Jerry’s Beaver Hat

Here's a very popular jig.  Thanks Mary for reminding me of it.  I seem to be struggling a bit with it in places.  I think this might just be my blackwood flute getting jealous of its new sibling.


The Contradiction Reel

This is really a fiddle tune but apart from the differences with strings, shape, holes, method of playing, sound and a few other things, a flute is just like a fiddle.  I'm not sure whether this is really like a tune but it'll pass a couple of minutes finding out.


The Sally Gardens

Here's a very common tune.  Don't try singing Yeats to this version.


The Stone in the Field (reel)


I think I'm getting used to this new flute now.  I'm not quite so sure about being used to the recording levels to stop the Ps escaping from the MP3 files of it.


The Glencolmbcille Reel

Andy McGann called this as above.  John Doherty called it "The Fantastic Reel".  I think I should call it a day.

I'll try again tomorrow.  I'll call that Friday.


The Whinny Hills of Leitrim

Here's a slip jig.  There are a few with this name, maybe not one for every hill in lovely Leitrim but at least two or three.  I'll try to remember them.

In the meantime I'd better go off and feed my hungry new flute with almond oil.


Brendan Tonra’s Jig

Here's a nice jig from a fiddle player I met the only time I was ever in America.

I'm playing it on a brand new flute here and I have also been eating chicken too recently.  I'm not sure that that is a perfect set of circumstances for flute playing but I hope the tune is decipherable amidst the lathe whirring and the distressed clucking.


Stay Another While

This tune has probably stayed too many whiles in its limbo place prior to my posting it now.   As a result I can't remember how badly I played bits of it so I'll just apologise  for it all.


The Humours of Tulla

Here are some humours.  I hope you like them.  Bye bye for now.


Last Night’s Fun (2)

It was such a good night that it required two reels to do it justice.


Last Night’s Fun (1)

Here's a popular reel commemorating  a recent evening's  enjoyment.


Mrs. Creehan’s Reel

Here's a flute-friendly tune.  I'm sure Mrs. C was very genial too.


The Sandmount

This is called "Mick Hand's Reel" on a Mary Bergin record.  That's tantamount to a hand mount.  Whatever all this amounts to it is a nice reel.


The Liverpool Hornpipe

This one has just raised its head inside my head for some reason so here it is before I forget it again.


Pretty Maggie Morrissey

Here's a fairly inoffensive sort of tune.  That in itself might be reason enough for playing it.


The Old Wheels of the World

I still haven't got round to playing the new ones.  They appear to be in the process of falling off at the moment so I'm maybe best leaving them to it.


Mama’s Pet (2)

Here's Mama's other pet.  It think it is currently my pet Mama's Pet.


Mama’s Pet (1)

Here's one of Mama's pets.  I know of at least one other so Mama must never have been lonely.


The Belfast Hornpipe


This is also known as the Sweep's hornpipe. Poor old Béal Feirste could do with a good brushing. Now that the whole town is a smokeless zone there are probably plenty of spare bristled implements with which to effect that very same cleanup.


Tomeen O’Dea’s Reel (Ríl Thomáisín Uí Dheaghdha)

For such a simple reel there seem to be a lot of ways of playing the second part.  I've had a go at a few of them here.

It's a great tune for the flute.


Dillon’s Fancy (reel)

I don't know which Dillon liked this one - Bob, Thomas or the rabbit from the Magic Roundabout,  but I admire his, her or its taste.


Ask My Father

Here's a 12/8 single jig.  It's a sort of pipey thing but a flute can think that it is a pipe when necessary.


The Humours of Whiskey (2)

There seem to be quite a few tunes with this name.  Most of them are slip jigs.  I think I know what causes them to slip.

It took me about ten minutes to get anything even resembling a tune out of my flute this morning.  I'm sorry if this tune sounds excessively reluctant.


The Scowling Wife


Here's a reel I think I heard from James Byrne who is a great fiddle player from Donegal. I'm not sure what scowling looks like (I've led a charmed life) so apologies if the attached image is erroneously selected.


Scatter The Mud (jig)

Here's a jig which doesn't seem to get just as much playing as it used to.  Maybe scattering mud has been superseded by slinging it.

This version is fairly close to the one on O'Neill's book although my copy is very old and grubby and it can be hard to tell whether some of the black marks are notes or just scattered bits of dirt.


Request from me - Survey


As part of a dissertation on Irish traditional music I am trying to find out what various musicians’ attitudes are to changes which have affected this music over the years. I am asking people to give brief answers to the two questions below. The answers can be in either English or Irish (the dissertation is in Irish). I don’t want people to spend too much of their time on them; a few lines would do. I’ll refer to the answers I get in the conclusions section of the dissertation.

If you are willing to write a couple of lines please email them to me ( or post them as comment on this post.  I have also asked for comments at  and at (sorry for being greedy).

Many thanks,


English version

“From 150 until 50 years ago Irish Traditional Music did undergo change and evolution but it is likely that a musician from the beginning of that period would have found little difficulty in playing with a musician from its end. The changes in the music over the last 50 years, however, mean that in some cases, that would not be the case for many musicians over the span of the last 5 decades.”

1) Do you agree with this statement?

2) Do you think that Irish Traditional music is in a better state than it was 50 or 150 years ago?

Leagan Gaeilge

“Ó Chéad bliain go leith ó shin go dtí caoga bliain ó shin, d’imir athruithe agus forbairt tionchar ar Cheol Traidisiúnta na hÉireann ach is dócha nach mbeadh deacrachtaí ró-mhór ag ceoltóirí ó thús na tréimhse sin ag iarraidh ceol a sheinm le ceoltóirí óna deireadh. De thoradh na n-athruithe a tharla maidir leis an cheol le caoga bliain anuas, áfach, ní bheadh sin fíor idir ceoltóirí ó thús agus ó dheireadh na linne seo a chuaigh thart”.

1) An aontaíonn tú leis an ráiteas seo thuas?

2) An gcreideann tú go bhfuil dóigh níos fearr ar Cheol Traidisiúnta na hÉireann inniu ná a bhíodh caoga bliain nó céad bliain is caoga ó shin?

The Jolly Tinker

Here's a tune referring to a multi tasking person who can also be drunken, yellow and have daughters.  I'm sure there there are more things to add to that list too.


The Otter’s Holt (reel)

Here's a popular reel.  I've probably seen an otter as recently as I have played this reel until now and I hope the notes have more or less landed where they belong.


Tansey’s Favourite

Here's a reel which shares part of its name with a well known flute player.  I'll not say which part of the name applies.

I might have played this one on my plastic flute but I'm not sure.  I've been to Dublin and appear to have left most of my memory there.


Crowley’s Reel (2)

This is probably cruelty to a Crowley but here's the second half of the pair anyway. I'm posting this in absentia (one of my favourite places) so it will probably be on the wrong side of the introduction for a day. I'm sure that all means nothing but I wanted to type it anyway.

(This is another plastic flute experiment)