Category Archives: BRIMS Intermediate Fiddle

Home Ruler

A classic hornpipe for our last class of this 12 week session. Hopefully we’ll follow this up in the future with Kitty’s Wedding, which I’m still working on! Definitely one of my favorite hornpipe sets. Alex’s version is a little different from the way I learned it, but it is good for me to get “variations” into my little brain, so that I don’t have to play something the same way every time through it.

Home Ruler  Listen   View Notation  Key of D

And come on out to the BRIMS’ recital at 2pm on Sunday (April 17th) at the Haven. See what we’ve been up to for the past 3 months!

Paddy Fahy’s Sligo Maid

I’ve fallen behind a couple of weeks in Alex’s class, so here is the “catch-up” post. However, I will say it was well worth the wait as these are two tunes worth knowing. I think Sue was the force behind learning Paddy Fahy’s, and no, we don’t know which Paddy Fahy’s it is. Part of the allure. However, after looking it up on, it listed several other titles for it, one of which gave me quite a good chuckle this morning.

“Also known as And Never Was Piping So Gay, Blacksmith’s Anvil, The Blacksmith’s Anvil, Ed Reavy’s, Fahey´s Tractor, Never Was Piping So Gay, Paddy Fahey’s, Paddy Fahey’s No. 14, Paddy Fahy’s Favourite Orgy Scene, Reavy’s, Shaney Mulhearn’s, Shaney Mulhern’s.”

When we were learning Sligo Maid, I was sitting there thinking that I just recently played it with someone, but I couldn’t place it. Sophie was kind enough to remind me that we played it for our teacher set on Friday. Yes, Alzheimer’s is rapidly setting in. Further confirmation of that was that I couldn’t recall the names of the tunes the next day and had to email for help. The brain is an amazing place and getting less amazing all the time. Enjoy the tunes!

Paddy Fahy’s  Listen   View Notation   Key of G
Sligo Maid   Listen   View Notation   Key of Am

Drops of Brandy

Sorry for the delay posting this one. I’ve been wrestling with taxes for the past couple of days, but now, posting the tune name, it seems like a good time to “practice” it. Though maybe that would be more appropriate if it were called “Glasses of Brandy”. I first heard this tune last summer in Ireland, but it’s become quite popular around here recently. Maybe I just didn’t recognize it before. Yes, another slip jig… good practice for my guitar students as some slip jigs are a little funky when it comes to rhythm.

Listen to Drops of Brandy (slip jig).
Listen to Drops of Brandy (bowing on a-part).
Listen to Drops of Brandy (bowing on b-part).

Sailor’s Bonnet

Sadly I couldn’t stay for class tonight. It’s been one of those weeks. But I did drop by to record this week’s tune, The Sailor’s Bonnet. Alex mentioned it was part of a classic set, which of course, piqued my curiousity, so off to Google I went. As is often the case, I became distracted by other themes and came across this wonderful resource on the Comhaltis site. Many tunes, ordered by some common sets. Sweet!

Comhaltis Tune Links (set 1)
Comhaltis Tune Links (set 2)

But I digress. Below is the tune for the week – enjoy!

Listen to Sailor’s Bonnet (reel).
Listen to Sailor’s Bonnet (played slower).

P.S. Maybe the set was The Tarbolton / The Longford Collector / The Sailor’s Bonnet. Will have to ask Alex!

Tommy Mulhair’s Jig

Today’s tune brought back memories from Ireland as we learned Mulhair’s from Breda and Claire Keville. Since I knew the tune on mandolin already, it was interesting to be able to think more about the ornamentation and bowing for a change in class. My old brain seems to only be able to handle one dimension of a tune at a time (maybe two on a good day after coffee). I can either focus on the notes, the bowing, or the ornamentation, but not all three. Still, last night the jig rhythm seemed to be emanating from my bow for a change. And memories of Ireland always bring a smile to my face.

Also found out while looking for the notation that this tune also goes by the name of Castletown Connors.

Listen to Mulhair’s Jig.
Listen to Mulhair’s Jig (played slower).

Maid Behind the Bar

Last night, Alex started teaching us the Maid set, starting with Maid Behind the Bar. So glad we’re working on these tunes as they should be part of everyone’s repertoire. I started trying to learn this one a few weeks ago, so it’s good to have the extra push in class. The b part is definitely a challenge and I have to say that it’s even tougher (at first) with the bowing, but I can sense that it will make it much easier in the long run. Really appreciated Alex letting us record the bowing (and I can’t imagine being able to play a tune and speak the bowing). Thanks Alex!

Listen to Maid Behind the Bar (reel).
Listen to Maid Behind the Bar (played slower).
Listen to Maid Behind the Bar (bowing on b-part).

Killarney Boys of Pleasure

A new semester of BRIMS classes is upon us. For the time being, I’m going to try to hang with the Intermediate fiddle folks as my guitar class is at 7pm. This week we learned “The Killarney Boys of Pleasure” which Alex referenced from a Lunasa CD, though played in a different key from what we learned in class. You can hear the Lunasa version here.

Here’s the sheet music (from that key, I believe). Move it all over one string lower for the key we learned in class.

Listen to Killarney Boys of Pleasure (reel).
Listen to Killarney Boys of Pleasure (played slower).