McSweeney's Reel

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McSWEENEY'S REELS. Irish, Reel (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. The tune was a favorite of John Doherty [1] (1900-1980), a renowned fiddler from Co. Donegal who may have obtained it from the piping of Tarlach McSuibhne. Doherty recalled that the reel was played by his father, Mickey Mór, on the latter's deathbed. John had been playing the fiddle to console himself and his father, but listlessly, when his father rose out of bed and asked for the fiddle, then stood in the middle of the floor and played the tune [1]. See also the similar "Glen Reel (The)" by County Cavan fiddler Ed Reavy.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Folktrax FTX 074, John Doherty - "The Pedlar's Pack" (1952). Green Linnet SIF-104, Altan - "The Celts Rise Again" (1990). Green Linnet SIF-1095, Altan - "Horse with a Heart" (1989).

See also listing at:
See/hear the tune played by fiddler Aidan O'Donnell at Na Píobairí Uilleann [2]
See a standard notation transcription of John Doherty's entire version, by Conor Caldwell, in his PhD. thesis "‘Did you hear about the poor old travelling fiddler?’ - The Life and Music of John Doherty", 2013, pp. 138-139 [3]




Back to McSweeney's Reel[edit]

  1. Conor Caldwell, "‘Did you hear about the poor old travelling fiddler?’ - The Life and Music of John Doherty", PhD thesis, 2013, p. 139 [4].