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Irish Traditional Music Tune Index
Tune ID#1275 (Merry Sisters)

Transcription of first 2 bars of Merry Sisters about these two bars
These two bars were transcribed by me from how this tune was played – the first time through – on the recording SE 5 (details in the Discography below).
Basic musical information on this tune.
Rhythm ?Bars8-bar phrase structureMode ?
Reel24ABCE Dorian
Titles ? given to this tune in the sources listed below (plus notes of mine about this tune):
Merry Sisters, The / Merry Sister's / The Merry Sisters of Fate (2nd in set The Merry Sisters on VCbl) (compare 1st 2 parts with Flowers of Redhill #649, with Twin Sisters #1984, and with Gan Ainm #3503; compare 2nd and 3rd parts with The Shepherd's Daughter #1763; compare 3rd part with 1st part of Traveller #3099)
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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.
Year
Recorded
Track
#Tune?
[Album code] Artist. Title (Link to Album Info page). Performers (instruments).
19387#3
[IFM] Past Masters of Irish Fiddle Music. Frank O'Higgins (fiddle).
~19737#5
[Ch 3] The Chieftains. 3. Michael Tubridy (flute, concertina, whistle), Seán Potts (whistle), Paddy Moloney (pipes, whistle), Martin Fay (fiddle), Seán Keane (fiddle), Peadar Mercier (bodhrán, bones). For this tune: 1st time Sean Keane (fiddle).
19744#3
[JD 3] John Doherty. The Celebrated Recordings. John Doherty (fiddle, vocals).
~19787#1
[SE 5] Seamus Ennis. The Fox Chase. Seamus Ennis (pipes). For this tune: (C# pipes).
~19821#2
[TP 4] Tommy Peoples. The Iron Man. Tommy Peoples (fiddle).
19994#1
[MOBAL] Michelle O'Brien, Aogán Lynch and Gavin Rolston [sic]. Michelle O'Brien, Aogán Lynch and Gavin Ralston. Michelle O'Brien (fiddle), Aogán Lynch (concertina), Gavin Ralston (guitar). For this tune: Michelle O'Brien (fiddle).
~20014#1
[Lu 3] Lúnasa. The Merry Sisters of Fate. Kevin Crawford (flute, whistle), Seán Smyth (fiddle, whistle), Cillian Vallely (pipes, whistle), Donogh Hennessy (guitar, whistle), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass).
~20051.27#2
[VCbl] Vincent Campbell. The Purple Heather. Vincent Campbell (fiddle).

Goes Well with . . .

In the above Discography, this tune is:

Played afterOn Albums
Dogs among the Bushes
IFM, JD 3
Fisherman's Island
TP 4
Shepherd's Daughter
VCbl
Played beforeOn Albums
Castle Kelly
SE 5
Paddy Ryan's Dream
MOBAL
Longacre
Lu 3

Bibliography

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 #1267 in [1850] Francis O'Neill and James O'Neill. O'Neill's Music of Ireland. [available]
As tune #535 in [1001] Francis O'Neill and James O'Neill. The Dance Music of Ireland. 1001 Gems. [available]
As tune #30 in volume 2 of [LPTW] Eithne Vallely. Learn to Play the Tin Whistle. [available]
On page 108 of [Krsn] Miles Krassen. O'Neill's Music of Ireland. New and Revised. [available]
In [FF] David Brody. The Fiddler's Fakebook. [available]
On page 46 of [TP] Tommy Peoples. Fifty Irish Fiddle Tunes. [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 the recordings and transcriptions listed above (note that I concentrate on sources after 1900): 1903