“The Abbey Reel” is a popular session tune that I learned from a session with Terry Bingham, Yvonne Casey & Stéphane.
Index of all Reels
Anderson’s is a very common session tune. I have known this reel for a very long time, from sessions all over County Clare. The second part is sometimes played first.
I learned “The Argyll Lassies” from my friend Johannes Perritaz, who plays in a band in Switzerland called Elandir. To be honest, I never heard it in a session… It was also recorded by Niall & Cillian Vallely on their album “Callan Bridge”, which is where Johannes learned it I believe.
I learned the “Bag of Spuds” a long time ago and associate this tune with the great accordion player Seán Vaughan. It is a common session tune in Clare and I think I first learned it from Edel Fox and Ronan O’Flaherty’s album.
“The Ballykett Courthouse” is an old reel from West Clare which is part of a much loved set around Doolin, which I learned at the Sunday evening session with Noel O’Donoghue, Sean Vaughan and friends. The first tune of the set is “Tomeen O’Dea’s”, followed by this reel. Ballykett is an area just oustide of Kilrush and the name was given by flute player Michael Tubridy.
I heard “Big Pat’s Reel” at a session in Gus O’Connor’s Pub in Doolin, played by my friend Christophe, a great fiddle player and harpist from France. I was also familiar with this tune through the recording “Waifs & Strays” by Michael Hynes and Denis Liddy.
“The Bird In The Bush” is a very common reel in sessions all over the world. It was one of the first reel I ever learned and I got it from Hugh Healy & Colm Healy’s album “Macalla Na hOige”.
“Black Pat’s” is a composition of Tommy Peoples’. He wrote and recorded the tune in F, but this version in G comes from the playing of his daughter Síobhan Peoples, on her duet album “Time on our Hands” with accordion player Murty Ryan.
I learned “The Bog Carrot Reel” from a lovely CD by fiddle player Diarmuid O’Brien on which he is joined by a different box player on each track, and regular Doolin visitor Donie Nolan joins him on this one.
This is a true Doolin classic. “The Boy In The Gap” is a reel that is very much associated with Micho Russell. He used to play it after another fine reel, “Seán Sa Cheo”, but these days you hear them the other way around most of the times.
“The Boyne Hunt” is a classic session reel. I learned it from my good friend Stéphane during the Feakle Festival in 2013. It is usually played before “Rolling in the Ryegrass”.
“The Boys of Ballisodare” is a popular session which I learned from Christy Barry, Terry Bingham & James Devitt. It is very often played before “The Five Mile Chase”.
I love this reel, “The Boys on the Hilltop”. I think I first learned it from Gavin Whelan. It is played quite regularly in Doolin, I particularly enjoy playing it my friend JB Samzun on fiddle.
One of the greatest session tunes, “The Bucks of Oranmore” is a classic reel. I learned it through various sessions, but I would associate the tune with the great banjo player Kevin Griffin.
This is a reel I learned from the old LP “The Russell Family”, featuring Micho, Packie & Gussie Russell. This particular tune is played on the recording by Micho and Gussie, both on tin whistle. I haven’t heard it in session that much, but it’s a nice tune nonetheless.
“The Cat That Ate The Candle”, which I learned from the late Frankie Kennedy (Donegal flute player, founding member of Altan), is one of the few tunes on this site that actually has nothing to do with Doolin. It is simply the opening reel of one of my favourite tracks ever, Frankie’s solo on Altan’s very first album.
I got “The Cavan Reel” at a session with Terry Bingham & Yvonne Casey at McGann’s Pub. Mary MacNamara also recorded it on her album “Blackberry Blossom”, and it is known as Mike Flannagan’s as well.
“Charlie Harris’ Reel No. 1” is part of a set that I learned at a great session in Cooley’s Pub, in Ennistymon, with Stéphane, Adam Shapiro, Paul Dooley and a few others. It is played with another reel and they’re known together as “Charlie Harris’ Reels” and were recorded by De Dannan.
This reel also goes by the names “John Blessing’s” and “O’Connell’s Reel”, which is the oldest name I could find.
This is the second tune of the Charlie Harris’ set which I learned from Stéphane, Adam Shapiro & Paul Dooley at a session in Cooley’s Pub (Ennistymon). “Charlie Harris’ Reel No.2” is also called “The Burren” or “Michael Cramer’s Reel”, but I’m not too sure about the original title.
“The Chattering Magpie” is a common reel in County Clare, very much associated with concertina players. I learned it from Noel O’Donoghue and Seán Vaughan back in 2015, and I actually remember that evening quite well as it was one of the first time (if not THE first time) I was playing a gig with Noel and Seán together, at O’Connor’s Pub.
“Christmas Eve” is a very popular session tune, and not only at Christmas time! This reel was composed by fiddle player Tommy Coen and I learned it from Hugh Healy & Colm Healy’s album “Macalla na hÓige”, which came out in 2004 and is full of great tunes.
“The Coachman’s Whip” is a composition of flute player Vincent Broderick from Co. Galway. I learned it from my friend fiddle player Thierry Masure, with whom I have enjoyed sharing tunes for several years.
“The Collier’s” is a common session tune and one of my favourite reels. I associate this tune with the great Tommy Peoples, but also with my friend John Fitzgerald, who is a great local whistle player here in Doolin with a style that reminds me very much of Micho Russell.
Another great classic, “Come West Along The Road” is one of those tune I love to play in big sessions. I don’t remember exactly when I learned this reel, but I associate it the amazing album “I gCnoc na Graí” by Noel Hill & Tony MacMahon.
One of my favourite reels! “The Concert Reel” is quite common in sessions around here but I remember learning this tune from Noel O’Donoghue (flute) and Kevin Finucane (fiddle) in particular, they played it a one of the Riches of Clare concerts a few years back. It is very often played after another great reel, “The Hare’s Paw”.
“The Concertina Reel” is a common session tune that I associate with the great accordion player Bobby Gardiner, with whom I played a few sessions at the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna.
This is a very famous reel associated with Joe Cooley, the great accordion player from Peterswell in Co. Galway. The original title of this tune was “The Tulla Reel” I believe, but it has been known as “Cooley’s Reel” for a long time now, and it is very often followed by “The Wise Maid”.
A common session tune, “The Cup of Tea” is a great reel which I learned through various sessions. This version is quite standard, however I would highly recommend Tommy Peoples’ version on his album “The Quiet Glen”, I think it’s the best recording of this tune ever.
“The Daisy Field” is a reel composed by Paddy Kelly (It is very often simply called Paddy Kelly’s) that I got from Thierry Masure and is one of my friend JB’s favourite tune.
“Dan Breen’s” is a reel I love playing very much. I learned it from a session with Yvonne Casey, Terry Bingham and Stéphane Germain. There’s a great version of this tune on the album “The Kilmore Fancy” by Catherine & John McEvoy as well.
A composition from flute player Josie McDermott, “Darby’s Farewell to London” is usually played after one of my favourite reels, “The Trip To Birmingham”, which is another composition of Josie McDermott. I learned this set from Colette Coen, a friend from the Sligo / Leitrim area who plays whistle and flute.
This is a great common session tune! I learned “Devaney’s Goat” (or Devanny’s Goat) through various sessions, but I associate it with the playing of Christy Barry. In the sleeve notes of John Carty’s album’s “Last Night’s Fun”, it says that, according to flute player Jack Coen, this reel was composed by Tommy Whelan, a flute player with the Ballinakill Ceili Band, who named the tune for a neighbor’s animal.
I learned “Dinny O’Brien’s” at a workshop with Terry Bingham during the Russell Memorial Weekend a few years ago. It is a reel written by the great composer Paddy O’Brien from Tipperary.
“Doctor Gilbert’s” is a great reel which I associate with Terry Bingham and Christy Barry. There is also another version of this tune known as “The Dispute At The Crossroads”, is associated with the late John Doherty, the fiddle player from Donegal.
“The Donegal Reel” is a tune I learned from Terry Bingham at a workshop during the Russell Weekend 2012. It is a favourite of my friend Pat Lynch, fiddle player from Kilfenora.
“Dowd’s Favourite” is a very beautiful reel which I associate with the playing of Paddy Carty. It is also simply called “Dowd’s” or “O’Dowd’s” and was recorded by Tommy Peoples on his album “The Iron Man”. I am not really sure where I originally learned this tune though, I think it might have been from my friend Damian Werner.
“Down The Broom” is a reel I have learned through various sessions, but I associate it with Noel O’Donoghue in particular. Noel is a great flute player from Kilfenora and also a dear friend who has always been very encouraging and generous with his music over the years.
I learned “Drag Her Round The Road” from Hugh Healy & Blackie O’Connell’s duet album “We Were Drinking And Kissing The Ladies”. It is a great reel which I have enjoyed playing for many years now and never get tired of it!
“Drowsy Maggie” is one of the most famous reels in Irish Traditional Music. It is a great little tune and I only started playing again recently. This version is quite standard, but there is also a wonderful three part versions going around, which is associated with the great accordion Joe Cooley.
This is a common session which I love very much. I learned “The Drunken Landlady” through various sessions, but it’s really a tune that I associate with the amazing duet album of Noel Hill & Tony Linnane.
This reel was written by John Nolan and was originally called “The Boogie Reel”. I learned it from Terry Bingham’s album, on which he calls it “The Durrow Reel”.
I learned this reel from Terry Bingham’s album, but it is also a tune I associate with Sean Vaughan, a great accordion player from Kilmaley who plays in Doolin often. It was also recorded by John Williams on his first album. He plays it after “Thadey Casey’s” and this is a set I play regularly.
“Farewell To Connaught” is a reel I learned with my friend Gilles Tabary, a flute player from France who has been living in Switzerland for many year. He was visiting during the Russell Memorial Weekend back in 2013 and we took some time to swap a few tunes.
“Father Kelly’s” is quite a common session reel. I learned it after a Sunday evening session at Gus O’Connor’s Pub with Hugh Healy, Noel O’Donoghue and Kevin Griffin.
I learned ”The First House in Connaught” from a one of Doolin’s legends, concertina player Packie Russell. It is an old favourite amongst concertina players in County Clare and has been recorded by Paddy Murphy, Tom Carey and Dympna O’Sullivan among others.
“The Five Mile Chase” is a great session tune, and it usually comes after “The Boys of Ballisodare”. I associate this set with Christy Barry and James Devitt.
“Flagstone of Memories” great reel composed by Vincent Broderick. I learned it after a session in McCarthy’s in Coore during Willie Week. It was a great session with my friends Tom Delany and Sammi König and we were joined by Josephine Marsh. It was the first time I had the chance to play with Josephine and I really enjoyed it !
“The Flogging Reel” is one of my favourite tunes. I don’t remember where I learned it from but I associate it with the great banjo player from Doolin, Kevin Griffin.
I learned “The Flowers of Red Hill” from Tom Delany and Blackie O’Connell at a session in McGann’s Pub. The Bothy Band recorded it on their album “After Hours”.
“Francis John McGovern’s” is associated with Charlie Lennon, even though it isn’t one of his compositions as far as I know. I learned it from my friend Thierry Masure, fiddle player from Belgium who lived in Clare for several years and still visits regularly.
“The Galtee Ranger” is a reel which I learned from my good friend Stéphane. It was recorded by Mary Bergin and also by Kevin Crawford on his album “In Good Company”, and it is sometimes called “Callaghan’s” as well.
A very common session tune, “The Galway Rambler” was one of the first reel I ever learned. It was my friend Gilles Tabary who taught it to me in Switzerland. I associate this tune with flute player Adrian McMahon from Kilfenora, with whom I have enjoyed many good sessions these past few years.
“The Gatehouse Maid” is a reel I learned from Noel O’Donoghue. after a lovely session together with Murty Ryan (accordion) and Seanie McGrath (bouzouki). This tune is very often played after “Down The Broom”, it is a popular sets which has been recorded several times.
A reel I like very much, “George White’s Favourite” is a tune that I associate with Christy Barry, Terry Bingham and James Devitt. It was also recorded by Hugh & Colm Healy on their album “Macalla na hÓige”, for which particular set they were joined by Noel O’Donoghue and Eric Healy.
I learned “The Girls of Farranfore” as part of a set played by the great accordion player from Limerick Donie Nolan, which I recorded during the Russell Weekend 2013. It comes after another reel called “The Pride Of Rathmore”. They are also played together sometimes, but as a three part reel (“The Pride Of Rathmore” followed by the first part of “The Girls Of Farranfore”).
“The Glen of Aherlow” is a great reel composed by Sean Ryan, fiddle player from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. I associate this tune with my friend Paolo Cerato, an accordion player from Italy who has been living in Co. Clare for many years.
“The Glen Road To Carrick” is a great reel from Donegal which I learned from the playing of James Cullinan and Dermot Byrne. They played an amazing concert at the Corofin Trad Fest back in 2013, and I learned this tune afterwards. They actually recorded it a good few years ago (1987!) for a TG4 program (see the video).
“The Glenside Cottage” (also known as “The Old Ruined Cottage In The Glen”) is a reel I learned from Terry Bingham’s album. It is the first tune of a set that Terry learned from Jackie Daly, the great accordion player from Sliabh Luachra who now resides in Miltown Malbay. The second tune in the set is “I Have No Money”.
“The Golden Keyboard” is great reel composed by accordion player Martin Mulhaire from East Galway. I associate this tune with my good friend Kevin Finucane, a fine fiddle player who lives in Ruan, near Ennis, and one of the nicest man you could meet.
I learned “Gorman’s Reel” from my friend Johannes, a a great flute player from Switzerland, during the Willie Clancy week in Miltown Malbay. It is also known as “Throw Away The Keys”.
“The Green Fields of Rossbeigh” has been one of my favourite tune for a very long time! I learned it from my friend Stéphane, when he used to work in the Traditional Music Shop in Doolin. I also associate this tune with accordion player Seán Vaughan.
I learned “The Green Gates” from various sessions, it is quite a common reel. I associate this reel with accordion player Seán Vaughan, who played this tune during a Riches of Clare Concert with David Sanders (fiddle), Eddie Moloney (mandolin) and Ian Lambe (guitar). This set features of the Riches of Clare compilation from 2010.
“The Green Gowned Lass” is a reel I learned from Mary MacNamara and her brother Andrew MacNamara. Their album “Open Hearth” is one of my favourite albums ever. This particular tune is the second of a set I have enjoyed playing with my friend Stéphane for many years. The first reel in that set is “Joe Bane’s”.
“The Green Groves of Erin” is a very famous reel which I learned through various sessions. Micho Russell recorded a lovely version of this tune, however I really associate with The Bothy Band, their version on the album “After Hours” is truly remarkable and a classic set.
I learned “The Green Mountain” from Kevin Griffin, the great banjo player from Doolin. He recorded this reel on the album “Live at The Burren Centre, Kilfenora”, which was a live recording of one of the Riches of Clare’s concerts.
“Handsome Sally” is a reel I learned from Stéphane and Adam Shapiro. They used to have a great sessions in Cooley’s Pub in Ennistymon. I believe they got this tunes tune from Catherine & John McEvoy’s CD “The Kilmore Fancy”.
“The Hare’s Paw” was one of the first reel I ever learned. I got it from my friend Stéphane and Paul Dooley (fiddle/harp) at a session in McHugh’s Pub in Liscannor. A common set in the area is to play “The Hare’s Paw” before another great tune, “The Concert Reel”.
“The Harvest Moon” is a reel that was composed by Paddy O’Brien. I first heard it on PJ Crotty & James Cullinan’s album, but I learned it through various sessions, with Stéphane, Yvonne Casey & Terry Bingham in particular. Adam & Dave Shapiro also recorded it on their album “Cape to Clare”.
“The Heather Breeze” is one of the most common reel in sessions across Ireland. It is a very old tune which I have learned through sessions, but I associate it with Micho Russell and his brothers Packie and Gussie. They recorded it on the album “The Russell Family”.
I learned “Hold The Reins” from a session recording I made of a nice evening in Hotel Doolin back in 2008 with my friend Stéphane, Yvonne Casey and Terry Bingham. It was also recorded by accordion and concertina player from Chicago John Williams, who has spent a lot of time in Doolin over the years. It is also called “The Dublin Lads”.
“The Holly Bush” has been one of my favourite reels for a good number of years. It was composed by Finbarr Dwyer and you can also hear it played in E sometimes. Adam & Dave Shapiro recorded this tune on their album “Cape To Clare”.
“The Honeymoon” is a reel I learned from one of the best sessions I ever saw, during the Russell Memorial Weekend back in 2013 in Gus O’Connor’s Pub. It was a magical night with free flowing music by Noel O’Donoghue, James Cullinan, Donie Nolan, Christy Barry, Terry Bingham, Carol Cullinan, Angela Crotty and several others.
I learned “The Humours of Castlefin” during the Russell Memorial Weekend 2013, from Terry Bingham. It is one of my favourite tunes and I associate with Noel Hill and Tony MacMahon, who recorded it on their album “I gCnoc Na Graí”.
I learned “The Humours of Lissadell” after a weekend trip to Inishbofin with Tom Delany, Caroline Keane and a few others in 2014, it was like the “tune of the weekend”. It is quite a common session tune and often followed by “The Queen of May”.
“The Humours of Loughrea” is the second reel of a set I have learned from Noel O’Donoghue. The first tune of the set is “The Limestone Rock“. This particular tune is also known as “Tommy Whelan’s” or simply “Whelan’s”. It is associated with The Ballinakill Ceili Band from East Galway.
“The Humours of Scarriff” is quite a common session reel, which I learned from my friend Thierry Masure during a visit at his house near Miltown Malbay a few years ago. Thanks Thierry!
I learned “The Hunter’s Purse” from Adam & Dave Shapiro’s CD “Cape To Clare”. Adam & Dave are two brothers from South Africa, who came to Ireland for the music and based themselves around Doolin. Adam is the fiddle player with “Fiddle Case” and still lives in the area and it is always a great pleasure to meet him for tunes!
I learned “I Have No Money” from Terry Bingham’s album. It is a reel that comes from the playing of Jackie Daly, the great accordion from Sliabh Luachra who now lives in Miltown Malbay. He recorded it in a set after “The Glenside Cottage”, and Terry Bingham recorded the same set.
“Imelda Roland’s” is without a doubt one of my favourite reels. I learned if from the playing of concertina player Claire Keville, who recorded it on the album “An Trí is a Rian” with John Weir and Eithne Ní Dhonaile. In the sleeve notes of the album, Claire explains that she was told by Imelda Roland’s daughter that her mother used to lilt this tune while boiling potatoes for the pigs. The tune was picked up and made popular later by Joe Cooley and her brother Raymond Roland.
“The Ivy Leaf” is a reel I learned through various sessions, but I associate it my friend Tom Delany in particular, as well as accordion player Seán Vaughan. Micho Russell recorded a version of this tune also.
“Jack Rowe’s” is an old Clare reel that I associate with the playing of Peader O’Loughlin and Maeve Donnelly, it is the opening tune on their classic album “The Thing Itself”.
I learned “Jackie Coleman’s” from Dympna O’Sullivan’s album “Bean Chairdín”. It is a popular reel around Doolin and I associate it with flute player Stéphane Germain in particular.
I learned “Jenny Picking Cockles” from Terry Bingham, who recorded it with Dermot Byrne on his album “Traditional Irish Music from Doolin, Co. Clare”. I also associate this tune with my good friend Paolo Cerato.
“Jenny’s Wedding” is a common session tune that I learned from Noel O’Donoghue and Sean Vaughan through various sessions at O’Connor’s. I also associate this tune with Paddy Keenan, who recorded it on his album “Na Keen Affair”.
“Jim Coleman’s Reel” is not a tune I have heard very often. I learned it from James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien & Daithi Sproule on their album “Traditional Music of Ireland”. Seamus Tansey also recorded a nice version of this reel.
“John Dwyer’s” is a popular session tune composed by John Dwyer of the famously musical family of west Cork (John is a brother of Finbar, Richard and Micheal). I learned this tune from Christy Barry, Terry Bingham and James Devitt, and I now particularly enjoy playing this reel with Adrian
“John Kelly’s Concertina Reel” is great tune that I got from Denis Liddy at a session in McCarthy’s of Coore during the Willie Clancy Week back in 2014. I was familiar with this reel, associate with John Kelly Senior, through Tim Collins & Brian McNamara’s wonderful album “Reed Only”, and my good friend Tom Delany recorded it with concertina player Caroline Keane on their album “Never Say Good Bye, Say Good Luck” as well.
I learned “The Jolly Tinker” from Yvonne Casey and Terry Bingham at a session in McGann’s Pub. It is a great 5-part session tune and lately I’ve heard it a lot as part of a set that Kevin Griffin, Noel O’Donoghue and Sean Vaughan play together : Colonel Frazer, The Bucks of Oranmore & The Jolly Tinker.
“The Kerryman’s Daughter” is one of my favourite tunes. I associate this reel with Sean Vaughan (and learned it from a recording I made of a gig I played with Sean and Noel O’Donoghue). Anytime he plays this tune feels like it’s party time! Great tune, thanks Sean!
I learned “The Killarney Boys of Pleasure” a good few years back on the tin whistle from my good friend Johannes Perritaz, a great flute player from Switzerland. This reel is quite common in sessions around Clare.
“The Laccaroe” is a tune a learned from my friend JB Samzun, who plays fiddle. He got this lovely reel from the playing of Pat O’Connor and it is also know as “The Old Ashplant” or “Eonach Mhic Coilín”.
“The Limestone Rock” is a common session tune here in North Clare and the name is actually a reference to the Burren. This reel appears in O’Neill’s book as “Tit for Tat”. It is very often followed by “The Humours of Loughrea”, another great reel. I learned this set from Noel O’Donoghue.
“The Mother And Child” is a reel I learned from the playing of Micho Russell. The tune is also known as “The Yellow Cow”. John Williams recorded a nice version of this tune on his first solo album as well.