Fr. P. J. Kelly Tune Book

“Father Kelly’s Reel” in G is yet another tune that is played in sessions around the globe.  Father P. J. Kelly (1926 – March 25, 2006) named this tune “The Rossmore Jetty” after the pier on the river Shannon near his hometown of Woodford in East Galway. This tune is also called “Father Kelly’s #1.” He was an accordionist, composer, and missionary in Fiji, Australia and Pakistan.  He started composing tunes in the 1960’s, but never tried to collect money for his compositions though they were performed and recorded by the Chieftains, De Danaan and other world-class bands. He composed over one hundred tunes, more than thirty are often played in sessions, including “Lough Derg Jig,” “The Ben Hill and Derrycrag,” “Mulvihill’s,” and a series known simply as “Kelly’s No. 1,” “Kelly’s No. 2,” etc. According to Nicholas Carolan, of the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin, the archive contains “over 110 commercial recordings carrying the name of Father Kelly in their track-listings, not to mention non-commercial recordings.” There is even a tune book entitled Father Kelly’s Favourites – A Musical Tribute to composer Fr. P.J. Kelly which includes both tunes he composed and those he loved to play.  The RTÉ radio show “Ceili House” on Saturday 23 March 2013 broadcast the annual Céilí band competition Ard-Ghaisce na mBuíontadid, and did a tribute program to Father Kelly on the one year anniversary of his death. In Denver sessions they play this tune with Garret Barry’s Reel.

For the ABC click Father Kelly’s Reel