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Irish Traditional Music Tune Index
Tune ID#1855 (Swallow's Tail)

Transcription of first 2 bars of Swallow's Tail about these two bars
These two bars were transcribed by me from how this tune was played – the first time through – on the recording MC (details in the Discography below).
Basic musical information on this tune.
Rhythm ?Bars8-bar phrase structureMode ?
Reel32AABBA Dorian
Titles ? given to this tune in the sources listed below (plus notes of mine about this tune):
Swallow's Tail, The / The Swallow's Tail Reel / Swallow's Tail Reel / Swallows Tail / Swallowtail Reel / Swallow Tail / Eireaball na Fáinleoige / Drioball na Fáinleoige / Ruball na Fáinleoige / The Swallowtail Coat / The Old Swallow Reel / The Steeple Chase / The Steeplechase / Take Your Hand Away / The Queen's Wedding / Bainis na Banríona / The Family Estate / The Girl with the Handsome Face / Joshua Grey / McKenna's / McKenna's Reel / Miss Wright's / Miss Wright's Reel / Mollie's Bonnet / Molloy's Nightcap / Molloy's Night Cap / The Pride of the Ball / The Village Reel / The Sligo Maid / The Pigeon on the Gate / Joshua Gray / The Girl with the Handsome Face (1st in set Irish Reels on OTUS1; 1st in set Flanagans at Dinty Moore's on OTUS2; for dance The Sixteen Hand Reel in book MM) (also in E Dorian, D Dorian, A Mixolydian, or B Minor; also singled; also as hornpipe The Pigeon's Tail in book R) (compare Swallow's Tail #6989 and Old Swallow's Tail #1265)
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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).
~19042.14#1
~191911#2
[PT] Patsy Touhey. The Piping of Patsy Touhey. Patsy Touhey (pipes).
192020#1
19267#1
19276#1
19271.24#2
[MC] Michael Coleman. Michael Coleman 1891-1945. Michael Coleman (fiddle).
192714#2
[MC 2] Michael Coleman. The Enduring Magic. Michael Coleman (fiddle).
19297#2
[IDM 1] Irish Dance Music. "K. Scanlon".
192910#2
~19496#1
[ICTM] Ireland. Irlande. Mickey Doherty (fiddle).
195214#2
[KF] Padraig O'Keefe, Denis Murphy, Julia Clifford. Kerry Fiddles. Padraig O'Keefe (fiddle), Denis Murphy (fiddle), Julia Clifford (fiddle). For this tune: O'Keeffe, Murphy, Clifford.
195225#2
[RshMtn] The Rushy Mountain. Pádraig O'Keeffe (fiddle), Denis Murphy (fiddle), Julia Clifford (fiddle).
~19568#2
[Rnys] The Raineys. The Raineys. Paddy Rainey (fiddle), Stephen Rainey (fiddle), Bridie 'Biddy' Rainey (vocals). For this tune: Paddy Rainey (fiddle).
~19602.2#2
[JV] John Vesey. Sligo Fiddler. John Vesey (fiddle).
~19773#1
[DODnl] Danny O'Donnell. Ón tSean-Am Anall. Danny O'Donnell (fiddle).
198715#1
[WmSullvn] William Sullivan. Traditional Irish Music. William Sullivan (accordion).
~199514#1
[WatReeds] Tommy Keane, Jacqueline McCarthy, with Alec Finn. The Wind among the Reeds. Tommy Keane (pipes, whistle), Jacqueline McCarthy (concertina). For this tune: Jacqueline (concertina).
~19964#1
[PCln] Pat Cloonan. Pat Cloonan's Thanksgiving. Patrick Cloonan (accordion). For this tune: with Martin Hayes (fiddle).
~199812#2
[BG 5] Bobby Gardiner. The Clare Shout. Bobby Gardiner (melodeon, lilting). For this tune: (D melodeon).
~19981#1
[JCnly 2] Johnny Connolly. Drioball na Fáinleoige. Johnny Connolly (melodeon, accordion, vocals). For this tune: (melodeon).
~19991#2
[JOH 1] John O'Halloran. "But Why, Johnny?". John O'Halloran (accordion). For this tune: (D melodeon), with Martin Murray (viola).
~20026#2
[RBPOL 2] Ronan Browne and Peter O'Loughlin. Touch Me If You Dare. Ronan Browne (pipes, flute), Peter O'Loughlin (fiddle, flute). For this tune: (pipes), (fiddle).
~20084#2
[TndUp] Brendan Mulholland, Brendan Hendry, Paul McSherry. Tuned Up. Brendan Mulholland (flute), Brendan Hendry (fiddle), Paul McSherry (guitar). For this tune: Brendan H (fiddle).
201111#1
[KRyan] Karen Ryan. The Coast Road. Karen Ryan (fiddle, banjo, whistle). For this tune: (whistle).
201615#3
[NaMny] Na Mooneys. Na Mooneys. Ciarán Ó Maonaigh (fiddle), Anna Ní Mhaonaigh (whistle, vocals), Gearóid Ó Maonaigh (guitar), Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (fiddle, vocals). For this tune: Francie Mooney (fiddle), Ciarán (fiddle), Mairéad (fiddle), Anna (whistle), Gearóid (guitar).

Goes Well with . . .

In the above Discography, this tune is:

Played afterOn Albums
Green Fields of America
MC, MC 2
Bonnie Kate
IDM 1, MG
Old Maids of Galway
KF, RshMtn
Poll Ha'penny
PT
Templehouse
Rnys
Earl's Chair
JV
Miss McLeod
BG 5
Blackberry Blossom
JOH 1
Maid in the Cherry Tree
RBPOL 2
Shovel Tongue
TndUp
Neilie Boyle's Highland
NaMny
Played beforeOn Albums
Miss McLeod
KF, RshMtn, PCln
Green Fields of America
IDM 1, MG
Maid behind the Bar
OTUS1
Mason's Apron
OTUS2
Sally Gardens
Rnys
Drowsy Maggie
ICTM
Copperplate
WatReeds
Gladstone
TndUp
Sunny Banks
KRyan

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 #1268 in [1850] Francis O'Neill and James O'Neill. O'Neill's Music of Ireland. [available]
As tune #536 in [1001] Francis O'Neill and James O'Neill. The Dance Music of Ireland. 1001 Gems. [available]
As tune #174 in volume 3 of [R] Francis Roche. The Roche Collection of Traditional Irish Music. 3 vols. [available]
As tune #196 in [CRE 3] Breandán Breathnach. Ceol Rince na hÉireann 3. [available]
As tune #45 in [A] Hugh McDermott. Allan's "Irish Fiddler." [available]
On page 108 of [Krsn] Miles Krassen. O'Neill's Music of Ireland. New and Revised. [available]
On page 270 of [FF] David Brody. The Fiddler's Fakebook. [available]
As misc #38 in [MM] Martin Mulvihill. First Collection of Traditional Irish Music.
As tune #11 in [DM 2] Dave Mallinson. 100 Enduring Irish Session Tunes. [available]
On page 60 of [M] Phil Rubenzer. Midwestern Irish Session Tunes. 3rd Edition.
On page 325 of [CITM] Fintan Vallely. The Companion to Irish Traditional Music. [available]
On page 104 of [M2] Phil Rubenzer. Midwestern Irish Session Tunes. Millennium Edition.
As reel #325 in [Cobb] Dan Cobb. Cobb's Music of Ireland. [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