Message to Séamus


One of America's most distinguished master musicians, North Carolina banjo player, fiddle player, and composer Tony Ellis was out on his tractor one day when he began to hear this barndance in his head. Not knowing whether he'd heard the tune somewhere before, or if it was something new, he went inside and pulled out his fiddle.

I was not at home when he rang me, but he played the tune onto my answering machine and asked if I had ever heard it. As soon as I received his message, I returned his phone call and told him that I had never heard the tune before.

Later, on one of his CD recordings, Quaker Girl, Tony recorded the tune for posterity and gave it the above title. I am very proud that my friend, the wonderful fiddle player Liz Knowles, kept Tony's interpretation and feeling in mind yet added her very own nuances, colour, and variations when she played the tune for this collection. Thanks, Liz!


Séamus Connolly
Boston College Libraries

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Knowles, Liz (fiddle), “Message to Séamus,” The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, accessed July 25, 2024,