In 2010, Alliance Music Publications published my arrangement (for TTBB choir + piano) of the Irish folk song “Mick McGuire.” It’s a comical number about a hapless bloke who woos a girl but, astonishingly enough, doesn’t get on quite as well with her mother.
Since then, it seems to have achieved a wee bit of notoriety. The Colorado ACDA describes it (on their Fall 2010 list of “Repertoire Suggestions”– I’m honored!) like so:
This is a jaunty Irish tune set with interweaving lines. Most of this setting is just 2 parts, but there are spots where it expands to 3 and 4 parts. Humorous text with lots of “diddley-dowdle” nonsense.
It turns out that some people liked it enough to record it. The Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale, conducted by Steven O. Boehlke, has (had?) an MP3 on their website of a very fine and rousing performance that was apparently presented to the ACDA. (That stands, I should have mentioned, for American Choral Directors Association, which is just as big a deal as it sounds.) This one will definitely go in my portfolio. Thanks!
So far, however, my absolute favorite performance that I’ve heard is this hilarious rendition by the Marist Quartet — Messrs. Hayes Callaway, Branden Finch, Clark Helman, and Brendan Hickey, according to YouTube — with impeccable comic timing and some facial reactions and byplay that completely cracked me up. Brilliant work, gents! Have a watch:
And I certainly can’t leave out this one, performed by
a choir that unfortunately isn’t identified in the YouTube description (help me out, anyone?) the East Texas Community Chorus under the direction of Dr. Jim Taylor, with soloist John Petzet. (Thanks for solving the mystery, John!) The audio is slightly muffled, but it’s noteworthy for the remarkable hats modeled by the singers. I guess this is a good arrangement to wear hats to.
Last but not least, here’s a new one sung by the CCHS Troubadours. They decided to go hatless for some reason, but they’re having so much fun hamming it up that I don’t mind. Take it away:
Very few things make composers happier than hearing excellent performances of their music by musicians who are clearly enjoying themselves. My warmest thanks to everyone who’s performed “Mick McGuire.” Those interested in using it for their own choir or ensemble may purchase the sheet music through Alliance Music Publications (AMP 0792) or your local music store.
As if that wasn’t enough… according to social media, even Mick McGuire likes it!
If you’ve performed any of my music or know someone who has, please seek help—I mean, please send me a link to the recording, and I’ll feature it on my website.