King Of The Pipers jig

Also known as The King Of Pipers, The King Of The Pipers, King Of The Pipes, The King Of The Pipes, Ri Na Bpiobairi, Turlough McSweeney.

There are 70 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The House On The Hill (a few times), The Mooncoin (a few times).

King Of The Pipers has been added to 310 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: King Of The Pipers
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:cAG A3| DED A2B| cAG A2A| DED GED|
cAG A3| DED GED| F2F E2E| DEF GED:|
K:D
d2e faf| ecA ABc| dcd efg| faf gfe|
d2e faf| ecA AGE| F2F E2E| DEF GED:|
B2G A2G| BGE E2=c| B2G AGE| GED D3|
B2G A2G| BGE E2c | dcd ABG| FDD D3:|
ABC

Eleven comments

This tune changes key, not just between parts, but also, in the last part, from phrase to phrase. This last part finishes with a melodic flourish in D, even though the rest of this part is in G.

The first part, which strikes me as being like a minor key version of The Gold Ring, can be played with more notes to give it a jumpier sound.

The second part is quite straightforward, but confusingly similar to the second part of The Rambling Pitchfork and The Frieze Breeches. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself playing King of the Rambling Breeches.

There are quite a few tunes that go by the name of "King Of The Pipers" as Zina Lee investigated:

"I wrote Kevin Glackin of Scoiltrad (www.scoiltrad.com) about this, as he teaches a class on Scoiltrad on King of the Pipers, asking him about the mystery of the names and asking which version was the one he teaches. His reply:

‘I have just put the phone down to my friend Tom Sherlock (Altan’s manager) where we played the two versions on the different albums over the phone.
The answer to your question is neither.
The version I am teaching was recorded indeed by Altan on an earlier album called the Red Crow and the title they gave the tune was Hudai Gallaghers jig.
This is not unusual for a tune to have several titles, it happens all the time. However the title King of the Pipers refers to about five different jigs all from the Donegal area.
The one on the Blackwater album is a three part jig that I will be teaching at Scoiltrad, I have recorded it on an album with my brother (Seamus) called Northern Lights on the Gael Linn label. The tune that is up on the site at the moment is one I got from James Byrne from Glenclomcille, Co Donegal.’

So there, that’s likely the most definitive answer we’re ever going to get, if one can call anything about Irish music definitive. I’ve often heard of a tune with lots of names, but I’d never realized that there was a title with so many tunes! (Sounds like Kipling’s Cat. Or Pooh!)"

Transcription error?

I believe the figure here transcribed as GED in the 6th bar should be AGE.

The King of the Pipers

Not sure, but I’ve been thinking this is the nortern version of The Battering Ram.

Battering Ram

There’s a definite connection, isn’t there? That last part especially.

I think they’re two distinct tunes but I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned out to be related somehow.

Recorded by…

This tune is on one of Sean Keane’s solo albums, tho as usual, can’t remember which one. Tommy Peoples also plays it somewhere, but I can’t remember if it’s on a bootleg live tape or a studio recording. I guess this isn’t much help, but it is definitely this tune they’re playing.

I don’t really see much resemblance to Battering Ram myself. This last part is a little similar, but, hmm, nothing very decisive in that…

Key?

Oh, and by the way, it’s in Dmix, not Ador—at least the first part…

Tune that Damien plays isn’t the tune that is reflected in the ABC. Anyone have the ABC file??

Posted by .

The Altan’s Version

I think the Altan’s version are similar to:

T:King of the Pipers
M:6/8
L:1/8
R:jig
K:Dmaj
|:A2F B2F|A2G FED|A2F B2F|GFG GFD|
A2F B2F|A2G FED|GAB =cAF|GFG AFD:|
|:dfa afd|dcd ecA|GAB =cAF|GFG AFD|
dfa afa|geg fdA|GAB =cAF|GFG AFD:|
|:d2e d=cA|d2e d=cA|d2e d=cA|GFG AFD|
d2e d=cA|d2e d=cA|GAB =cAF|GFG AFD:|
|:def def|def ecA|def def|GFG AFD|
def def|def ecA|GAB =cAF|GFG AFD:|
|:Ddd D=c=c|DBB D=c=c|Ddd D=c=c|GFG AFD|
Ddd D=c=c|DBB DAA|GAB =cAF|GFG AFD:|

It is not a version, but a different tune all together, see the previous comment!