The Silver Spear reel

Also known as An TSleá Airgid, Joe Mhaire Mhicilin, The Old Silver Spear, The Silver Tip, The Top Of The Cliff.

There are 153 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Sally Gardens (lots of times), The Merry Blacksmith (lots of times), The Bird In The Bush (lots of times), The Dublin (lots of times).

The Silver Spear has been added to 2,409 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Six settings

X: 1
T: The Silver Spear
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|:FA (3AAA BAFA|dfed BddA|FA (3AAA BAFA|dfed (3BdB AG|
|FA (3AAA BAFA|dfed Bdef|gage fgfe|1 dfed (3BdB AG:|2 dfed BdAd||
|:fa (3aaa bfaf|gfed Bdde|fa (3aaa bfaf|gfed (3BdB A2|
|fa (3aaa bfaf|gfed Bdef|~g3 e ~f3 e|1 dfed BdAd:|2 dfed B2 AG||
# Added .
ABC
X: 2
T: The Silver Spear
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
eAAG A2(3B=cd|eaaf gedg|ea~a2 ba~a2|ded=c BG(3B=cd|
eAAG A2(3B=cd|eaaf gedg|e~a3 g3z|1ded=c BG(3B=cd:|2ded=c BGG2||
a2fa ba~a2|abag fddf|a2fa bafe|dfed BA~A2|
a2fa ba~a2|abag fdef|g3e f3z|efed BAA2:|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Silver Spear
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
CE E2 FECE | cABA FAED | CE E2 FECE | cABA F2 ED |
CE E2 FECE | cABA FABc | dFBd cEAc | BAFE FA A2 :|
ce e2 df f2 | ecAc BcAB | ce e2 df f2 | ecAc B2 AB |
ce e2 df f2 | ecAc BEAc | dFBd cEAc | BAFE FA A2 :|
# Added by Kenny .
ABC
X: 4
T: The Silver Spear
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
FA ~A2 BAFA | dfed BcdA | FA ~A2 BAFA | dfed ~B3 A |
FA ~A2 BAFA | dfed Bdef | ~g3 e ~f3 e |[1 dfed ~B2 A2 :|[2 dfed Bcde ||
|: f2 af bfaf | gfed Bcde | f2 af bfaf | gfed ~B2 A2 |
f2 af bfaf | gfed Bdef | ~g3 e ~f3 e |[1 dfed ~B2 A2 :|[2 dfed ~B2 |]
ABC
X: 5
T: The Silver Spear
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:"D"FA {BcB}A2 {A}BAFA|{A}BAFA ecdA|FA {BcB}A2 {A}BAFA|"G"{c}dfed BcdA|
"D"FA {BcB}A2 {A}BAFA|{A}BAFA d2 ef|"G"{f}g2 fe f2 fe|dfed {A}B2 A[Gd]:||
|:"D"fa (3agf afff|"G"{f}gefd edcd|"D"fa (3agf a2 fa|"G"gfed (3BdB AG|
"D"fa a{bagf}g a2 fa|"G"gfed Bdef|{f}g2 fe f2 fe|dfed {A}B2 A[Gd]:||
ABC
X: 6
T: The Silver Spear
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
EG G2 AGEG | cedc ABcG | EG G2 AGEG | cedc A3 G |
EG G2 AGEG | cedc Acde | f3 d e3 d |[1 cedc A2 G2 :|[2 cedc ABcd ||
|: e2 ge aege | fedc ABcd | e2 ge aege | fedc A2 G2 |
e2 ge aege | fedc Acde | f3 d e3 d |[1 cedc A2 G2 :|[2 cedc A2 |]
# Added by JACKB .
ABC

Thirty comments

The Silver Spear

I learned this version directly from Kevin Burke years ago in Portland. When I quizzed him on the bowing, he played it once using an up-bow to slur three notes and then a down-bow on the accents. Then he changed where the accents fell but kept the three up, one down. Then he played each note in a separate bow stroke, and then slurred long phrases (whole bars) on one bow. He did all this with a casual efficiency while recovering on the sofa from a late gig the night before, and the tune sounded terrific—smooth but with that clear Burke danceable beat throughout—regardless of how he bowed it. The lesson was clear—don’t rely on any one bowing pattern. Experiment. Do whatever you need to do to get the rhythm where you want it. And learn to do it with and without slurs. It helps to do this on a fairly simple, reptitive tune such as Silver Spear—I’ve probably played this reel more than any other in my repertoire, and I still enjoy it.

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Related jigs and reels

You know, The Sliver Spear has always struck me as being like a reel version of The Connaughtman’s Rambles (or vise-versa). Try playing the tunes one after the other and you’ll see what I mean - each reel phrase has a corresponding, similar jig phrase.

I’ve come across this kind of relationship before, the most obvious example being The Swallowtail jig and The Swallow’s Tail reel.

Related tunes

There is a tune called ‘The New Mown Meadow’ which, in Scotland, is often played on Bagpipes as a set with ‘The Silver Spear’, collectively known as ‘The Silver Spear Reels’. It is a great tune and does bear some resemblance to ‘The Silver Spear’. I’ll submit it sometime soon, if somebody else doesn’t first.

Looking for Chords

Anyone know where I can find the backing guitar chords for The Silver Spear?

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Re: Looking for Chords

In your head. Listen and you should find that they’re there already.

Re: Looking for Chords

Play along with a recording of it and experiment with the chords that would usually fit
in with the key of D ( D, Em, F#m, G, A, Bm, C#m ,D)

Focus on the rhythm maybe around the D Chord, changing a note or two that would imply
chord changes rather than a complete chord change.

Experimanet with a bass line in the tune (using the notes of the key)
Eg going from G to D use base notes G-> F# ->E ->D on 6th string (drop D tuning)

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Re: Looking for Chords

Thanks lads!
Ye see, Normally I can figure anything out fairly quickly…but I don’t play DADGAD or Drop D, and I’m not sure how to go about it…so I reckoned if I got the chords from somewhere, once I learned them, I was on the path to learning…..desparate I know…

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Re: Looking for Chords

You don’t have to play DADGAD - stick to standard if you want. A lot of people do. Unless you want the DAGDAD sound of course…

Re: Looking for Chords

There’s lots of imaginative "voicings" for chords in standard tuning too.
Playing chords in the "right key" is a great start. It’s amazing how many would be backers even fail to manage that. :-)

The Old Silver Spear

Taken from a Desi Wilkinson album. I tried to post this as a seperate tune, which, in my opinion, it is, but without success. Anyways, I now post it here as a variation, albeit an extreme one.

eAAG A2(3B=cd|eaaf gedg|ea~a2 ba~a2|ded=c BG(3B=cd|
eAAG A2(3B=cd|eaaf gedg|e~a3 g3z|1ded=c BG(3B=cd:|2ded=c BGG2||
a2fa ba~a2|abag fddf|a2fa bafe|dfed BA~A2|
a2fa ba~a2|abag fdef|g3e f3z|efed BAA2:|

= New Mown Meadows

This is already here under it’s more common title of "The New Mown Meadows". I agree it is a separate tune, and that’s why I posted it.

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“Silver Spear” - in “A”

Was listening to this on the "Grianan" recording tonight. Their version is in "A".
Try this :

CE E2 FECE | cABA FAED | CE E2 FECE | cABA F2 ED |
CE E2 FECE | cABA FABc | dFBd cEAc | BAFE FA A2 :|
ce e2 df f2 | ecAc BcAB | ce e2 df f2 | ecAc B2 AB |
ce e2 df f2 | ecAc BEAc | dFBd cEAc | BAFE FA A2 :|

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Just wondering..

Is it true that you should only play the 2nd half of this tune once? Somebody told me it’s just one of those weird things that you only play it once before going back and doing the first part twice.

Not in any session I’ve been to.

Triplets?

I’m new here, so maybe this is just a convention I don’t know about, but the notes shown as triplets in the music (and played as triplets in the MIDI file) aren’t really supposed to be triplets, are they? It seems like two sixteenths and an eighth would make more sense.

Re: Triplets

The midi triplets don’t work, plain and simple - you should definitely avoid using the midi player. Go and get yourself some Tommy Peoples (the iTunes music store and eMusic both have High Part of the Road). Then you can hear what those triplets are supposed to sound like. Basically it’s three notes played in the space of two eighth notes - which makes those three notes not quite sixteenth notes, but since it’s a bow ornament, you really have to hear it and practice it over and over, and maybe be shown it, and then relearn it since you were doing it wrong before, until you come up with some weird but cool invention of your own like Tommy Peoples….

Re: Triplets

Interesting, thanks. I guess it’s mostly a difference of definition. What I’m used to calling a triplet is exactly what the MIDI player plays — a quarter interval evenly divided into three.

Re: Triplets

It’s often called a bow triplet, which is probably a better name since it’s its own animal. If you’re interested in learning more about them, you could go to discussions and search for bow triplets - they’ve been the topic of many threads here.

Need help in reel ID

This was one of the first reels I learned and I just can’t get tired of playing it.

In case anybody is still reading this thread, does anyone know what is the name of the reel that is played after silver spear in the album "Piper’s Dance" from Ballycastle? It’s track number 7 and they call it only the Silver Spear but I really enjoy the reel that is played together with it.

Thanks!

Silver Spear in A

I first heard this tune in A on Dean Warner’s CD ‘Northern Box’ . I played it in a session and it really caught everybody out!

The silver spear

Am I alone in seeing some kind of (remote) resemblamce between the Silver Spear and the 3rd and 4th parts of the (London)Derry Hornpipe?

Cape Breton Reel Set

Hi everyone,

I have the Silver Spear in my repertoire and love the tune. I recently was listening to a set of reels played by Kinnon Beaton, a Cape Breton fiddler, and he put the Silver Spear with a few other tunes. I am learning the CB style and would like to figure out the names of the tunes he uses, but can’t recognize them.

http://capebretonlive.com/shows/show47.htm

This is a link to the show in which he plays them. If anyone recognizes the tunes, I’d be grateful to know their names.

Thanks a bunch!

Slainte,
Daniel

The reel after the Silver Spear is an Irish reel called Jackie Coleman’s: http://www.thesession.org/tunes/50

Sorry, the reels after that sound familiar, but I’m not sure about their titles. Hope others will help you on them.

Speaking of Dean Warner, I recently got his PA album. He’s from Leeds, West Yorkshire, where I stayed a year as a student. For some reason, this tune was played in A major quite often there, and I was always embarrassed to hear it in the key as a mediocre flute player.

Anyway, I’ve just found the clip of Dean Warner play this reel in Amajor: http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_199_3_echoes_of_erin_dean_warner

Woe to the snobs who slag off PA players and think the Silver Spear isn’t complicated enough to play in sessions.

Well spotted!

<<The Sliver Spear has always struck me as being like a reel version of The Connaughtman’s Rambles (or vise-versa). >>
Is this why I like it so much? The similarity was there all the time and I never noticed it!
<<I’ve probably played this reel more than any other in my repertoire, and I still enjoy it>> Yep! Just like the Connaughtman’s rambles! Happy days!

These three reels are structurally very close (they even share whole bars and beats):
The Green Mountain http://www.thesession.org/tunes/166
The Maid Behind the Bar http://www.thesession.org/tunes/64
The Tinker’s Daughter http://www.thesession.org/tunes/353
They are all very popular, often played and, I assume, rarely confused with one another: I wonder how many musicians have realised how similar they are ‘on paper’?
See also: The Silver Spear http://www.thesession.org/tunes/182

“Silver Spear” - “Music from Ireland Volume 1”

Dave Bulmer & Neil Sharpley, 1974
ISBN: 0-9503784-02
Page 1, tune #2

X: 4
T: Silver Spear, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: DMaj
AG |:\
FA ~A2 BAFA | dfed BcdA | FA ~A2 BAFA | dfed ~B3 A |
FA ~A2 BAFA | dfed Bdef | ~g3 e ~f3 e |[1 dfed ~B2 A2 :|[2 dfed Bcde ||
|: f2 af bfaf | gfed Bcde | f2 af bfaf | gfed ~B2 A2 |
f2 af bfaf | gfed Bdef | ~g3 e ~f3 e |[1 dfed ~B2 A2 :|[2 dfed ~B2 |]

The Silver Spear

I like this tune alot. Goes well on the bagpipes.

Key?

Is this tune really in Dmaj? It seems like Amix for at least setting X1,2,3

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