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Gatherer's Musical Museum
 Gatherer's Musical Museum
 Ryan's Mammoth Collection
Miscellaneous Tunes
References Contributors
Ceol Rince na hEireann
Dance Music of Ireland (1907)
O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903)
Music From Ireland, 4 vols (1974)
The Northern Fiddler
Kerr's Merry Melodies
Ryan's Mammoth Collection
Nigel Gatherer
Caoimhín Mac Aoidh
Paul de Grae
Philippe Varlet
Breandan Breathnach
Hal Hughes
Don Meade


Title Ryan Coles Notes
Aldridge's 120 86 DM: Irish-born Robert Aldridge was a famed hornpipe dancer of the late 18th century who performed on stage in Dublin, London and Edinburgh. See article by Andrew Kuntz in Fiddler magazine.
American Rifle Team 137 102 DM: The victories of the American rifle team against an Irish team in 1874 and '75, and over competition from Ireland, Scotland, Australia and Canada in 1876 inspired the composition of several songs and instrumental pieces.
Ariel 124 90 DM: AKA Ball and Pin (Ryan p133)
Babbit's 151 113 NG: Smith's Hornpipe.
HH: Also in Ryan/Cole as Myopia.
Balkan 91 HH: Jerry Hayes (a reel)
Ball and Pin 133 98 DM: AKA Ariel (Ryan p133).
Bees' Wings 126 91 DM: Composition of Tyneside fiddler James Hill, named for a champion thoroughbred.
Belle of Claremont 142 106 DM: O'Neill's Belles of Clonallan.
Best Shot 147 109 DM: A G-major setting of Fly-by-Night (Ryan p160).
Buckley's 136 100 DM: Fred Buckley, to whom this tune is attributed in Ryan's, was a fiddler in Buckley's minstrels, sometimes called "Master Ole Bull" (after the Norwegian violin virtuoso). He was born in England 1833, died in Boston 1864. Buckley's Minstrels (or "Congo Melodists"), who began playing in 1843, pioneered blackface minstrelsy in Boston.
Buena Vista 148 111 DM: Probably so named to commemorate the battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican War.
Byrne's Favorite 145 108 DM: O'Neill's Alexander's.
Cincinnati 121 87 DM: AKA Harvest Home or Cork Hornpipe.
City of Savannah 142 106 DM: The "City of Savannah" was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.
College 120 86 DM: O'Neill's Jack's the Lad, from the song of that name. First published, according to Lisa Ornstein, in Thompson's Complete Collection of 120 Favourite Hornpipes as Perform'd at the Public Assemblies (London, c1775), where it appears as The Colledge (vol 1, #18).
Cuckoo 143 106 DM: Similar to O'Neill's Cuckoo's Nest (first setting).
Czar of Russia's Favorite 151 114 DM: Ryan's has this in F. It is is D in Kerr's I as West's Hornpipe, perhaps after a dancing partner of Johnnie Queen (see notes for Johnnie Queen's, Ryan p159).
Democratic 125 91 NG: Galway Bay Hornpipe
DM: O'Neill's Galway Bay.
Democratic Rage 136 100 DM: O'Neill's One of the Boys.
Dick Sand's 136 100 DM: George R. "Dick" Sands was a famed minstrel clogger born in England in the 1840s. He died in New York City in 1900.
Douglas' Favorite 137 102 DM: O'Neill's Mountains of Kerry.
Dundee 146 110 DM: O'Neill's Kildare Fancy.
Durang's 128 94 DM: Named for a famed early 19th-century American stage dancer John Durang.
Duxbury 146 110 NG: Dundee Hornpipe etc
Elks' Festival 138 102 DM: These two parts are frequently found as the last parts of The Derry Hornpipe.
Ferry Bridge 130 95 DM: The version now most often heard was recorded by the melodeon-playing Wyper Brothers of Scotland in the early 20th century and is now called simply Wypers.
Florida Crackers 148 111 DM: "Cracker" (short for "whip cracker") is now mostly heard as an anti-white pejorative, but it once had a more benign connotation as a nickname for Florida or Georgia natives (see Georgia Crackers, Ryan p140).
Fred Wilson's 135 100 DM: Wilson was a Boston clog dancer and blackface minstrel born 1827. The tune is an F-major version of O'Neill's Higgins' (for Conn Higgins). AKA The Cliff (Kerr's I) or Ruby and closely related to The Harvest Home (see Cincinnati, (Ryan p121).
Georgia Crackers 140 104 DM: "Cracker" (short for "whip cracker") is now mostly heard as an anti-white pejorative, but it once had a more benign connotation as a nickname for Florida or Georgia natives (see Florida Crackers, Ryan p148).
Great Western 155 117 NG: Millicent's Fav; The Belfast HP.
HH: Aka The Sweep's.
Highland 123 90 NG: High Level Hornpipe by James Hill
DM: AKA Velocipede (p147). The tune is actually The High Level, attributed to Northumbrian fiddler James Hill.
Hull's Victory 140 103 DM: Isaac Hull commanded the Constitution in the famous 1812 sea victory over the H.M.S. Guerriere.
Irish 139 103 DM: O'Neill's O'Connor's Favorite.
Jim Clark's 126 91 DM: O'Neill's Clark's
Jock Tamson's 144 108 DM: After a character in Scottish dialect songs. "We're all Jock Tamson's weans" - Robert Burns.
Juniata 139 103 DM: AKA Pushee's (Ryan p122) and O'Neill's Handy Man. Juniata County is in Pennsylvania.
London 122 88 NG: This is The Navvie or The Navvie On the Line by James Hill.
Mazeppa 141 105 A Byron poem and a Tchaikovsky opera are based on the tale of Mazeppa, a handsome young Cossack nobleman who was double-crossed by the elderly fiancé of his beloved, tied to a wild horse and driven into the steppes (he survives to fight in the Napoleonic wars). Andrew Ducrow's adaptation, which debuted in England in 1831, was wildly popular in the U.S. in the 1860s because the scantily clad actress Adah Isaacs Menken played Mazeppa, a switch on the usual 19th-century theater practice of young men playing "wench" roles. The popularity of touring "Mazeppa" companies probably inspired the naming of Mazeppa, Minnesota and Mazeppa, Alberta.
Miss Barker's 134 99 NG: The Rocket (Jerry Holland's coll)
Miss Johnson's 104 HH: Whiskey You're the Devil (OMI). Also in Ryan/Cole as Silver Cluster reel.
DM: O'Neill's Off to California, not his reel by this name.
Morning Fair 121 87 DM: AKA Texarkana (Ryan p132). O'Neill's Tomorrow Morning.
Morpeth's 145 108 NG: AKA The Morpeth Rant
Mountain Ranger 138 102 DM: AKA Rose-Bud reel (p33). O'Neill's Mountain Top. Related to Dundee/Duxbury/Kildare Fancy family of tunes.
Myopia 145 108 NG: Smith's HP
HH: Also in Ryan/Cole as Myopia.
Ned Kendall's 121 87 DM: Keyed bugle virtuoso (1808-1861) who performed in a famed head-to-head competition with cornetist P.S. Gilmore. See Fiddler magazine article by Andrew Kuntz.
New Brig of Glasgow 165 125 NG: Miss Gibson's (K3)
New Century 123 90 DM: Not the tune in O'Neill's by this name.
Norfolk 118 86 DM: AKA Shaw's Reel (Ryan p78). O'Neill's Men of Ulster. See also Whiddon's (Ryan p119).
Norton's Favourite 106 HH: Remembrance of Dublin (OMI). Also in Ryan/Cole as The Spring Garden.
DM: AKA Remembrance of Dublin (Ryan p156). Jimmy "the Boss Jig Player" Norton was a Boston fiddler who grew up in the Norton "juvenile minstrels" troupe.
Obelisk 151 114 DM: O'Neill's Bashful Bachelor.
Olive-Branch 152 114 DM: O'Neill's Reconciliation.
Oriental 128 94 DM: O'Neill's Boys from the East.
Parasott 146 110 DM: C version of a tune known as Madame Parisott's, which may be a corruption of Parazotti, to whom The Banks has been attributed.
Prince Regent's 153 115 DM: After George IV of England, who ruled as regent from 1811-1820 due to the insanity of his father George III.
Princess 131 95 DM: AKA Tammany Ring clog (Ryan p157). The Wonder (probably composed by James Hill) in Kerr's I. O'Neill's Coey's and (in G) Southern Shore.
Pushee's 122 88 DM: AKA Juniata (Ryan p139). Abram Pushee (1791-1868) was a fiddler, dancing master and bandleader who lived most of his life in Lebanon, NH.
Queen of the West 138 101 DM: Recorded by influential Armagh fiddler Brendan McGlinchey as The Tosspot.
Quindaro 139 104 DM: Named for a Kansas town founded by abolitionists in 1856 and subsequently abandoned.
Rickett's 124 111 DM: Named for circus performer John Bill Ricketts, a late 18th-century Scots immigrant to Philadelphia whose big trick was to dance a hornpipe on the back of a galloping horse. The tune itself was originally called Aldridge's after Irish-born dancer Robert Aldridge. See note for Aldridge's (Ryan p170) and articles on Aldridge and Ricketts by Andrew Kuntz in Fiddler magazine. In Kerr's I and Allan's Irish Fiddler as The Manchester Hornpipe. O'Neill has it as Sailor's Hornpipe (second setting).
Salem 120 86 DM: O'Neill's Gilmore's. Attributed by Ryan's to Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (born Dublin 1829, died St Louis, Missouri 1892). Gilmore served with British army in Canada then moved to Salem, Mass., where he became known as a minstrel performer and cornet virtuoso. He was later a celebrated brass band leader in New York City.
Sally Growler 151 114 DM: A "Sally Growler" is a sea raven (AKA puff belly, sea robin, mother-in-law fish), but the names of both this extremely ugly cold water fish and the tune probably derive from another now-obscure source.
Sans Souci 134 95 DM: The first of several hornpipes in Ryan's attributed to G.L. Tracy. George Lowell Tracy (1855-1921) was a composer of light opera according to musicologist Charles Wolfe. Sans Souci ("carefree" in French) was the name of the Prussian emperor Frederick II's mid-18th century palace in Potsdam.
Saratoga 137 102 DM: Named for the upstate New York resort best known for its summer horse racing. A G-major version was adapted to the button accordion by Joe Burke, who recorded it as The Smell of the Bog.
Sebastopol 120 86 DM: The Russian port became famous during an 1854 Crimean War siege.
Shunster's 136 100 NG: Sunshine Hornpipe (DMI)
DM: AKA St Elmo (Ryan p132).
Silver Star 136 100 DM: O'Neill's Twilight Star.
Souvenir de Venice 147 109 DM: Attributed by Ryan's to Louis Ostinelli (see Ostinelli's, Ryan p67), this is a variation on The Banks, a hornpipe credited to the now obscure Scottish violinist Parizotti.
St Elmo 132 98 NG: Sunshine Hornpipe (DMI)
DM: Shunster's (Ryan p136). O'Neill's Sunshine. St Elmo is the patron saint of sailors, but the tune may be named for St Elmo, Colorado, a mining boom town that sprang up in 1879, or Augusta Evans Wilson's wildly popular 1867 novel St Elmo, for which the town was named.
Steamboat 148 110 DM: O'Neill's Tim, the Turncoat, the first part of which is pretty much the same as his Goodnatured Man.
NG: I believe this is one of James Hill's compositions.
Texarkana 132 98 DM: AKA Morning Fair (Ryan p121). O'Neill's Tomorrow Morning.
Velocipede 147 110 DM: "Velocipede" is an old name for a bicycle. This is The High Level. See notes for Highland (Ryan p123).
Vendome 148 112 NG: AKA The Independent
DM: Named for a French town, or perhaps the Place Vendôme in Paris, site of a column honoring Napoleon demolished during the Paris Commune in 1871 and rebuilt in 1874. The tune is The Independent in the Darley and McCall collection published in Dublin in the early 20th century.
Vinton's 124 90 DM: O'Neill's O'Fenlon's.
Wade Hampton's 138 101 DM: Named for the South Carolina Confederate general and later U.S. senator. Attributed to Frank Livingston, whose name is attached to a number of tunes in Ryan's with Southern-themed titles. The tune was recorded in the 1950s by button accordion great Paddy O'Brien.
Whiddon's 119 85 DM: Probably from W.H. Whiddon, credited by Ryan's on The Norfolk Hornpipe (p118), the first part of which resembles the second part of Whiddon's. This part is a floater that also turns up in O'Neill's Wily Old Bachelor (as pointed out by Lisa Ornstein.)

4/4 Jigs

Title Ryan Coles Notes
Bird on the Wing 117 83 DM: First part resembles the fifth part of Kitty O'Neil's Champion (Ryan p112).
Black Sheep 112 80 DM: Attributed by Ryan's to fiddler Dick Myers (born Baltimore 1809, died Philadelphia 1874), who performed in the 1840s with the Virginia Serenaders. His blackface stage name was "Ole Bull", after the famous touring Norwegian violin virtuoso.
Bob Chadduck's 113 80 DM: AKA King-Pin (Ryan p117)
Dar's Sugar in De Gourd 118 84 DM: Ryan's attributes this to James Buckley of the Boston-based minstrel family. Born in 1803 in Manchester, England, he authored a banjo tutor in 1860 and died in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1872. See notes on Buckley's (Ryan p136).
H -' on the Wabash 114 81 DM: In 1883 you couldn't print "Hell" (though "Nigger" was allowable). This tune is attributed to Dan Emmett, the minstrel fiddler and banjo player who also took credit for the song Dixie.
Harry Bloodgood's Famous 118 84 DM: Bloodgood, who led his own minstrel troupe, was the composer of Poor Old Rufe (or Rube), a popular blacface song printed in Minstrel Songs Old and New (Boston, 1883).
Jersey Lightning 113 80 DM: In Prohibition days, and probably much earlier, Garden State "moonshine" was known as "Jersey Lightning." Frank Quinn recorded an unrelated song by this name.
King-Pin 117 83 DM: AKA Bob Chadduck's (Ryan p113)
Kitty O'Neil's Champion 112 80 DM: This tune is a "sand jig," i.e., a shuffle dance performed on a sand-strewn stage or, in more recent times, a sandbox placed on the stage. The name honors the most famous female "jig" dancer on the American variety stage in the 1870s and '80s. A version of the first two parts was printed as Kitty O'Neil c. 1867 in Howe's 1000 from the playing of Boston fiddler Jimmy "the Boss Jig Player" Norton. The fifth of seven parts resembles the first part of Bird on the Wing (Ryan p117), while the second part is much like that of Phil Isaac's (Ryan p112). Revived (as Kitty O'Shea) by Tommy Peoples in the 1970s and since recorded by Kevin Burke, among others.
Kitty Sharpe's Champion 117 83 DM: Named for a variety stage dancer of who performed in the Bowery beer hall theaters of New York in the 1880s. This tune would seem to have been composed by the same hand that authored Kitty O'Neill's Champion. O'Neill printed the first two parts as Everybody's Fancy. Kerr's II reprinted it from Ryan's.
Nigger in De Woodpile 114 82 DM: Another tune attributed to Dan Emmett in Hans Nathan's biography of the minstrel.
NG: In Cole's this is simply called The Wood Pile.
Oakland Garden 115 82 DM: Oakland Garden was a Boston theater. Ryan's attributes this tune to Edwin Christie, a singer and banjo player born in Philadelphia in 1815 and the founder of the original Christie's Minstrels. Christie popularized (and took credit for) some of Stephen Foster's songs. He committed suicide in New York in 1862.
Phil Isaac's 112 80 DM: Isaac was a fiddler born in London in 1831. In 1857 he became a founding member of Bryant's Minstrels. He died in San Francisco in 1865. The second part of this tune is quite similar to the second part of Kitty O'Neil's Champion.
Root, Hog, or Die 118 84 DM: A minstrel song/dance tune attributed to Dan Emmett.
Tidal Wave 112 80 DM: Attributed by Ryan's to Eddie Fox, a minstrel fiddler of the 1870s and '80s who also composed the songs Carry the News to Mary and Goodbye Liza Jane.
Tom Briggs 113 80 DM: Briggs was a prominent minstrel-era banjo player who in 1855 published a banjo tutor. He is also credited with inventing the banjo "thimble" (used for rapid tremolo picking) in 1848.


Title Ryan Coles Notes
Bernardo's Favorite 158 119 DM: O'Neill's Humors of Castle Bernard.
City Life 155 117 DM: AKA Showman's Fancy (Roche collection, Allan's Irish Fiddler)
Dickie Rodger's Pedestal 159 121 DM: Dickie is obscure, but clogging on a pedestal was a popular variety specialty.
Fagan and Fenton's 160 121 DM: Barney Fagan (born in Boston, 1850) and John Fenton had a dance double act in the mid 1870s. The tune is credited to J. Braham, most likely John Braham, a violinist who led the orchestra at the Howard Athenaeum in Boston and who composed numerous popular songs and dance tunes in the 1870s and '80s. His father Joseph led Tony Pastor's orchestra while his uncle David Braham was Ned Harrigan's father-in-law, musical director and songwriting collaborator.
Flee as a Bird 154 116 DM: From Psalms 11:1 ("Flee as a Bird to your mountain, thou who art weary of sin...").
Gray's Opera House 159 117 DM: O'Neill's Sweeps, Millicen's Favorite or Royal Belfast in Kerr's I.
Great Western 155 121 DM: The most prominent "Gray's Opera House" was a Houston, Texas theater saved from fire in 1875. Oscar Wilde lectured there in 1882.
Johnnie Queen's 159 120 DM: Johnnie Queen was one of the best-known American clog dancers of the late 19th century. "...Queen electrified the English music halls when he went abroad for a tour in the eighties. They found his triples, rolls, and nerve steps uncanny, refused to believe he accomplished them unaided by tricks, and caused him no end of embarrassment by demanding to see his shoes. Queen stopped that by making his entrance in his slippers and passing around his shoes for the audience to examine, as proof that he used no clappers or other Yankee gadgets." - Douglas Gilbert, American Vaudeville: Its Life and Times, Whittlesey House (McGraw-Hill), New York 1940.
Lee's Double Clog 160 121 DM: Same as The Irish-American reel (Ryan p25)
Minnie Foster's 156 118 DM: Named for a variety show actress who was a celebrated blackface "Topsy" in performances of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Recorded by Seán McGuire as The Black Swan.
Minstrel's Fancy 157 119 DM: O'Neill's McElligott's Fancy. Recorded by flute player John McKenna as The Buck from the Mountain.
Remembrance of Dublin 156 118 DM: AKA Norton's Favorite Hornpipe (Ryan p143)
Statue 155 117 DM: The "statue clog" was a variety show specialty of the 1870s and '80s in which the performer posed as a statue come to life on a pedestal.
Tammany Ring 157 119 DM: See notes for The Princess (Ryan p131). This title is a reference to the corrupt associates of New York's "Boss" Tweed, leader of the Tammany Hall Democratic Party machine in New York in the 1870s.
Bill Black: I know that tune (in the key of G) as The Southern Shore. It has other names as well, none of which can I recall. The Dubliners recorded it years ago as did Boston's (now Chicago's) fine fiddler Brendan Bulger.
Michael Hogan: This is The Wonder Hornpipe...
Andrew Pickering: ...composed by James Hill. The title presumably refers to a racehorse.
PdG: Patty Furlong recorded it on her self-titled CD as Coey's Hornpipe.
Jeff Lindqvist: It's recorded in G (G sharp) on the De Dannan's Hibernian Rhapsody (in the set George Ross' Hornpipes).


Title Ryan Coles Notes
Bonnie Lassie 168 -- DM: Usually known as Miss Lyall (as in Kerr's I). O'Neill's reel setting is Paddy Ryan's Dream.
Braes of Bushbie, The 167 128 DM: The orignal of Dowd's Favorite, a reel recorded by Michael Coleman.
NG: Published in Scottish fiddler John Bowie's 1789 collection, and was said to have been a favourite of Niel Gow. There is a village outside Glasgow called Busbie or Busby.
Here Awa' ("Fling") 170 -- DM: Frank Roche's Favourite (Roche collection), Lady Ann Hope (Kerr's I).
I'll Cloot My Johnny's
Gery Breeks
167 127 DM: Strathspey version of The Rose Tree in Full Bearing, AKA Port Lairge, etc. "Gery" is probably a misprint for "Grey."
Loch Eroch Side 167 128 DM: The original of the polka The Lakes of Sligo.
Miss Drummond of Perth 164 125 DM: AKA Titanic in Donegal, Devil in the Kitchen in Cape Breton.
Neal Gow's Wife 165 126 DM: O'Neill's The Watchmaker.
NG: Properly Niel Gow's Wife [K2v1p13], composed by Duncan McIntyre. This tune, along with Jenny's Bawbee [K2v1p4] and Loudon's Bonnie Woods [K2v1p19], is played as The Shamrock and Thistle Highlands by Donegal fiddler Danny O'Donnell. It's also played as a reel in Ireland under the name The Watchmaker.
Roy's Wife 162 123 DM: "as played by Niel Gow" First part is that of Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch (Ryan p173) in another key.
Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch
173 -- DM: See notes for Roy's Wife (Ryan p162).

 Nigel Gatherer, Crieff, Perthshire |