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Irish Traditional Music Tune Index
Tune ID#212 (Boys on the Hilltop)

Transcription of first 2 bars of Boys on the Hilltop about these two bars
These two bars were transcribed by me from how this tune was played – the first time through – on the recording BtB (details in the Discography below).
Basic musical information on this tune.
Rhythm ?Bars8-bar phrase structureMode ?
Reel16ABA Dorian
Titles ? given to this tune in the sources listed below (plus notes of mine about this tune):
Boys on the Hilltop, The / Boys on the Hilltop / Na Buachaillí ar Bharr an Chnoic / Na Buachaillí ar Mhullach an Chnoic / The Boy on the Hilltop / The Boy on the Hill Top / Boy on the Hill Top / Boy on the Hilltop / An Buachaill ar Mhullach an Chnoic / The Boy on the Mountain Top / The Hilltop / The Moving Bogs of Powellsborough (4th in set The Limestone Rock on Sld 1; 2nd in set The Millhouse on OCG; 1st in set People's 2 on MCny 2) (also doubled)
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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).
[BtB] Paddy Killoran, James Morrison. From Ballymote to Brooklyn. Paddy Killoran (fiddle), James Morrison (fiddle). For this tune: Paddy Killoran (fiddle), Paddy Sweeney (fiddle).
[IFM] Past Masters of Irish Fiddle Music. Paddy Killoran (fiddle), Paddy Sweeney (fiddle).
[Ev] Kevin Burke and Jackie Daly. Eavesdropper. Kevin Burke (fiddle), Jackie Daly (accordion, concertina).
[LinL] Charlie Lennon and Mick O'Connor. Lucky in Love. Charlie Lennon (fiddle), Mick O'Connor (flute).
[BlaMrl] P.J. agus Marcus Hernon. Béal a' Mhurlaigh. P.J. Hernon (accordion, melodeon), Marcus Hernon (flute). For this tune: (accordion), (Bb flute).
[JOBM 1] Jimmy O'Brien-Moran. Seán Reid's Favourite. Jimmy O'Brien-Moran (pipes). For this tune: (B pipes).
[Chlr 1] Chulrua. Barefoot on the Altar. Paddy O'Brien (accordion), Tim Britton (pipes, flute, whistle), Pat Egan (guitar, vocals).
[Sld 1] Slide. The Flying Pig. Aogán Lynch (concertina, whistle), Daire Bracken (fiddle, guitar, vocals), Mick Broderick (bouzouki), Éamonn de Barra (flute, piano, keyboards, whistle, vocals).
[HB 1] Harry Bradley. Bad Turns and Horse-Shoe Bends. Harry Bradley (flute). For this tune: (F flute).
[Beg 2] Beginish. Stormy Weather. Brendan Begley (accordion, vocals), Noel O'Grady (bouzouki), Paul McGrattan (flute, whistle), Gavin Ralston (guitar, keyboards), Paul O'Shaughnessy (fiddle).
[RogRd] Jason O'Rourke and Ruadhraí O'Kane. Roguery Road. Jason O'Rourke (concertina), Ruadhraí O'Kane (fiddle).
[MMrch 2] Marcas Ó Murchú. Turas Ceoil. Marcas Ó Murchú (flute, whistle). For this tune: (D flute), with Oisín (fiddle).
[TDeM] Tony DeMarco. The Sligo Indians. Tony DeMarco (fiddle). For this tune: with Kevin Burke (fiddle).
[RossBr] Ben Lennon and Tony O'Connell. Rossinver Braes. Ben Lennon (fiddle), Tony O'Connell (concertina).
[OCG] Cillian Vallely and Kevin Crawford. On Common Ground. Cillian Vallely (pipes, whistle), Kevin Crawford (flute, whistle, bodhrán).
[CGJS 1] Colm Gannon, Jesse Smith and John Blake. The Ewe with the Crooked Horn. Colm Gannon (accordion, melodeon), Jesse Smith (fiddle), John Blake (flute, guitar, piano).
[MCny 2] Michael Cooney. Just Piping. Michael Cooney (pipes).
[MORDOM] Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh and Danny O' Mahony. As It Happened. Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh (concertina), Danny O' Mahony (accordion).
[LoMulc 1] Louise Mulcahy. Tuning the Road. Louise Mulcahy (flute, pipes, whistle). For this tune: (C pipes).
[CplySt] Nathan Gourley and Joey Abarta. Copley Street. Nathan Gourley (fiddle), Joey Abarta (pipes). For this tune: (B pipes), (fiddle).

Goes Well with . . .

In the above Discography, this tune is:

Played afterOn Albums
Mullingar Races
BtB, IFM, TDeM, RossBr
Miss Dunbarr
Fred Finn's No. 2
Karen Tweed's
Mountain Top
Chlr 1
Moving Bog
Sld 1
Sligo Reel
HB 1
Mary McMahon
Beg 2
Boy in the Boat
MMrch 2
Winding Roads of Advance
MCny 2
Flower of the Flock
Peeler's Jacket
Johnny Henry's
Played beforeOn Albums
Miss McGuiness
Wexford Lasses
Sean Maguire's
Seán Reid's
Limestone Rock
Sld 1
Mill House
Johnny Going to Céilí
MCny 2
Last Night's Fun
Merry Harriers
LoMulc 1
Arkle Mountain


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 #25 in [WC] Pat Mitchell. The Dance Music of Willie Clancy. [available]
As tune #84 in [CRE 3] Breandán Breathnach. Ceol Rince na hÉireann 3. [available]
As reel #43 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 the recordings and transcriptions listed above (note that I concentrate on sources after 1900): 1931