Finding unususal and obscure tunes isa great past-time of the traditional Irish musician. At sessions all over the country they try to outdo each other in games of 'How many tunes do I know that you don't?', with the last person left playing declared the victor. Versions of a version of a tune or a crazy G minor tune written by some oul lad back in the day regularly make appearances. But people can be sneaky, swooping in to steal tunes and declare them as ones they have found themselves, much to teh annoyance of the real discoverer who did all the hard work finding and learning the tune in the first place. But surely there are ways to deter people from doing this, not least the American way! Sue them! Here's how!

 

Confront them about their blatant theft!

As soon as you realise what terrible wrong has been done to you, you should immediately make a scene and aggressively confront the accused. This is a good way to let them know that you're a bit upset. You've put in all that hard work looking for the best tune to stump all your mates so you're not gonna let this slide easily. The offender will most likely blow off your attempts at intimidation and declaring the tune as your 'property' (you didn't write the tune but hey, you might as well have, sure no-one else played it until now!). Don't let them get away with it! You own the music and no-one else!

 

Bad mouth the tune-burgler to everyone you know

The next thing to do is completely destroy the other person's reputation. At every session you go to tell other musicians to guard their tunes with their life! Don't play them out in public or else you'll risk losing them to others! By doing this you'll hopefully build up an image of the other person in peoples' minds that's a combination of the Devil, Hitler and a fiddle player.

 

Hire a 'shyster lawyer'!

Now that you've laid the groundwork for your frivolous lawsuit, all you need is a lawyer to match! But no-one who works to any code of ethics, you want a real shyster lawyer. Someone between Saul Goodman and Lionel Hutz who'll chase ambulances and offer ridiculous free gifts to entice potential clients. A lawyer who knows every dirty trick in the book because when it comes to stealing tunes, things tend to get very messy. And also because no right thinking lawyer would ever take on such a case.

 

Embellish your account of the events

The only people who know exactly what happened are you and the offender so why rely on facts to win your case? Add to your story, tell of how you hiked through mountains to a secret cave containing old scrolls upon which you found said tunes. And then how the evil perpetraitor came along and threatened to kill you if you didn't hand over the tunes. Play up the emotion! Everybody loves a victim!

 

Hand pick and bribe the jury

Of course the outcome of your case depends on what the jury decide so it's only right to make sure you cover all the angles. Make sure your lawyer picks real purists of the music to sit on the jury, oul lads somewhere between the ages of 60-80 who have very little time for messers. Then, bribe the jury with promises of very rare, private recordings of Lad O'Beirne to copper-fasten a verdict in your favour. The accused won't stand a chance!

 

Surprise witnesses!

Everybody loves a trial full of twists and turns and what better way to keep people on the edges of their seats than having surprise witnesses! Not only will they testify on your behalf but they'll slow down the whole trial process making it agonisingly long for everyone involved while also really pissing them off. You can take your pick! Michael Coleman? Willie Clancy? Joe Cooley? You got it!

 

And if all else fails...restraining order!

In the very unlikely event that your lawsuit does not get the required result, then you can always apply for a restraining order, not allowing the tune stealer anywhere within 50 feet (or recording distance) of any of your sessions or concerts. This is the last resort to make sure those precious, precious tunes don't leave the sanctity of your mind!

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