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John Kelly’s College Groves


John Kelly’s College Groves (Reel)


John Kelly Senior got this version from a fiddle player called Timmy Hagín Hanranan from Lisheen, which was about 13 kilometres from where John grew up.

From my research I think that he was born in 1891 (he is listed in the 1911 Census as being 20 years of age) and that he died on the 11th of January 1959 (from his gravestone in Kilcrona Graveyard in Carrigaholt) and was 68 years of age when he died.

Credit: Personal photo taken by Aoife Kelly in June 2019 in Kincora Graveyard in Carrigaholt of Timmy Hagín Hanrahan’s gravestone.


John Kelly talking about and then playing this version of the College Groves on the fiddle.

Transcription of John Kelly Senior talking in this clip:

“There’s another man then, Timmy Hagín and he was Hanranan. He was a very good player. He had that handy style, like but he had more decoration. He was a beautiful player. He was another kinda Mikey Callihan. They had strange ways of playing the tune. Tunes that we know now, they’d have a different variation of it altogether. This was, you know, you all know a tune called the College Grove, is it? You have another name on it? The Millstone I think, James Morrison called it The Millstone. But eh, this man now had a setting, if I can think of it now, 2 parts. He used to play it.”

He then plays the tune.

“That was little demonstrations now of those people that are, that are, as I said, most of them are dead like but eh. That style now that sharp twist style was more for dance than anything else, like it was lively for the sets.”

Details: ‘Demonstration in hall by various artists in Fiddling’. Location: Central Hall, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. Date: July 5, 1976.

Credit: Recorded by Barry Taylor, part of his book “Music in a Breeze of Wind” about music in West Clare. Link. 


Notated from above audio.


John Kelly’s College Groves