The Eagle’s Whistle polka

Also known as The Eagle’s March, Fead An Fhiolair, Fead An Iolair.

There are 25 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Eagle's Whistle has been added to 124 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G/A/||BB d/B/A/G/|BB d/B/A/G/|BA AB/d/|BA AG/A/|
BB d/B/A/G/|BB d/B/A/d/|AG GB/d/|AG GB/d/|
gd e/d/B/d/|gd e/d/B/G/|BA AB/d/|BA AB/d/|
gd e/d/B/d/|gd e/d/B/d/|AG GB/d/|AG Gd/c/||
ABC
X: 2
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: ed |B2 dB AG | B2 dB AG | B2 AA Bd | B2 AA GA |
B2 dB AG | B2 dB Ad | A2 GG Bd | A2 GG Bd |
g2 ed Bd | g2 ed BG | B2 AA Bd | B2 A2 (3Bcd |
gd ed (3Bcd | g2 ed BD | A2 G2 Bd | AG G2 :|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:D|B2 B2 dBAG | B2 B2 dBAG | A2 A2 ABAG | A2 A2 ABAG |
B2 B2 dBAG | B2 B2 dBAB | G2 G2 GBAB |1 G2 G2 D2 D2 :|2G2 G2 GABd||
|: e2 e2 degd | e2 e2 dBAG | A2 A2 ABAG | A2 A2 AGBd |
e2 e2 degd | e2 e2 dBAB | G2 G2 GBAB |1 G2 G2 GABd :|2 G2 G2 D2 D2||
# Added by JACKB .
ABC

Fifteen comments

The eagle’s Whistle (march)

Source: Michael Tubridy
Transcription: g.m.p.

Tune requested by Kath

MARCH, not polka.

MARCH, not polka.

March

Gian Marco, this tune is usually played as a 3/4 March which I know sounds like a contradiction unless you have 3 legs. There are several settings around but most often it is in my experience, encountered as a 3/4 March. There is one old setting from pre-1885 that was in 2/4. I don’t know if that proves that this was the authentic Marching version. There are a few other examples of 3/4/or 6/8 marches.
The punchline is that as an O’Donovan I have to point out that this is the O’Donovan Clan March so I have to be excused if the tune gets me a little fired up in sessions.
Cheers
Donough

I have to support Odono on this one. This is a very special, very beautiful old march tune that dates back at least 300 years.

I have nothing against it being recycled as a Polka, but it’s worth learning as the grand old clan march.

Cathal McConnell

I was at workshops with Cathal McConnell of Boys of the Lough and he taught this tune. He played it in 3/4 then 4/4. He had the class playing first time round the first part in 3/4 then the repeat in 4/4 and same with the second part. A wee bit of a challenge for the rhythm players.

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March

I also know this tune learned from Peter Phelan, Dublin Piper
in his class many moons ago as a March and a quite lovely one at that.

“The Eagle’s Whistle”

Here’s a simple take on the tune in 3/4:

T: Eagle’s Whistle, The
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: march
K: Gmaj
|: ed |
B2 dB AG | B2 dB AG | B2 AA Bd | B2 AA GA |
B2 dB AG | B2 dB Ad | A2 GG Bd | A2 GG Bd |
g2 ed Bd | g2 ed BG | B2 AA Bd | B2 A2 (3Bcd |
gd ed (3Bcd | g2 ed BD | A2 G2 Bd | AG G2 :|

Eagle’s whistle:story?

Does any-one out there know if there is a particular story - folktale or legend - attached to this tune? Such an evocative title is worthy of one.

Not a Polka

This tune can be written in 3/4 or 9/8 not 2/4.

Posted by .

The Eagle’s Whistle

This tune CAN be written in 2/4 or 4/4 if you listen to the source recording (Michael Tubridy, The Eagle’s Whistle 1978). It may be more commonly heard as a 3/4 tune, but it exists in other forms as well.

Or 4/4

I’ve edited my original post to 4/4 as this sounds better.

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