The Blackbird hornpipe

Also known as The Black Bird, Jackie Daly’s.

There are 165 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Blackbird has been added to 77 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Blackbird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:AB|c3B AGAd|edeB G2 E2|G2ge dBAB|G2E2 E2:|
|:(3BcB|efga b2ag|agab (3gag e2|efga b2ag|(3fgf e2 e2ga|
babg a^gae|d^cdB gabz|(3BcB AG AcBA|G2E2 E2:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Blackbird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
AB|cBcB AGAe|edec G2 (3DEF|G2ge dBAB|G2E2 E2:|
|:zB|efga b2ag|agab g2ed|efga b2ag|f2e2 efga|
b2bg a2ae|d^cdB gab2|B2AG AcBA|G2E2 E2:|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Blackbird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:AB|c3B AGAd|edeB G2 EF|G2ge dBAB|G2E2 E2 AB|
c3B AGAd|edeB G2 EF|G2ge dBAB|G2E2 E2:||
|:B2|efga b2ag|agab g2 e2|efga b2ag|f2 e2 efga|
babg a^gae|d^cde gabz|B2 AG AcBA|G2E2 E2:|
# Added by JACKB .
ABC

Nine comments

Source: Kevin Burke : "In Concert"
Transcription : g.m.p.
Notes: Play it slow and enjoy it!


The Norbeck version:
T:Blackbird, The
R:hornpipe
Z:id:hn-hornpipe-50
M:C|
K:Ador
AB|cBcB AGAe|edec G2 (3DEF|G2ge dBAB|G2E2 E2:|
|:zB|efga b2ag|agab g2ed|efga b2ag|f2e2 efga|
b2bg a2ae|d^cdB gab2|B2AG AcBA|G2E2 E2:|

I love this tune.

BTW, this is NOT, in case you’re here looking for the traditional set dance for an Irish stepdancer, the correct version of Blackbird for that dance.

Great tune, you can also play the ‘d’ notes in the first line sharp. I also first this tune played by Kevin Burke, but on his album with Jackie Daly, ‘Eavesdropper.’

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Arty McGlynn does a very striking version of this on his first recording "McGlynn’s Fancy", which we recently found on CD. I think this might be 1980 or thereabouts and he learnt it off Jackie Daly. Lovely stuff.

This tune is notated in O’Neill’s "Irish Minstrels and Musicians;" according to whom it was taken from an earlier source, Paul Alday’s "A Pocket Volume of Airs, Duets, Songs, Marches, etc., vol. 1," published in Dublin sometime around 1800-1803. The setting differs just slightly from the way Jackie Daly and Kevin Burke play it.

O’Neill’s book is out of copyright and one can download it from Google books!

This tune is totally different from "The Blackbird" http://www.thesession.org/tunes/1104 and not so often heard or recorded. I suspect most of the artists listed in the detail section here recorded the commoner ‘/1104 ’ hornpipe/set dance tune.

The Structure

The Blackbird had 7 1/2 measures in the first part & 15 in the second. An interesting recording of this is by John Kimmel where he makes the first part have 8 measures by holding the last note of the 1/2 measure

There’s a version I like by Sheffield band, Rumours of Whiskey, which goes into Toss the Feathers.