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The Irish Traditional Music Tune Index

Tune ID#1187 (Maid of Ardagh)

Transcription of first 2 bars of Maid of Ardagh about these two bars
These two bars were transcribed by me from how this tune was played – the first time through – on the recording JOL 1 (details in the Discography below).
Basic musical information on this tune.
Rhythm ?Bars8-bar phrase structureMode ?
Polka32AABBD Major
Titles ? given to this tune in the sources listed below (plus notes of mine about this tune):
Maid of Ardagh / The Maids of Ardagh / Gearrchailí Ardach / Toormore No. 2 / Babes in the Wood / Na Leanaí sa Choill / The Back of the Haggard / Johnny O'Leary's / O'Keefe's / Jim Hayden's (2nd in set Johnny Leary's Polkas on DD 2; 2nd in set The Tourmore Polkas on JOL 1 and RshMtn; 2nd in set The Tuar Mór Polkas in book JOL; 1st in track 6 The Toormore Polkas and 1st in track 14 Toormore Polkas on CBnds; 3rd in set Niely Cleere's on Scglen 2; 1st in set The Annabla Polkas 2 & 1 on JCnly 2; for 4th figure of The West Kerry Set on JRSLCB 2; 1st in set Ballydesmond Polka on ESL 1; 4th in set Polkas on NCrg 1) (the BHghs 3 source uses the 2nd part of Lakes of Sligo #1081 instead)
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Discography cd

Here are all recordings of this tune considering only the indexed recordings. I have discovered by careful listening that these sources are in fact musically the same tune, regardless of the tune titles they use, key changes, retuning, etc.

Click play below to hear the first 12 seconds.
[Album code] Artist. Title (Link to Album Info page). Performers (instruments).
[DD 2] De Danann. Selected Jigs Reels and Songs. Frankie Gavin (fiddle, flute, whistle), Charlie Piggot (banjo, melodeon, mandolin, whistle, bouzouki), Johnny Moynihan (vocals, bouzouki, mandolin, whistle, harmonica), Alec Finn (bouzouki), Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh (bodhrán, bones).
[JOL 1] Johnny O'Leary. Music for the Set. Traditional Irish Music from Sliabh Luachra. Johnny O'Leary (accordion).
[RshMtn] The Rushy Mountain. Johnny O'Leary (accordion).
[Scglen 2] Scartaglen. The Middle Path. Connie Dover (keyboard, vocals), Frank Martin (flute, whistle, bones), Kirk Lynch (pipes, bouzouki, guitar, whistle, mandolin), Roger Landes (cittern, mandolin, guitar, bodhrán), Matt Kirby (hammered dulcimer, bodhrán), Mike Dugger (guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals).
[TrsCl] Turas Cheoil. A Musical Odyssey: A compilation of music from the traditional musicians of Toronto. Kieran Wade (banjo), Jonathan Lynn (hammered dulcimer), Jim McGee (fiddle), Henry Geraghty (whistle).
[CBnds] The County Bounds. Dónal O'Connor (fiddle), Maurice O'Keeffe (fiddle), Johnny O'Leary (accordion).
[CBnds] The County Bounds. Johnny O'Leary (accordion), Con Ó Drisceoil (accordion).
[ESL 1] An Evening in Sliabh Luachra. Volume One. A Collection of Traditional Music and Song from the Sliabh Luachra Area. Jimmy Doyle (accordion), Johnny O'Leary (accordion), Tim Keily (guitar).
[FFH] Far From Home. Tri. Turner Collins (accordion, whistle, vocals), Bob Newton (octave mandolin, mandocello, bodhrán, vocals), Daithi Wolfe (fiddle).
[JCnly 2] Johnny Connolly. Drioball na Fáinleoige. Johnny Connolly (melodeon, accordion, vocals). For this tune: (melodeon).
[JRSLCB 2] Johnny Reidy and the Sliabh Luachra Ceili Band. Music for Set Dancing Vol. II. Johnny Reidy (accordion).
[NCrg 1] North Cregg. . . . And They Danced All Night. Christy Leahy (accordion), Caoimhin Vallely (fiddle, keyboards), Ciarán Coughlan (piano, keyboards), John Neville (vocals, guitar), Martin Leahy (snare drum, percussion).
[PHCB] Public House Ceili Band. Go Figure. Dan Cobb (banjo), Dave Delgado (whistle), Alan Ng (fiddle), Bob Newton (octave mandolin).
[MJCgn] Mary and Jim Coogan. Passing Time. Jim Coogan (accordion), Mary Coogan (banjo, mandolin, guitar).
[MOhEn] Micheál Ó hEidhin [with] Steve Cooney and Charlie Lennon. Ceol Sidhe. Shee Music. Micheál Ó hEidhin (concertina), Steve Cooney (guitar), Charlie Lennon (fiddle).
[BHghs 3] Brian Hughes. The Beat of the Breath. Brian Hughes (whistle).

Goes Well with . . .

In the above Discography, this tune is:

Played afterOn Albums
Toormore #1
DD 2, JOL 1, RshMtn, MOhEn
As I Went Out upon the Ice
Scglen 2
Ger the Rigger
Terry 'Cuz' Teahan's Polka
Patrick O'Connor's
NCrg 1
Seán McGovern's Polka
Played beforeOn Albums
Toormore #1
CBnds, CBnds, ESL 1, JCnly 2, BHghs 3
John Ryan's Polka


Here are all transcriptions of this tune considering only the indexed books, listed in chronological order. I have discovered by careful comparison that these are musical matches to this tune as played on the recordings listed above.

Listing of published transcriptions of this tune.
As tune #73 in volume 4 of [B&S] D[avid] Bulmer and N[eil] Sharpley. Music from Ireland. 4 vols.
As tune #91 in [SIMB] Tony Sullivan. Sully's Irish Music Book. [available]
As tune #88 in [JOL] Terry Moylan. Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra. Dance Music from the Cork-Kerry Border. [available]
On page 66 of [F] S. C. Hamilton. The Irish Flute Player's Handbook.
On page 50 of [L] Alan's private loose music.
As tune #52 in [IBPS] Pat Conway. Ireland's Best Polkas and Slides. [available]
On page 231 of [M2] Phil Rubenzer. Midwestern Irish Session Tunes. Millennium Edition.
As polka #21 in [Cobb] Dan Cobb. Cobb's Music of Ireland. [available]
As other #24 in [Ng] Alan Ng. Alan Ng's Transcriptions. [available]

If you are considering using the above transcriptions to help you learn this tune, I invite you to check these practical Tips for Learning Irish Traditional Music. See also: So why do you bother indexing books and abc?

Year of the oldest source for this tune, considering only the recordings and transcriptions listed above (note that I concentrate on sources after 1900): 1974