The Old Wheels Of The World reel

Also known as The Mountain Lark, Rolling Down The Hill, The Wheels Of The World.

There are 105 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Rakish Paddy (lots of times), Ask My Father (a few times), Bill Harte’s (a few times), The Crooked Road To Dublin (a few times).

The Old Wheels Of The World has been added to 66 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

X: 1
T: The Old Wheels Of The World
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
g2 gf|| eABA eABA| GFEF ~G3 E|A3 B cBcd|efge dg (3.f.g.f|
eABA eABA| GFEF ~G3 E|(3.A.c.A AB cBcd| efge dcBc||
dg ~g2 dg ~g2| ea ~a2 ea ~a2| efge defg| af (3.g.f.e .d.cBc|
dg ~g2 dgfg| ea ~a2 ea ~a2| efge defg | afge dg (3.f.g.f||
ABC
X: 2
T: The Old Wheels Of The World
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
g2 gf||: eAAA eAcA | GE (3EEE ~G3E | A2AB cBcd | ef (3.g.f.e dg(3.f.g.f |
eAAA eAcA | GE (3EEE ~G3E | A2AB cBcd | egge d2 Bc :|
dggg dggg | eaaa eaag | efge defg | af (3.g.f.e .d.cBc|
dggg dgfg | eaaa eaag | efge defg | af (3.g.f.e dg (3.f.g.f :|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Old Wheels Of The World
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
eAcA eAcA|~G3F EFGB|A3B cBcd|eaag egdg:|
|:eaag eaaf|efgf efge|afge dA (3Bcd|eaag egdg:|
|:eaag egdg|eaag eaaf|efgf efge|afge dA (3Bcd:|
efgf efgf|eaa^g eaag|efge efgf|afge d2d2|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Old Wheels Of The World
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
eA~A2 EABA|~G2GA GED2|EGAB cBcd|efge d2^cd:|
eg~g2 eg~g2|ea~a2 ea~a2|eg~g2 eg~g2|aege d2Bd|
eg~g2 eg~g2|ea~a2 eaag|e2ed ^cdeg|aege d2Bd||
ABC

Five comments

Source: the dance music of Willy Clancy

Planxty After the Break version

I first heard this tune on the bonus track Lord MacDonlad/The Chattering Magpie set on Planxty’s ‘After the Break’ album. The tune was somehow omitted from the liner notes. Anyway, here is the way Liam O’Flynn plays it on this track (well, pretty close too):

X: 1
T: The Old Wheels of the World (Rolling Down the Hill)
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Dmix
g2 gf||: eAAA eAcA | GE (3EEE ~G3E | A2AB cBcd | ef (3.g.f.e dg(3.f.g.f |
eAAA eAcA | GE (3EEE ~G3E | A2AB cBcd | egge d2 Bc :|
dggg dggg | eaaa eaag | efge defg | af (3.g.f.e .d.cBc|
dggg dgfg | eaaa eaag | efge defg | af (3.g.f.e dg (3.f.g.f :|

Single reel setting on “Undertones”?

I think the tune entitled "The Sporting Paddy" that appears on Adrian Barker and Ben Stephenson’s "Undertones" is a version of this tune as a single reel, and not the Hunters Purse as stated in the liner notes of the CD. Their version was learnt from a recording of Sally Sloane (1894-1982) from Parkes, NSW, playing fiddle.

X: 1
T: Rolling Down The Hill
T: The Old Wheels Of The World
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
D: Adrian Barker & Ben Stephenson - "Undertones"
K: Ador
eAcA eAcA|~G3F EFGB|A3B cBcd|eaag egdg:|
|:eaag eaaf|efgf efge|afge dA (3Bcd|eaag egdg:|

The B-part seems a little different at first glance, but look again. If you take off the last bar and shift it to the beginning of the B-part you get this:

|:eaag egdg|eaag eaaf|efgf efge|afge dA (3Bcd:|

…which isn’t that far removed from O’Neill’s setting of Rolling Down The Hill which is as follows:

efgf efgf|eaa^g eaag|efge efgf|afge d2d2|…etc.

I don’t know how closely the lads stuck to their source setting (I would guess they followed it as closely as they felt comfortable with playing in their own style) but I’m wondering whether this was a mishearing on the part of Sally Sloane, or a deliberate changing of the tune to suit her taste, or whether she got the tune from some written source.