Boys of Bluehill | Tunes From Doolin | Irish Traditional Music

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Boys of Bluehill (The)

“The Boys of Bluehill” is one of the most common tune in Irish Music. Some would say it is only a beginner tune, but I think it is a beautiful hornpipe. This is the version we play around Doolin, I think I got it from Terry Bingham. I like playing this tune with flute player Adrian McMahon, he usually plays it after “The Good Natured Man“.

T:Boys of Bluehill, The
|:BAFA D2FA|BA (3Bcd e2de|faaf egfe|dfed B2dB|
BAFA D2FA|BABd e2de|faaf egfe|1 d2dc d2dB:|2 d2dc d2fg||
|:afdf a2af|g2ga b2ag|faaf egfe|dfed B2dB|
BAFA D2FA|BA (3Bcd e2de|faaf egfe|1 d2dc d2fg:|2 d2dc d2dB||

7 thoughts on “Boys of Bluehill (The)”

  1. Delightful tune! I’m a new concertina player, and I find your site invaluable. Do you have any other beginner tunes to recommend?

    1. Hi Amy! Thank you so much for your comment and sorry for the delay in my reply! Are you looking for a beginner tune recommendation to go along with “The Boys of Bluehill” or just tunes in general? Feel free to drop me an email in case 🙂

  2. S fantastic service. Iwas unware of it until lately. Contact and solutions from very experienced musicians and interested people. Is there a place where tonic solfa notes can be sourced as i am more familiar with it for mouthorgan , whistle etc. Iam slow at translating from one to the other. Thanks

  3. Thanks for the kind words Eamon! I’m not familiar with tonic solfa notes (it’s different than just staff notation right?), so I’m afraid I can’t really help on this one. This being said, learning by ear is still the best option 🙂

  4. Hello Charles. I am just learning to play, using a Wren concertina and online lessons with Jack Talty. The G scale was quite simple, and I was able to get the jig rhythm fairly quickly, having played whistle for some time now. I know that many hornpipes are played in D, and I am currently working on the D major scale. This is a hornpipe that I would like to learn, but I am being challenged by two things. One, playing the B(left side), C#(right side), D(left side) notes without running out of bellows (these are all on the push, and I haven’t learned how to incorporate the air button into the mix). Two, is there one recommended way to play repeated notes on one button? For example, playing E D D on the C row right side requires two pulls or two pushes and releases of the button. Which or those two is correct, or does the articulation depend on the sound you want to get?

    1. Hi Robert! Thank you for your message and apologies for the delay in my reply!
      Great to hear you’ve decided to play the concertina, I wish you lots of fun on your concertina journey, and you’re off to a great start with the help of Jack Talty, no better man!

      Your questions are difficult to answer in a comment, but I no what you mean. First of all, I would say that you shouldn’t play all the Bs and high Ds on the left side. In fact, in the key of D I play most of them on my right hand. However for the triplet B-C#-D’ I always do it all on the push (left-right-left), is that what you mean? I think this tune is a good one to practice the key of D and you should be able to work out the air flow without too much difficulty if you use the B and D’ on your right hand some/most of the time.

      Secondly, and you answered it yourself, the articulation has a big role in the sound you want to get. In this example, deciding which double Ds you want to use also has an impact on your air flow by the way, as it could be a good spot to use your air button.

      I hope this answered your questions, as I said hard to answer in a comment. Feel free to drop me an email if you want to discuss this a bit further, I’m available for online lessons or I’m happy to give video tips to my Patreon subscribers if that’s of any interest.

      Thanks again for the comment and all the best with the concertina 🙂
      Kind regards,

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