The Cliffs Of Moher jig

Also known as Cliffs Of Moher, Cliffs Of Mohr.

There are 81 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Paddy Fahey’s (a few times).

The Cliffs Of Moher has been added to 136 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: The Cliffs Of Moher
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
Bee dee|Bee dBA|F2D A,DD|FED FGA|
Bee dee|Bee dBA|F2D A,DD|FED E3:|
|:~B3 BAF|BAF AFE|F2D A,DD|FED FGA|
~B3 BAF|BdB AFE|F2D A,DD|FED E3:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Cliffs Of Moher
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
~A3 GED|A2A GED|ECC GCC|EDC EFG|
~A3 GED|A2A GED|ECC GCC|EDC ~D3:|
|:Add d2c|Add cAG|EEC GCC|EDC EFG|
Add Ddd-|d2d cAG|EEC GCC|EDC ~D3:|
eaa a2g|eaa ged|BGG DGG|BGB dBd|
eaa a2g|eaa ged|BGG DGG|BAA ABd:|
|:ege dBA|ege d2c|BGG DGG|BGB dBd|
ege dBA|ege d2c|BGG DGG|1 BAA ABd:|2 BAA A3||
with variations on bar 1: |a3 a2g|; bars 3/7: |B/c/BG DGG|; bars 10/13: |f/g/ge d2c|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Cliffs Of Moher
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
a^ga ba=g|eaf ged|c2A BAG|EFG ABd|eaa bag|eaf ged|c2A BAG|EFGA3:|
efe dBA|efe dBA|GAB dBA|GAB dBd|1efe dBA|efe dBA|GAB dBG|EFGA3:|2
efe dee|cee Bee|EFG BAG|EDB, A,3|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Cliffs Of Moher
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:A|Bee e2d|Bde dBA|FDD ADD|FDF AFA|
Bee e2d|Bde dBA|FDD ADD|FED E2:|
A|~B3 AFA|BdB AFE|FDD ADD|FDF AFA|
~B3 AFA|BdB AFE|FDD A,DD|FED E2A|
~B3 AFA|BdB AFE|FDD ADD|FDF AFA|
~B3 AFA|dcB AFE|FDD A,DD|FED E2||
ABC

Eleven comments

I’ve posted this separately from the common setting because it really constitutes a different tune in that you could play it at a session and it’s possible that it won’t be recognised as "The Cliffs Of Moher" - well, not immediately anyway. I’ve come across a few different "sub-" settings of this version. The first time I came across it was through the playing of a friend in Sydney. This setting was in Dmix, and I was told it was an "older setting of the Cliffs Of Moher" learnt from Martin Hayes’ "Under The Moon". I think it had been changed a lot in the process of learning (Martin Hayes’ version is in Ador) so it’s unlikely you’ll ever hear the following Dmix version in a session, but it’s a nice tune anyway:-

K:Dmix
~A3 GED|A2A GED|ECC GCC|EDC EFG|
~A3 GED|A2A GED|ECC GCC|EDC ~D3:|
|:Add d2c|Add cAG|EEC GCC|EDC EFG|
Add Ddd-|d2d cAG|EEC GCC|EDC ~D3:|

Apparently this came from Martin Hayes’ version which basically goes like this:

K:Ador

eaa a2g|eaa ged|BGG DGG|BGB dBd|
eaa a2g|eaa ged|BGG DGG|BAA ABd:|
|:ege dBA|ege d2c|BGG DGG|BGB dBd|
ege dBA|ege d2c|BGG DGG|1 BAA ABd:|2 BAA A3||

…with variations on bar 1: |a3 a2g|; bars 3/7: |B/c/BG DGG|; bars 10/13: |f/g/ge d2c| etc.

Well, I thought "what a nice tune", and looked everywhere on the net for a transcription of "The Cliffs Of Moher" that was anything like this, but couldn’t find anything, even when I did general searches using ABC excerpts. Then one day I found a similar tune in Edor on Norbeck’s index by complete coincidence while browsing, and realised it was probably the same tune but with the 1st and 2nd parts switched round (#196). That is the version transcribed here. So I wrote to Henrik Norbeck and asked him about it. I originally got an e-mail reply saying "thanks but the one Martin Hayes’ plays is quite different". He must have had second thoughts because the tune is now listed as "The Cliffs Of Moher". (So I’m hoping it’s not a totally different tune!). His original listing I think included info about the source of his setting. That info has now disappeared and it just says "also played in Ador". I think he’d got it from a session in Clare somewhere, and given that Martin Hayes plays this version it made me wonder whether it’s a Clare setting. Any info on this would be appreciated.

Ps

Since there are no C’s of any type in this setting, it is possible to back it either in Edor with some A major chords, or Emin with some C major/A minor chords, or both.

Cliffs of Moher

There seem to be many variants on this tune but the one below would be my favourite and I think probably also the most widely known (although this is only based on my own experience!).

a^ga ba=g|eaf ged|c2A BAG|EFG ABd|eaa bag|eaf ged|c2A BAG|EFGA3:|
efe dBA|efe dBA|GAB dBA|GAB dBd|1efe dBA|efe dBA|GAB dBG|EFGA3:|2
efe dee|cee Bee|EFG BAG|EDB, A,3|

Just another setting

I can’t agree that this setting is sufficiently different to constitute a different tune. It’s patently just another setting of the Ador tune.

It’s obviously a different setting of the same tune because it has the same name, but my point was that despite this they’re no less different to each other than (say) "The Hunter’s Purse" and "The Star Of Munster". I was hoping for some rather more constructive comments.

Is a book still a book if it has a page torn out? If so, how many pages need to be torn out before it can no longer qualify as a book?

Bannerman, the setting that you have posted here is already in The Session as a separate tune.

It is a bit like "how long is a piece of string" isn’t it? But even if you tore out all the pages of a book you’d recognise it as "a book with all the pages torn out" would you not? I’ve posted this separately because, like I said before, I’ve heard it played at sessions and people rarely recognise it as "The Cliffs Of Moher" unless they’re told. Henrick Norbeck did not recognise it immediately and it was listed as "no name" for months. Milesnagopaleen, if you feel like e-mailing Henrick Norbeck and telling him he’s stoopid for not recognising it because it’s "patently just another setting", then be my guest. If it was me writing to him though, I would fully expect to receive a curt reply reminding me that he knows more tunes than I could ever hope to learn in 5 lifetimes.

“The Cliffs of Moher” ~ more transcripts

Key signature: A Dorian
+ two other transcriptions in ‘Comments’, including G Dorian
Submitted on May 18th 2001 by Jeremy.
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/12

Cliffs of Moher: Edor version from London

K: Edor
|:A|Bee e2d|Bde dBA|FDD ADD|FDF AFA|
Bee e2d|Bde dBA|FDD ADD|FED E2:|
A|~B3 AFA|BdB AFE|FDD ADD|FDF AFA|
~B3 AFA|BdB AFE|FDD A,DD|FED E2A|
~B3 AFA|BdB AFE|FDD ADD|FDF AFA|
~B3 AFA|dcB AFE|FDD A,DD|FED E2||

This is based on John Blake and Lamond Gillespie’s duet playing. John Carty and Marcus Hernon are cited as the source.

“Reelin’ in Tradition” by The Mulcahy Family

This tune is the second jig on track 15 of "Reelin’ in Tradition" by The Mulcahy Family
http://thesession.org/recordings/3406
given in the track listing as "Humours Of Rahey".

Martin Rochford’s Cliffs of Mohir

Safe to say, especially after talking to Pat O’Connor (and listening to his version on "Conversation at the Crosses") that this version of "the Cliffs" comes from, the great, Martin Rochford.