the tune is sometimes played that was first recorded in 1938 by Frank O’Higgins (see abc’s below). Liz Carroll, in the notes to her album “A Friend Indeed,” says the same third part was composed by the famous accordion player Joe Cooley, but in view of the fact that he would have been 14 at the time of O’Higgins’ recording, this seems unlikely. Breathnach’s source, Michael “The Master” McDermott (d. 1947), a schoolteacher and fiddler from Pomeroy and Carrigmore, County Tyrone, had two additional parts than the usual two-part setting; the first was similar to O’Higgins, while the fourth is a variation on the third. See also the related “Lady’s Bonnet.”