Thursday, March 11, 2004

Deified Tunes and the Chicago Police Department

We played Calliope House at the Irish session tonight. In D. I always think it's such a pity to take a good E tune and play it in D. There are so many D tunes out there already, and E is such a cool key. People do that to the MacArthur Road Reel also, and no one plays the other E tunes I know. Very sad.

Other than that of course, it was a very fun session, as usual, and included much amusing speculation on tune titles. Oceanlight started it off by casually remarking that Boil the Breakfast Early was actually missing a comma. Rather than referring to preparing breakfast early in the morning she said, it was supposed to be directed at the Early of Sgt. Early's Dream. None of us knew quite what to make of this until Dave pointed out that this couldn't possibly be true, since Boil the Breakfast Early wasn't in O'Neill's, as it would have been had it been referring to Sgt. Early, who worked with O'Neill in the Chicago Police Department in the early 1900's. Dave was only partly right, since this tune turned out to be in the larger O'Neill's collection only, and hiding in the index under the name Boil the Beefsteak Early. Very suspicious. No comma either way, though. Then, of course, all the other tunes names going by started being called into question. Was the doctor of Dr. MacIness's Fancy the doctor analyzing the dreams of Sgt. Early? Was the apostrophe-s actually a contraction, rather than a possessive? The mysteries are endless. Patrick promised to write a book to sort it all out, called The O'Neill Code.

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