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Mrs. Galvin’s Choice


Mrs. Galvin’s Choice / Rogha Bhean Uí Ghealbháin (Reel)


Ellen (Nell) Galvin (née McCarthy) (1887 – 1961) from Moyasta in West Clare was a fiddle player that John knew well.

Breandán Breathnach collected this tune from John Kelly Senior and is number 211 in the first edition of Ceol Rince na hÉireann, 1963, p. 85. The notes on this tune state: “Ón mbean a bhfuair an Ceallach uaithi é a hainmníodh an fonn seo.” “John got this tune from the woman the tune is named after.”

Photo Details: Mrs. Galvin with her fiddle.

Credit: Photo with thanks to “The Vintage Lens” and “Cat Beag Books” on Facebook. From the book “3 men from Clare” Jackie Elger & Patricia Sheehan.


John Kelly talking about Mrs. Galvin and playing Mrs. Galvin's Choice on the fiddle.

“I’ll play a tune now and a demonstation of some other fiddle player that i know mrs galvin from Moyasta. She knew Garrett Barry she told me she used to take the top off of his egg. She was about 14 years. She had a lot of things that she got from him. Willie (Clancy) didn’t have many of them.”

Recording Details: Talk, “My Musical Youth – John Kelly”

Location: Willie Clancy Summer School, Community Hall, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. Date: July 4, 1978

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


Notated from above recording.


Mrs. Galvin’s Choice