Tunes in The Northern Fiddler

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The Northern Fiddler, a book about the music and musicians of Donegal and Tyrone, was first published in 1979. As far as I know it is not currently in print, nor are there plans to reprint it. This list is a collection of annotations about the tunes in The Northern Fiddler (NF) and was started by Larry Sanger, then greatly enhanced by comments from several others (see below), mostly stemming from discussions on Irtrad-L, a mailing list dedicated to Irish traditional music.

The music from Donegal is of particular interest to me because so much of the Donegal repertoire is Scottish in origin. However, any scholar of Irish music, or traditional music in general, would find great pleasure in the tunes. We're always interested to hear more information on the tunes, especially the few nameless tunes which have not yet been identified. If anyone has anything new to add, or has any other constructive criticism, email me.

Finally, for more information about The Northern Fiddler - and lots more about Donegal fiddling - visit Larry Sanger's Donegal Fiddle Pages and all will be revealed.

Go to: A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  R  S  T  Untitled  W  Y 
Musicians: References: Contributors:
JD: John Doherty
SD: Simon Doherty
CC: Con Cassidy
F&MB: Francie & Mickey Byrne
DOD: Danny O'Donnell
JL: John Loughran
JM: John McKeown
PT: Peter Turbit
AC: An Ceol
CRE: Ceol Rince na hEireann
DMI: O'Neill's Dance Music of Ireland (1907)
MM: Kerr's Merry Melodies
Ryan: Ryan's Mammoth Collection
LS: Larry Sanger
MB: Mick Brown
CMA: Caoimhín Mac Aoidh
PdG: Paul de Grae
PV: Philippe Varlet
SS: Sally Sommers
TH: Ted Hastings
AK: Andrew Kuntz
NG: Nigel Gatherer

Tune Title Page Fiddler Notes
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Atlantic Roar, The
83 JD MB: This tune is attributed to Anthony O'Helferty (from Lifford, but spent much time in Glencolmcille - he was married to a sister of John Mhosai). However, there is at least one similar hornpipe in today's southern repertoire. Frank Cassidy had a wonderful version of this tune. Burke and Daly recorded Frank's version on 'Eavesdropper'.
CMA: Translated as Tuam na Fairraige. The composition of this tune has been credited to both John Mosai MacFionnlaigh and Anthony Halferty. Halferty called the tune The Flowers of Loughros.
Bargain Is Over, The 181 DOD CMA: This jig is more commonly known in Irish as Ta Do Mharagadh Deanta and also forms a song air of the same name and can be heard on an early Clannad record. It is the Scottish jig commonly called The Royal Charlie after the dance done to it.
NG: Aka Wha'll Be King But Charlie?
AK: Aka The Match Has Been Made.
Billy Rush's Jig 182 DOD
Black Haired Lass, The 66 JD NG: In DMI585, and in CRE as Cailín na Gruaige Duibhe; The Dark Haired Girl; The Dark Gate Girl and An Cailin Donn (CRE I 114).
Black Mare of Fanad, The 65 JD LS: This is the Donegal version of Nine Points of Roguery.
Boys Of the Town, The 229 JM NG: In DMI89.
Brass Band March 156 CC NG: This was recorded by The Boys of the Lough on 'Welcoming Paddy Home' as The Teelin March.
Brian Boru's March 175 F&MB MB: The first, and to a lesser extent, third part of this march are similar to an old jig that was played in Glencolmcille. The tune was recorded by Roisin McGrory and Damian Harrigan on 'The Fiddle Music of Donegal Vol. II'.
Broken Bridge Hornpipe, The 194 DOD
Bundle and Go 85 JD
By the Fort How Sad Was I
245 JM
Byrne's Reel 235 JM
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Cameronian Reel, The 67 JD CMA: The Cameronian is not John's Cameronian which can be found on the CD "The Floating Bow" (Claddagh). The tune transcribed is The Mother's Delight.
MB: Mother's Delight is a Co. Clare version of this reel. Untitled Reel on p76a is a version of the same tune. Sean Frank (CRE I, 182) is yet another version, in G. John Doherty played a similar version in G himself. The Colonel McBain (also Johnny's Wedding) found in O'Neill's is similar in first part only. The Colonel McBain found in Scottish collections relates more closely to this tune. The title Cameronian is used in SW Donegal for the untitled reel on p77c.
NG: Known in Scotland as Colonel McBain or Colonel MacBean. Aka Col. McBain (DMI).
Canamine Highland, The 107 SD MB: Probably an older version of Untitled Highland p155b.
NG: This is a version of the Scottish stratshpey Alister McAlister (KerrMM/Ryan) or Alasdair Mac Alasdair (Athole Collection). It's in DMI as Little Katie Kearney, and Altan play it as Con Cassidy's Highland.
PV: Other Irish titles: The Glen (or Glin) Cottage Polka, Alistair MacAllister, St Patrick Was a Gentleman, and McAllister's Fling.
Cat That Kittled In Jamie's Wig, The 79 JD CMA: This is an adaptation from the Scottish strathspey Miss Lyall or alternatively Miss Grant of Laggan which is the basis of the reel Mooney's Reel (John's name) or more popularly in Ireland Paddy Ryan's Dream.
MB: As far as I can make out there are two separate tunes in the Scotttish repertoire called Miss Lyall, a strathspey and a reel. The Cat that Kittled in Jamie's Wig is related to the strathspey, and Paddy Ryan's Dream/Mooney's Favourite is related to the reel. I'm not totally convinced the two Scottish tunes are related?
NG: No, the two Miss Lyalls are not the same tune, but they're very often played together.
Con Cassidy's Jig 151 CC MB: Related to the quadrille tune, p93.
Recordings: Boys of the Lough, In the Tradition (1981)
Con Cassidy's Reel 153 CC MB: This tune is a reel-time version in the key of F of the three-part jig (also played by Con) and recorded by James Byrne on 'The Brass Fiddle' as Johnny Boyle's Jig.
Recordings: The Brass Fiddle
Connaught Man's Rambles, The 229 PT MB: This tune was commonly played in the key of C at one time - this version is almost in C.
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Darby Gallagher's Jig 57 JD NG: Aka East At Glendart, The Humours of Glendart, Shins Around the Fire, Tim the Piper.
Dispute at the Crosroads, The
(Dr Gilbert)
76 JD
Dr Gilbert
(Dispute at the Crosroads)
76 JD
Dr Peter's Hornpipe 194 DOD CMA: Named after stepdancer, Dr Peter Carr of Killybegs. It is commonly called The Glengesh Hornpipe a name which Danny gave to Jimmy Lyons of Teelin who subsequently recorded it under that title for Seamus Ennis.
Drowsy Maggie 68 JD
Drowsy Maggie 162 F&MB
Drowsy Maggie 235 PT
Drunken Piper, The 236 JM NG: This is not The Drunken Piper (which is found in NF as Miss Johnson's Reel on p69).
MB: The first parts of this reel and 236b are quite close to the first part of the McConnell's version of The Pigeon on the Gate (as recorded by Ronan Galvin on 'The Fiddle Music of Donegal Vol II'). The second part has echoes of the second part of the tune called The Fintown Road/The Gweebarra Bridge Reel, also called The Killarney Boys of Pleasure elsewhere in the country (CRE III, 141).
Drunken Reel, The 236 PT
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Errigal Braes 236 PT
Ewe With the Crooked Horn, The 79 JD MB: This title is used in SW Donegal for both this highland and Untitled Highland, (p174a). There are similarities in structure. One of Doherty's versions of The Heather Breeze may be related also.
Five Mile Chase, The 68 JD CMA: Different entirely to that tune normally played under this name.
MB: A version of a tune sometimes called The New Mown Meadow (Em), (although this title is also used for The Silver Spear). A version similar to Doherty's was played in Teelin and Kilcar also.
Flora McDonald's Reel 187 DOD
Follow Me Down to Limerick 99 SD MB: Martin Hayes plays two parts of this jig as Kitty Come Down to Limerick (on 'Under the Moon'). I have heard him introduce the tune as a Donegal tune, "learnt from the fairies".
LS: Can also be heard on the James Kelly/Paddy O'Brien double-length CD, 'Traditional Music of Ireland' where the version played is described as a "Donegal setting."
Four Courts, The 237 JM MB: I've heard this somewhere...?
NG: The A part is very like a reel played by The Boys of the Lough; they called it The Wild Irishman. It's also in MFI as O'Rourke's. The B and C parts are a significant departure.
Francie Welsh's Barndance 92 JD NG: I fancy I recognise this as something from the 78rpm era in my collection. I'll search for it.
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Gallacher's March 85 JD LS: Better known as Hiudaí Gallagher's, and also called Murphy's Delight.
MB: This title is associated elsewhere with the jig The Creel of Turf (CRE II, 52).
Gallacher's March 175 F&MB See notes above.
Gander's Strut, The 246 PT
Ghost of Bunglass 91 JD CMA: This is more commonly known as Taibhse Chonaill (English translation = Conall's Ghost).
MB: Played exactly like this by some players in Glencolmcille, and also in a slightly different highland version sometimes called Casey's Pig (as recorded by Roisin McGrory and Damian Harrigan on 'The Fiddle Music of Donegal Vol. II'). Con Cassidy's Taibhse Chonaill (D) is the same tune.
Glory Reel, The 162 F&MB MB: This tune may be an old lilters version of parts of The Foxhunter's Reel (parts II, III and V) - Francie Dearg regarded the two as related. There is a structural resemblance. Alternatively, its first and third parts are somewhat similar to a two-part composition of John Mhosai called The Rambling Pony.
Grania's Welcome Home
(March, Jig and Reel)
86 JD CMA: Translation of Failte Romhat in do Bhaile a' Ghrainne.
MB: The Jig part of this piece is in O'Neill's as Johnny the Jumper (DMI, 297).
Gravel Walks to Granie, The 161 F&MB CMA: The placename in the title is "Granny" - a deserted glen between Ardara and Meenanaery.
MB: The Gravel Walks to Granie was originally a two-part tune with a slightly different ending to the second part. The third and fourth parts originally constituted a separate tune (see p104a). It may have been Francie and Mickey Byrne who put them together.
Gusty's Frolics 58 JD
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Hardiman's Fancy 182 DOD
Hare In the Corn, The 69 JD CMA: Aka The Maid in the Cherry Tree.
Harvest Moon, The 103 SD CMA: Not this tune at all. All of the older lads play a different tune entirely for it. It was composed by John Mhosai McGinley and appears on Paddy Glackin's second Gael Linn CD under the title John McGinley's Reel.
MB: A version of Sportin' Paddy (CRE, 133). Not The Harvest Moon/John McGinley's Reel. This is a similar version in a different key to that found in the southern repertoire. It is played as a highland in this version, although there is also a distinctive "Donegal" version of the reel.
Heart of Me Kitty, The 99 SD
Highland Man Who Kissed His Grannie, The 237 PT MB: This is a version of Upstairs in a Tent (CRE III, 96). The tune was played in Glencolmcille.
NG: Not the usual tune by this name, but this was a pipe reel originally called Jenny Tyed the Bonnet Tight, known in Ireland as Jenny Tie Your Bonnet (CRE III, 96). Breathnach gives alternative titles: Cuir Snaidhm ar do Chaipín, a Shin; Tie the Bonnet; Down with the Mail; The Rambler's Rest (DMI606); Upstairs in a Tent; In and Out the Harbour; Lassie/Lassies tie your Bonnet/s; Lizzie's Bonnet; The Faraway Wedding; The Gravelled Walks to Granny, and The Cottage in the Grove.
Holly Bush, The 238 PT MB: As far as I know, this tune was composed by Richard Dwyer, brother of Finbar.
Humours of Glendart 230 JM NG: Aka East at Glendart and Tim the Piper (both DMI).
Humours of Whiskey, The 159 F&MB
Hunt of the Hound and the Hare, The 95 JD MB: The Jig part of this piece is in O'Neill's (DMI, 254).
NG: The first strain is The Hare Among the Corn, probably Scottish.
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Irish Highland, The 108 SD MB: I don't think this is a highland in the strictest sense. It is possibly related to the tune the Dohertys played for the dance 'The Corn Riggs' (as recorded by Mickey Doherty on 'The Gravel Walks'). The rhythm would seem appropriate for that dance.
Ivy Leaf, The 103 SD MB: Not the reel usually called The Ivy Leaf.
John McNeil's Reel 187 DOD CMA: The full title and correct spelling is Big John McNeilis' Reel.
MB: Also known in Donegal as Grant's Reel. The title is spelt John McNeil in the Scottish collections.
NG: Known, especially in Canada, I believe, as Big John McNeill, it was originally christened plain John McNeil by its composer Peter Milne, a close friend and mentor of James Scott Skinner. At one time Milne made his money playing on the Forth ferry, but the completion of the Forth Bridge (c1890) deprived him of this livelihood. He had been addicted to opium for a great number of years, and made a meagre living teaching violin in his native Aberdeenshire. Apparently John McNeil was a famous Highland dancer at the turn of the century.
Jude's Bush 238 JL MB: This tune is also called St Ruth's Bush.
Kildare Fancy
245 PT NG: Aka The Dundee Hornpipe (MM) and The Union Hornpipe.
Kiltyfanad, The 163 F&MB LS: This is the same tune as JD's The Black Mare of Fanad on p65.
MB: Not the reel normally called The Coillte Fanad Reel.
Kilrane Jig, The
(King of the Pipers)
57 JD MB: Also called Frank a' Phoill, or what may originally have been Frank a' Feoil. The man concerned was a butcher (Feoil=meat).
King Billy's March 110 SD NG: Found in DMI as The Victor's Return and recorded by De Danann as Mac's Fancy, but stems from a Scottish march, Lord MacDonald's March to Harlaw.
King George IV Highland 173 F&MB
King of the Pipers
(The Kilrane Jig)
57 JD MB: Also called Frank a' Phoill, or what may originally have been Frank a' Feoil. The man concerned was a butcher (Feoil=meat).
King of the Pipers 177 F&MB
King William's Rambles 176 F&MB LS: Seems to contain elements of the jig part of Welcome Home Grainne (p86), and also of the jig Langstrom's Pony (CRE II, 46).
Kiss the Maid Behind the Byre 58 JD CMA: This is the well known Scottish jig I Lost My Love; see Kerr's MM1. This tune has numerous songs sung to it in both Ireland and Scotland and in both English and Gaelic in each country. (CMA)
Kitty Gordons 238 PT NG: This is Miss Katty Gordon of Earlston's Reel by John Riddell.
Kitty In the Lane
93 JD CMA: Compare the second part of Con Cassidy's Jig (p151) and you'll see they are variations in 4/4 and 6/8 time.
MB: The rhythm of this tune is not that normally associated with a barndance. The tune was played for the last part of the quadrille. John played the related jig also, but as far as I know associated it with Con Cassidy. The title Kitty in the Lane is usually reserved for a reel.
Kitty In the Lane 153 CC MB: This tune is related to The Sword in Hand (CRE, 144). The usual name in Glencolmcille for this reel was An Chailleach sa Chuinneog (The Hag in the Churn). It was played in both D and G, and in Teelin also in C. Francie Dearg played a four part version, and called it Tripping Up the Stairs (D). Francie Dearg also had a three part version in G, with the second part more akin to that of The Sword in Hand, which he called The Maid in the Churn. Danny Meehan plays the tune in G with two parts, his second part being similar to Francie Dearg's third part. (Kitty in the Lane is the title usually used for CRE IV, 105)
Knights of St Patrick, The 59 JD
Knights of St Patrick, The 100 SD
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Ladies of Carrick, The 159 F&MB
Ladies of Gormond, The
80 JD MB: This highland was associated with Teelin.
Ladies of Tullibardee, The 70 JD
Lass of Killecrankie Highland, The 247b JL MB: This highland is not unlike some of the versions of Dulaman na Buinne Buidhe found in Donegal.
Last House of Connaught, The 104 SD CMA: This is a well known pipers reel whose name escapes me at present.
MB: This is the Paddy O'Brien composition Dinny O'Brien's Reel, apparently his very first composition.
Lord Mayo 96 JD
Low Park 239 JM MB: This is a version of a tune sometimes called The Hare's Paw (CRE, 185). The tune was played in Glencolmcille. It's generally considered a Kerry tune?
NG: Aka Jim Kennedy's Favourite; Hare's Foot (DMI) and Lowlands of Scotland (KMM).
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Make Your Breakfast Early 239 PT MB: This tune is also called Boil the Breakfast Early. The parts are sometimes played the other way around.
NG: Known in Scotland as The Lasses Fashion (KMM2p8) or Haud Awa' Frae Me Donald. Found in Ireland as Boil the Breakfast Early and Court Her Along the Road (both DMI).
March of the Meeatoiteen Bull 87 JD CMA: Sometimes called Miss Thornton's.
MB: Not Miss Thornton's; that title is usually given to another reel (see CRE II, 172).
Margaret Stuart's Reel 188 DOD NG: Found in The Beauties of Gow (c1817) as Lady Margaret Stewart.
Mary of the Wisp 164 F&MB CMA: The Tune titles The Mary of the Wisp (more commonly known in the locality under its Irish title - Maire na Sop) and Moll na Tiarna (note Tiarna is a single word and not 2 as printed) are reversed on the two tunes. They should be titled the other way around.
MB: Moll Tiarna is played in Donegal in several different versions, at least in the keys of C, G (see CRE II, 268) and A. There is a similar reel played in the south, mainly Cork/Kerry. Mary of the Wisp (D) and Moll Tiarna (C) are correctly titled in my edition of NF. As far as I know, Mary of the Wisp is played in some shape or form in Scotland.
Mazurka 94 JD PV: Francie Walsh's Mazurka.
Mazurka 177 F&MB LS: The Kilcar Mazurka. Played beautifully on 'The Brass Fiddle'.
Merrily Kissed the Quaker's Wife
(1st version)
183 DOD
Merrily Kissed the Quaker's Wife
(2nd version)
183 DOD
Milestone Jig, The
(composed by Arthur Darley)
184 DOD CMA: Having spoken with Danny O'Donnell he confirms some confusion by the authors in picking up the title and history of this piece. The tune in fact is a composition of Arthur Darley and is correctly titled The Donegal Jig. The mistaken title The Milestone arose from Danny's discussion on another tune, a reel, The Four Milestone which appeared in print in the Roche collection.
Miss Johnson's Reel 69 JD CMA: This is in fact The Inverness Gathering.
MB: Always called The Drunken Piper in Donegal, though associated with the story of the Meenatoiteen Bull.
NG: Not The Inverness Gathering, but the popular Scottish march The Drunken Piper, as Mick says.
Miss Percy's Reel 104 SD CMA: This is the 3rd & 4th parts of The Gravel Walks (What is played as the latter, 4 part reel is a marriage of formerly two separate reels).
MB: There was a tune very like this one, before it was married to the old two part reel The Gravel Walks to Granie. The tune was called Sisti Dhuin Ailt in Glencolmcille (Sisti=kind of waves - not sure of spelling; Dun Alt=local place-name).
NG: A variant of a reel known in Scotland as The Highlandman Kissed His Mother.
Miss Patterson's Slipper 71 JD CMA: This is not Miss Patterson's Slipper (though Feldman & O'Doherty are correct in using the title as it is the one John always used). The tune of this title can be found on 'Ceol na dTéad' and 'The Floating Bow'. Parts 1 and 2 of this are a version of Master Crowley's Reel of Coleman fame and parts 3 and 4 are The Roscommon Reel.
MB: The first two parts of this tune are the basis for Doherty's other Miss Patterson's Slipper (on 'The Floating Bow'), and for Francie Dearg's version. The title is used in Donegal for versions of this tune.
Moll na Tiar na 165 F&MB CMA: The Tune titles The Mary of the Wisp (more commonly known in the locality under its Irish title - Maire na Sop) and Moll na Tiarna (note Tiarna is a single word and not 2 as printed) are reversed on the two tunes. They should be titled the other way around.
MB: Moll Tiarna is played in Donegal in several different versions, at least in the keys of C, G (see CRE II, 268) and A. There is a similar reel played in the south, mainly Cork/Kerry. Mary of the Wisp (D) and Moll Tiarna (C) are correctly titled in my edition of NF. As far as I know, Mary of the Wisp is played in some shape or form in Scotland.
Monaghan Switch, The 70 JD MB: This tune is in Ryan's/Cole's as Our BoysIt was called Piobaire Mhaire Bhain in Teelin, where it was associated with a local story. (Lilted by Peadar O'Beirne (Peadar Johnny Johndai), Teelin, for Radio Teilifis Eireann, 1948).
Morning Dew, The 166 F&MB CMA: The Tune titles The Mary of the Wisp (more commonly known in the locality under its Irish title - Maire na Sop) and Moll na Tiarna (note Tiarna is a single word and not 2 as printed) are reversed on the two tunes. They should be titled the other way around.
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Neil Gow's Strathspey 191 DOD NG: This is a Scots tune called The Lass o' Corrie's Mill, and nothing to do with Niel Gow as far as I know.
Neilie Boyle's Highland 191 DOD CMA: This is the regular title for it in Donegal. It is the common Scottish Strathspey The Devil in the Kitchen.
Nine Pint Coggie, The 72 JD CMA: Not the same as the Scottish tune of the same name.
TH: It appears to be a version of Scott Skinner's strathspey Davie Work from 'The Scottish Violinist'.
MB: This tune is played outside Donegal also. The first part is that of the Scotch tune The Mill Burn.
NG: The first part is nearer to James Fraser's The Mill Burn than Davie Work, but it is the B part which seals it as the latter.
On the Road 167 F&MB LS: Aka On the Road from Glen to Carrick or The Glen Road to Carrick.
MB: Probably fashioned by Francie Dearg from The Chorus Jig. It seems likely that John Doherty got the tune from Francie Dearg, although his version is slightly different. The two met on "the Glen road to Carrick" on a particular day in the 1920s or early 1930s, and there and then John Doherty learned the tune from Francie Dearg. It was that meeting that produced the title for the tune.
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Paddy's Rambles Through the Park 96 JD
Paidin O'Rafferty 60 JD
Paps of Glencoe, The 87 JD NG: A Scottish pipe march.
Pipe March 178 F&MB
Piping Jig 185 DOD CMA: This is a modern composition, MacLeod of Mull in honour of accordionist Bobby MacLeod, composed and published by pipe major Donald McLeod in the 50's/60s.
Policeman's Holiday 61a JD
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Rakish Paddy 72 JD NG: An Irish version of the well-known Scottish reel Caber Feidh.
Road to Brighton, The 240 JL
Rory O'More 159 F&MB
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Sally Kelly's Reel 188 DOD NG: Found in Gow's Repository.
Scotch Mary 168 F&MB
Sleepy Maggie 240 PT MB: This is a Scottish reel, related to the well known Jenny's Chickens.
LS: When I asked him to play Sleepy Maggie, Vincent Campbell played Jenny's Chickens explaining that they were the same tune.
Sporting Days of Easter 240 JL
Stormy Weather 75 JD CMA: Not the Donegal tune of that name but Miss Monaghan.
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Tartan on the Heather
80 JD MB: James Byrne recorded a Glencolmcille version of this highland on 'The Brass Fiddle'. A version similar to Doherty's was also associated with Frank Cassidy.
NG: This is very like the Scots strathspey The Miller o' Drone, known elsewhere in Ireland as The Miller of Draughin (or Drohan) and in the US as Grey Eagle.
Teelin Highland, The 80 JD CMA: Aka Tom Tailor's Highland and is attributed to Johnnie Cassidy - Frank's older brother - as composer.
MB: Tom "Tailor" was a Teelin man with surname Donegan. He would not go onto the floor at dances until this tune was played.
Teelin Highland, The 173 F&MB MB: Aka Tom Tailors Highland.
Temple House Reel, The 105 SD
Toss the Feathers 168 F&MB MB: A similar version of this tune was played in Glencolmcille by John McGinley (Connchubhair).
Turniskey Lasses 241 PT MB: See The Tirnaskea Lasses (CRE IV, 202).
Twenty One Highland, The 81 JD CMA: Composed by Paddy McDyer of Kilraine (between Ardara and Glenties) in 1921.
MB: There is a simple old highland (D) played in Glencolmcille which is quite similar to this. Perhaps it is an older tune refashioned?
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Untitled Barndance 91 JD
Untitled Barndance 92 JD CMA: This is actually a highland and known throughout Donegal as A Sheamuis Bhig a bhfuil Ocras Ort? (Are you hungry little Seamus?) and appears in Cole's/Ryan as The Roving Bachelor
MB: The rhythm of this tune is not that normally associated with a barndance.
Untitled Barndance 109 SD CMA: This is Connolly's Barndance.
MB: John Doherty played the first part of this barndance in G.
Untitled Barndance 110 SD CMA: This is Coleman's Mrs Kenny's Barndance!!!
NG: This is Woodland Flowers by Scots composer Felix Burns.
Untitled Double Jig 62 JD LS: Another tune called The King of the Pipers.
PdG: CRE II 45.
Untitled Double Jig 160 F&MB CMA: This is the very well known Rogaire Dubh (English trans = The Black Rogue). It is known in Scotland as Johnnie McGill (this name suggests Donegal connections and it is certainly impossible to figure out whether the tune is Scottish or Donegal - the point here being irrelevant), but the fact is that it is well known in Scotland an Donegal and appears in the Scottish Atholl and Skye Collections under that title and in various Irish, including O'Neill's collections under the title in Irish.
PdG: Black Rogue; compare Paddy the Weaver, WSGM 134.
Untitled Double Jig 186 DOD CMA: Regularly played in this setting in Donegal. The first part apears to be a variant of The Frost is All Over while part 2 is the same as one of a couple of tunes which go under the title Munster Buttermilk.
PdG: Here's Good Health to the Piper/Piper's Maggot (MOI 1150; WSGM 209).
PV: Munster Buttermilk/Sports of Multyfarnham (CRE I 43; IFB 131).
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Untitled Highland 62 JD LS: Another tune called The King of the Pipers.
PdG: In CRE II 45.
Untitled Highland 81b JD CMA: Known throughout Donegal as John Simi's (the latter being John's family nickname) Highland.
MB: A version of this highland was played in Glencolmcille (as recorded by James Byrne on 'The Fiddle Music of Donegal Vol. II'). Micheal Carr played it in A. A quite different version of this tune is played in West/Northwest Donegal.
Untitled Highland 81c JD CMA: This is a version of the Scottish strathspey Niel Gow's Wife which can be found played by Danny O'Donnell in its original Scottish key as another Untitled on page 194.
NG: This is the Scottish strathspey Niel Gow's Wife by Duncan McIntyre (also claimed for Niel Gow), known elsewhere in Ireland as The Watchmaker (DMI755).
Untitled Highland 82a JD MB: This highland was played in Glencolmcille in the keys of D and G. In D, the first part is essentially the same as Untitled Highland, p109a.
Untitled Highland 82b JD PV: Aka Gurren's Castle.
CMA: This is the Scottish Miss Drummond of Perth and is commonly called The Sinking of the Titanic or The Titanic Highland here in Donegal.
PV: Aka Gurren's Castle.
NG: I think there's some confusion here: in AC1p1, there is Banríon na Beltane - a version of the Scots tune Devil In the Kitchen - a different tune than this Untitled Highland which Caoimhín says is The Titanic Reel. They surely can't both be?
Untitled Highland 82c JD CMA: This is the same as The Ladies of Gormond Highland which appears on the top of p80; both are versions of the Scottish strathspey Miss Rose in Kerr's Collection.
Untitled Highland 83a JD CMA: This is in fact the reel The Mermaid of Mullaghmore (see CRE II 134). Tommy Peoples has also recorded it as as John Doherty's Reel I think on 'The Iron Man' recording.
PdG: Mermaid of Mullaghmore/Maid(s) of Mullagh(more)/John Doherty's* (CRE II 134; CRE III 149); compare Plaid Mantle (DMI 663; MOI 1426).
MB: I always heard this as a reel. The tune title always referred to a "Maid" rather than a "Mermaid", even though the associated story was about a Mermaid.
Untitled Highland 108 SD CMA: The Scottish Cameron's Got His Wife Again which is very regularly played in west Donegal.
MB: I don't think this is related to Cameron's Got his Wife Again? The second part is a variant of the first part, and not the one usually played in West (in G) and SW (in D) Donegal.
NG: Nothing like the Cameron's Got His Wife Again that I play (see KMM1p10).
Untitled Highland 109 SD PV: All the Way to Galway (related to reel).
MB: The first part of this tune is the same as that of Untitled Highland, p82a.
NG: This is known in Scotland under many titles including Big Kirsty (KMM1p12), Coirsdan Mhor or Miss Stewart Bun Rannoch.
Untitled Highland 155a CC
Untitled Highland 155b CC LS: Altan also calls this simply Con Cassidy's but it looks like it's nearly the same tune as The Canamine Highland (p107).
CMA: The Canamine and Con's untitled highland on the middle of page 155 are versions of the first part of Alister McAlister.
NG: Compare Little Katie Kearney in DMI.
Untitled Highland 155c CC LS: This is also called The Low Highland.
CMA: This is Con's Low Highland by which he meant the first part is played on the lower strings. It is more commonly known as Padai Bhilli na Ropai's Highland after the famous Padai Bhilli na Ropai O'Boyle of Kiltyfanad, Glencolmille whose fiddle Con inherited and now is owned by Billy O'Connor who secured it originally for Con. The tune is a version of the Scottish Miss Stewart of Grantully which, in fact, forms the basis of the well known reel in Ireland as The Green Groves of Erin. When the latter reel is being played in its normal setting, try playing this highland setting at reel speed and you will find yourself "reversing" (playing in octaves) with the other players.
Untitled Highland 174a F&MB CMA: The Scottish The Ewe With the Crooked Horn which appears earlier in the text in its reel version.
MB: This tune is related to The Marquis of Huntley composed by William Marshall. Played as a reel in the South (CRE II, 145). The title is also used for another highland of similar structure (see p79b). The Scottish tune The Ewe with the Crooked Horn is a different tune.
Untitled Highland 174b F&MB LS: The Brown Sailed Boat played as a strathspey in a slightly different version on 'Ceol Aduaidh'.
CMA: John's The Brown Sailed Boat derives from the Scottish Peter Baillie's Strathspey taking its title from the renowned Scottish fiddler.
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Untitled Hornpipe 246b PT
Untitled Hornpipe 246c PT MB: This tune is often called The Friendly Visit in SW Donegal, and is related to Tamoney's Hornpipe, which is in Ryan's/Cole's. There are several related tunes in the southern repertoire.
Untitled Hornpipe 247a PT SS: I've heard that this tune is called Peter Wyper's Hornpipe, after the well-known Tyrone button accordion player. The hornpipe appears on James Kelly's recording with Zan McLeod, 'The Ring Sessions', as a Gan Ainm.
NG: I don't know a Peter Wyper who was a "...well-known Tyrone button accordion player". Peter Wyper of the Wyper Brothers fame, came from Lanarkshire (Scotland) and played melodeon. This hornpipe is found - untitled - on one of Peter Wyper's 78s from 1910.
Untitled Jig 100b SD PdG: This is Idle Road (DMI 101; MOI 839).
Untitled Jig 100c SD PdG: This is a variant of Kitty's Rambles; compare CRE II 36; DMI 5; MOI 1043; and The Heart of My Kitty for Me, WSGM 65.
LS: The "1" and "2" above the end of the A part is over one measure too far. Just play the measure under the "1" as the ending of the second time through the A part and it works.
MB: A somewhat different two-part version of this tune was played by John Doherty.
Untitled Jig 101 SD PdG: 1st two parts are Shandon Bells (DMI 1, MOI 814); last two parts are Young Tim Murphy or Paddy's Return in reverse order (DMI 134, MOI 883); 3rd part is variant of the latter.
Untitled Jig 151 CC PdG: This is Rakes of Clonmel (DMI 149; MOI 902).
LS: Mickey Doherty played a different version (about the same as the Rakes of Clonmel in MOI) of this tune and called it The Merry Widow.
Untitled Jig 152a CC NG: This is in DMI as The Basket of Turf, with the alternative titles of The Unfortunate Rake, The Wee Wee Man, and Bundle and Go (but not the same tune as Bundle and Go on p85).
PdG: Basket of Turf/Bundle and Go/Unfortunate Rake (CRE II 52; DMI 32; MOI 735, 970); compare Winter Garden Quadrille III, WSGM 97.
MB: This tune was played in this key in Glencolmcille/Kilcar (as recorded by James Byrne on 'The Fiddle Music of Donegal Vol. II').
Untitled Jig 152b CC CMA: The second part of this highland is a version of the second part of Alister McAlister. MB: Incorrectly transcribed. This is a highland Con called Paddy Barron's Highland, after a neighbour who played a bit. Con reckoned the tune came to Teelin from Malinbeg. The tune is regarded by some as a composition of John Mhosai. It was played widely in this version in Glencolmcille, and in a second version, as recorded by James Byrne on 'The Road to Glenlough' (the second of Mick Carr's Highlands). Apart from the above, I wouldn't agree that the second part of the highland is related to the second part of Alister McAlister?
NG: I tend to agree with Mick; I can't see the resemblance to Alister McAlister.
Untitled Jig 230b JL
Untitled Jig 230c PT PV: Ann's Gosling.
Untitled Jig 231a JL
Untitled Jig 231b PT MB: The Miners of Wicklow (noted by Breathnach in his personal copy of The Northern Fiddler).
Untitled Jig 231c PT PdG: Delaney's Drummers/Mug of Brown Ale (DMI 305).
Untitled Jig 232a JM PdG: Gold Ring/Old Gold Ring (CRE I 47).
Untitled Jig 232b PT
Untitled Jig 233a PT PdG: This is Scotsman Over the Border.
Untitled Jig 233b PT PdG: This is Bobby/Scully Casey's Jig (CRE III 16).
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Untitled March 88a JD
Untitled March 88b JD
Untitled March 110 SD MB: Incorrectly transcribed. The group of four quavers given before the first bar is the actual start of the tune. Possibly a version of The Paps of Glencoe (p87).
Untitled Polka 247 PT
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Untitled Reel 75 JD PV: This appears to be a tune of Scottish origin which appeared in Aird (according to O'Neill) as Cameron House. O'Neill reproduces it in 'Waifs & Strays', but prints it in his other collections under different titles, The Old Grey Gander, The Humors of Schull, and the air George Gubbin's Delight. You'll also find it in Roche as Mo Ceoil Sibh a Laochra in the section on marches (its notation, however, makes one think of polka), and in Ceol Rince Vol. 2 transcribed from the playing of Junior Crehan.
PdG: Variant of Old Grey Gander (CRE II 222; DMI 600; MOI 1345); compare Highway to Limerick (DMI 644; MOI 1402) and Humours of Schull/Rolling Reel (DMI 699; MOI 1470; WSGM 260).
MB:This tune is played as a highland in Glencolmcille/Teelin. Known in Teelin as The Mullach Garbh Highland, after a local place-name. It is related to the Scottish strathspey Captain Campbell. It appears to be related to the reel The Flock of Larks (CRE, 123), as well as others.
LS: The highland version appears under the name Molly Gharbu (which translates as Rough Molly according to CMA), on 'ó Bhun Sliabh Liag' (Forge Brae 007), played beautifully by Dermot Byrne and (sounds like) Con Cassidy.
Untitled Reel 76a JD LS: A variant of the West Wind according to the liner notes for 'Bundle and Go'.
CMA: I'm not sure whether I'd agree with calling it a version of The West Wind.
MB: Not The West Wind. See notes for The Cameronian Reel, p67a.
NG: This is the Scottish reel Colonel McBain, or Colonel MacBean.
Untitled Reel 76b JD PdG: A variant of Heather Breeze (CRE II 149; DMI 779).
Untitled Reel 77a JD PdG: Mulloy's Reel (CRE I 138).
Untitled Reel 77b JD PdG: Paddy Ryan's Dream or Tullagh Reel (DMI461; IFB 151, 154; MOI 1181-2).
MB: Doherty nearly always called this Mooney's Favourite. A similar version was played in Glencolmcille. It is generally accepted as a version of Paddy Ryan's Dream.
Untitled Reel
(Paddy Ryan's Dreams?)
77b JD CMA: Not John's version of Paddy Ryan's Dream which he actually called Mooney's Reel and is a version of the Scottish reel Miss Grant of the Laggan or Miss Lyall.
PdG: This is Old Cameronian (ER 74) (but surely older?); noted in text as Untitled reel (Paddy Ryan's Dreams?), which should refer to previous tune.
MB: This tune was called The Cameronian in Glencolmcille (slightly differently, as recorded by Ronan Galvin on 'The Fiddle Music of Donegal Vol II'). Francie Dearg played a version close to Doherty's version.
Untitled Reel 104 SD CMA: Same tune as the Untitled Reel in the middle of page 105.
PdG: Cup of Tea (CRE II 278; DMI 792).
PV: Aka The Beauty Spot.
Untitled Reel 105 SD CMA: Same tune as the Untitled Reel at the bottom of page 104.
PdG: Cup of Tea (CRE II 278; DMI 792).
PV: Aka The Beauty Spot.
Untitled Reel 106 SD PdG: This is called Yellow Tinker.
Untitled Reel 154 CC MB: Con never played this as a reel, always as a highland. In addition, it's incorrectly transcribed: the first part begins with the second group of four quavers in the fourth bar of the transcription (and thus also the last four quavers of the thirteenth bar). The second part begins with the second group of four quavers in the fifth bar. A slightly different version was played in Glencolmcille. The tune seems related to the first part of Miss Butler's Reel (CRE IV, 153).
Untitled Reel 169a F&MB PdG: Greig's Pipes (CRE I 96; WSGM 288).
Untitled Reel 169b F&MB MB: This tune was played in Teelin and Glencolmcille also (in D and G). Mick Carr called it Biddy na gCloch (Biddy of the Stones).
Untitled Reel 170 F&MB PdG: Lads of Leith/Laois (CRE I 192).
NG: Can be found in KMM4 as The Lads of Leith, and earlier in Riddell's Collection (18th Century) as Sir Adam Ferguson's Reel, and in Lowe's Collection (1844) as Sic a Wife as I hae Gotten.
Untitled Reel 171 F&MB LS: These are Ed Reavy tunes: Never Was Piping So Gay and Maudabawn Chapel.
PdG: ER 3 and ER 27.
Untitled Reel 172 F&MB PdG: 1st two parts Flora McDonald's (NF 187); 3rd part from Sleepy Maggie (DMI 661; MOI 1424; NF 240); 4th part from Master Crowley's/Miss Patterson's Slipper (CRE II 227; CREIII 180; IFB 152; MOI 1407; NF 71 - played with Roscommon reel as one tune).
CMA: Note that Flora McDonald is in fact the basis of the Coleman masterpiece The Morning Dew, otherwise known as The Hare in the Heather.
NG: A & B: Flora MacDonald (KMM1p5); C: Sleepy Maggie ().
Untitled Reel 188 DOD PdG: Aka Man with the Money (MOI 1360).
MB: Mickey Doherty played a reel something like this tune (CRE II, 235), which he called Miss Kelly's Favourite.
Untitled Reel 189 DOD PV: The Old Dudeen (from Paddy Killoran).
Untitled Reel 242a JL PV: Aka Paddy Kelly's (# 2).
MB: Seems related to CRE II, 186.
Untitled Reel 242b JL PdG: Shamrock Hill (SR 37).
Untitled Reel 242c JM PdG: Farewell to Erin (CRE I 139); continued on next page.
PV: I disagree with Paul on this one. It's Master McDermott, a Sean Maguire and Lima Donnelly composition, also known as Barrel Rafferty (after Mike's father).
MB: This tune is in CRE IV. The notes refer to the tune as a composition (May, 1943) of Michael 'Master' McDermott, Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone. Breathnach was of the opinion that the tune is a version of The Boys of the Lough.
Untitled Reel 243a JM Continuation of previous reel.
Untitled Reel 243b JM PdG: Bill Harte's Reel (CRE I 110).
Untitled Reel 243c JM PdG: Trim the Bonnet/Tie the Ribbons/Big Pat's Reel (CRE II 284; MOI 1192; WSGM 291).
Untitled Reel 244a JM MB: This reel is more like a highland/strathspey in structure and feel.
Untitled Reel 244b PT PdG: Templehouse Reel (DMI 505; MOI 1230; NF 105; WSGM 286).
Untitled Slip Jig 61b JD LS: The first part of this greatly resembles the first part of Langstrom's Pony and if that's what John was playing, it's a double jig, not a slip jig. (Which solves the problem the authors note in writing, "The last three notes of bars 2 & 4 are redundant. The player may have had bars 8 & 12 in mind.") However, the second part greatly resembles the second part of Drops of Brandy, which is a slip jig. I won't speculate about what John truly intended to be playing!
Untitled Slip Jig 61c JD CMA: Shares its second part with The Humours of Whiskey which was passed on dominantly by the Deargs (Byrne Brothers) of Kilcar. This setting by John is called (John always used this name) Sally Hegarty's after a 10 key melodeon player from Teelin.
PdG: Aka High Road to Dublin/Sally Hegarty's in CRE II 97.
Untitled Slip Jig 160b F&MB CMA: Con's Doodley, Doodley, Dank as can be heard on 'The Brass Fiddle'.
LS: Called The Cock and Hen in Ryan.
MB: Doodley Doodley Dank had nonsense words to it. It was lilted in Teelin to put babies to sleep. Francie Dearg himself regarded it as a tune from the lilting tradition.
Untitled Slip Jig 160c F&MB CMA: This is Mo Chroi 's Mo Bhonnaidh (English trans = My Love and My Sweetheart -- which title in post Divorce Referendum Ireland should be noted inferred to the older players who used it signaled one and the same person!)
PdG: Hardiman the Fiddler (DMI 412; IFB 137; MOI 1117).
Untitled Slip Jig 185 DOD CMA: Possibly a version in the key of A of The Drops of Brandy.
NG: This is The Piper's Maggot (KMM2p27).
Untitled Slip Jig 186 DOD CMA: May well be 9/8 version of the well known (at least it was the rage in the 60's-70's) Bill Harte's Jig. PdG: Last Night's Fun/Miss Brown's Fancy (CRE II 107; DMI 452; WSGM 201).
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Untitled Strathspey 109 SD MB: This is a version of the Scottish strathspey The Miller O' Hirn, composed by James Scott Skinner. It was played in a different version in SW Donegal, in the key of A. These days it is often called Jimmy Lyon's Highland. Interestingly, some of the older players in Glencolmcille played the first bar similarly to Simon Doherty.
NG: This is Skinner's Miller o' Hirn.
Untitled Strathspey 192a DOD TH: This is Glengarry's Dirk See KMM2 where it appears in the key of A major. It can also be found in the Athole Collection and The Simon Fraser Collection.
Untitled Strathspey 192b DOD TH: This is The Duchess' Slippers See KMM2.
MB: This is a version of the Scottish strathspey The Duchess of Athole's Slipper, composed by Niel Gow. Both parts are not unlike the second part of one of Mick Carr's highlands (recorded by James Byrne on 'The Road to Glenlough').
Untitled Strathspey 192c DOD MB: John Doherty apparently played this as a highland. It was lilted/whistled to me by someone who remembered John playing it. Overall it is not unlike The Templehouse Reel in structure, but there are also similarities with the first two parts of The Roscommon Reel (CRE, 202).
NG: This is a strathspey by James Scott Skinner [biog] called The Oracle, named after Fife fiddler W C Honeyman. There are not many tunes in F sharp minor.
Untitled Strathspey 193 DOD NG: Sounds like another of Scott Skinner's strathspeys, possibly Garden's Strathspey?
Untitled Strathspey 194 DOD CMA: Niel Gow's Wife again - see another appearance above.
NG: Niel Gow's Wife by Duncan McIntyre, aka The Watchmaker (DMI).
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Wild Irishman, The 105 SD
Wild Irishman, The 106 SD CMA: The parts are reversed as always played.
You're Welcome Home Royal Charlie 89 JD NG: Reminiscent of Johnny Cope, but I'm now recognizing another Scottish pipe march - it will come back to me eventually! There is another, different Scottish reel by this name.

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