Old Torn Petticoat


I believe it is important to feature master fiddle player Julia Clifford and her son Billy playing the first dance tune in this collection. It was the first reel that they recorded for me that night in Tralee over fifty years ago, when Julia invited me to record herself and Billy playing tunes she thought I might not have. When they played a tune I admitted to never having heard, she would ask me in surprise, 'You don't have it, do you?'

As I look back now, I realise that it was an act of musical generosity to a young musician, which perhaps contained within it the inspiration not only for this project, but also for how I, throughout my life as a musician and teacher, have been driven and encouraged to do my utmost in passing along to others this incredible and astonishing oral and aural tradition. For that I say, 'Thank you, Julia; thank you, Billy'. Little did you both realise fifty years ago when you made that tape for me how much influence your music would have on today's musicians and students alike.


Séamus Connolly
Boston College Libraries
Some transcriptions are based on historical source recordings. More info.

Song & Tune Type

Part of:


Clifford, Julia (fiddle) and Clifford, Billy (flute), “Old Torn Petticoat ,” The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, accessed July 22, 2024, https://connollymusiccollection.bc.edu/document/572.