Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone (officially, its the parade day here in Montreal),
In honour of this holiday and the Irish roots of Douglastown, I thought I'd post a tune that really exemplifies the strong Irish influence in the music of Douglastown. This is a haunting tune in D (or D modal) that really echoes the sounds of many old Irish reels. However as we discussed in on our post on the Coleman Reel, this is a "half-tune", which is a very New-World tune-type being half as long as a traditional Irish/Scottish reel.
This tune was one from Miss Oliver Morris. There is a tradition around Douglastown of referring to a married woman by the title "Miss" followed by the husband's name. Miss Oliver Morris was a woman named Emily or Emilie Crotty and she was the second wife of Mr Oliver Morris who was related to Erskine's father. They had 15 children together. Apparently she was quite musical and would lilt this tune which is probably where Erskine picked it up.
Hear Erskine play Miss Oliver Morris' Tune in the 1980s
We also have a recording of Erskine playing this tune from a cassette made in 1978 under the title, "The Pride of Quebec". We're not sure if where this title came from and whether or not is the correct title
Hear Erskine play Miss Oliver Morris' Tune in 1978 (The Pride of Quebec)
As with most of the older Douglastown tunes in the key of D, the tuning of the fiddle is ADAE from bass to fine string, though you can get away with playing this one in standard tuning as the melody is on the three high strings. That being said, the fiddle will ring a little nicer with the bass tuned up.