The Silver Spire reel

Also known as Bennett’s Favorite, The Great Eastern, John Brennan’s, O’Byrne’s Fancy.

There are 97 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Silver Spire has been added to 543 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Five settings

X: 1
T: The Silver Spire
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FE|D2FE DFAc|dcdf edAF|GABG FGAF|GFED CEA,C|
D2FE DFAc|d2df edAF|G2BG F2AF|EA,CE D2:|
|:CB,|A,B,CD EFGE|GFEF GABc|dcBA Bcde|f2gf e2 (3ABc|
d2fd c2ec|dcdA BAFD|G2BG F2AF|EA,CE D2:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Silver Spire
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
FE|:D2 FE DFAc|dcde fdAF|GABG FADF|GFED CEA,C|
|D2 FE DFAc|dcde fdAF|GABG FADF|1 EA,CE D2 (3A,B,C:|2 EA,CE D2 CB,||
|:A,B,CD EFGF|~E3F GABc|dcdB ABde|fdgf eA (3BBc|
|defd ceAc|dcdB AFDF|GABG FADF|1EA,CE D2 CB,:|2EA,CE D2 (3A,B,C||
# Added .
ABC
X: 3
T: The Silver Spire
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:D2~D2 FA~A2|dcde fdAF|G2BG FADF|~E3F E2FE|
D2~D2 FA~A2|dcde fdAF|GABG FADF|~E3F D3z:|
|:AD~D2 EFGE|FDEF GABc|dcBA Bcde|fdgf e3A|
defd ceAc|dcdB AFDF|GABG FADF|~E3F D3z:|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Silver Spire
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
D2 FD A,DFA|dcde fdAF|G2BG FADF|(3GFE FD CEA,C|
|D2 FD A,DFA||dcde fdAF|GABG FADF|1 EA,CE D2 (3A,B,C:|2 EA,CE D2 CB,||
|:A,B,CD EFGE|FDEF GABc|dBBA Bcde|fdgf eAce|
|d2fd ceAc|dcdB AFDF|GABG FADF|1EA,CE D2 CB,:|2EA,CE D2 (3A,B,C||
ABC
X: 5
T: The Silver Spire
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:"D" FE|D2FE DFAc|dcdf edAF| "G" GABG "D" FGAF| "A" GFED CEGC|
"D" D2FE DFAc|d2df edAF| "G" G2BG F2 "D" AF| "Em" E2CE "D" D2:|
|: "A" CD |E2CD EFGE|"G" GFEF GABc|"D" dcBA Bcde|"A" f2gf e2 (3ABc|
"D" d2fd "A" c2ec|"D" dcdA BAFD|"G" G2BG "D" F2AF|"Em" E2 CE "D" D2:|
ABC

Thirteen comments

I love the second part of this tune. You’ll need to be fairly nimble-fingered to play it at speed but the effect is lovely - a cascade of notes going from low to high.

Silver spire

As far as I know, it’s not particularly associated with Donegal more than anywhere else in Ireland.

Posted by .

Brian Conway setting

Here’s how Brian plays it, swingy and full of lift, on First Through the Gate (a great cd!):

K:D
FE|:D2 FE DFAc|dcde fdAF|GABG FADF|GFED CEA,C|
|D2 FE DFAc|dcde fdAF|GABG FADF|1 EA,CE D2 (3A,B,C:|2 EA,CE D2 CB,||
|:A,B,CD EFGF|~E3F GABc|dcdB ABde|fdgf eA (3BBc|
|defd ceAc|dcdB AFDF|GABG FADF|1EA,CE D2 CB,:|2EA,CE D2 (3A,B,C||

I like this setting’s simplicity—staying with the scale run in the 4th bar of Part A (instead of the more common |GEFD CEA,C|), and the first two bars of Part B, where the ~E3 is featured instead of the usual |A,B,CD EFGE|(3FED EF GABc|.

Posted .

First tune has wrong name- not alternate- just wrong

The name of the first tune is really The Silver SPEAR. The Silver Spire is a different tune entirely.

I *believe* "spire" here is pronounced "spear", and I’ve always seen this tune titled The Silver Spire, apparently I’m not the only one, as someone posted this with that title.

Posted by .

You can’t play this tune on some instruments. :-(

The Silver Spear

Even now I get confused between those two names - Silver Spear and Silver Spire. If someone at a session asks what the tune is I usually end up mumbling something like "Silver Spuh…" (voice trailing off into silence).

The Silver SPIRE

Here’s this other great classic: The Silver SPEAR http://www.thesession.org/tunes/182.

You can tell this one-here is The Silver SPIRE because the second part spirals up towards the tip of the spire like running up a steeple or lighthouse’s stairway!

Talking of which…One regularly hears that there is no ‘programatic’ tunes in Irish music but that’s far from true. It’s a cliché you hear before people are about to launch into the ‘only such’ piece’: The Foxhunter’s Chase. But now and then you’ll encounter one.
Jennie’s Chickens for example (especially if piped well)
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/756.
I’ll post more links at the next encounters…

As far as "The Silver Spire" and "The Silver Spear" confusion goes, the tunes are different enough from one another they actually work well when paired together (in that order). Trust me - they sound great to start a set of reels.

X:3 Piping Version

might be good on any woodwind

x:5 ocarina version

Variation to fit 11 hole ocarina in D, based on x:1.