Tune of the Day: Katie's Fancy
This double jig is taken from Francis O'Neill's The Dance Music of Ireland: 1850 Gems, published in 1903. O'Neill said he acquired this tune from a Mr. Gillan, a retired businessman living in Chicago. It seems that Gillan was visiting his boyhood home in Ireland when he heard of a celebrated fiddler nearby, a Mr. Peter Kennedy. Gillan obtained the tune from Kennedy, but when he returned to Chicago he kept it closely guarded, only allowing it to be played on special occasions for particular friends. Knowing of the existence of the tune, O'Neill contrived with Gillan's daughter, who agreed to help him obtain it, and while O'Neill engaged Gillan in conversation, the daughter slipped upstairs and copied the melody, which she later gave to O'Neill. O'Neill made sure the tune was distributed to the Chicago Irish musical community, where it became quite popular.