Beare Island reel

Also known as Bare Island, Barra Island, Bear Island, Beara Island, The Beara Island, Beare Haven, The Beare Island, The Bearhaven Lassies, Bere Island, The Berehaven Lassies, The Bheara, B�ara, Finbar Dwyer’s Fancy, Finbarr Dwyer’s Fancy, R’il Bheara, Ril Bheara, Ril Bhearra.

There are 42 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Finbarr Dwyer’s (a few times), John Brennan’s (a few times), Maudabawn Chapel (a few times).

Beare Island has been added to 403 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Five settings

X: 1
T: Beare Island
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:EB^GB AGEc|dBcA Beec|d2 fd AFDF|
|GEFD EDB,A,||B,EEF GFGA|(3BBB A=c Bdef|
|g2 fg ef{a}fe|1 dBAF E3 D:|2 dBAF E3 A||
|:Beef gefd|B2 AG FDDA|Beef gefd|
Be^df e2 ef|edBc ~d3c|BcdB AFDF|
G~B3 AFDF|1 GE{G}ED E3 A:|2 GE{G}ED E3 D||
# Added .
ABC
X: 2
T: Beare Island
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
(3EEE) ||: EB ^GBAG Ec | dBcA be ee | d2 ed AdFd | GE FD EDB,D |
EB,EF G3 A | BAGA Be ef | geaf gfec | dBAF E z (3EEE):||
e e^d ||: eBef geed | (3Bcd) Ad Fd Dd | Beef geed |(3efe) ^df eBef |
edBc dBcd | BcdB AdFA | GB (3BBB) AGFA | (3GFE) ^DF Ee e^d :||
ABC
X: 3
T: Beare Island
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
Well, complicated for a fiddlertoo many string crossings for my taste. But many a good box player goes looking for chord-related notes (for example |eBef| and |AdFdDd|). That low D# at the end gave it away too.
# Added .
ABC
X: 4
T: Beare Island
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
EB^GB AGEc|dBcA Beec|d2 fd AFDF|GEFD EEEF|
GEEF GFGA|B2 A=c Bdef|g2 fg effe|1 dBAF E3 D:|2 dBAF E3 A||
Beef gefd|B2 AG FDDA|Beef gefd|Be^df e2 ef|
edBc d3c|BcdB AFDF|GBBB AFDF|1 GEED E3 A:|2 GEED E3 D||
ABC
X: 5
T: Beare Island
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
EB^AB AGEc|dBcA Beec|d2 fd AFDF|GEFD EDBA|
GEEF GFGA|B2 A=c Bdef|g2 fg effe|1 dBAF E3 D:|2 dBAF E3 A||
Beef gefd|B2 AG FD D2|Beef gefd|Be^df e3f|
edBc d3c|BcdB AFDF|GB B2 AFDF|1 GEED E3 A:|2 GEED E3 D||
# Added by JACKB .
ABC

Twenty-one comments

Beare Island Reel

This setting is basee on Kevin Burke’s playing. On another thread, we had a brief side bar about whether tunes should be posted here in their bare bones settings or "as played" by some credible player. I can see reasons for going either way. Beare Island Reel, though, is a quirky tune and is interpreted very differently by various players. So even a bare bones sketch would lean toward one approach or the other.

On the 2nd measure in the B Part, Burke slides that B2 downhill almost a half tone. He also puts a triplet (3BBB in there on occasion.

In the 5th measure of the B part, you can also play:
|edBc d2 dc|BcdB
or
|edBc dedc|BcdB

Also, the cut notes f{a}f in the 2nd to last measure in the A part and E{G}E in the last measure of the B part can be left out in favor of just single bowing the shoulder notes, but the cuts allow you to play long bows here, keeping that flowy sinuous sound Burke goes for (and I happen to like too on this tune in particular).

Posted .

Thanks, Will!

Here, for your delectation, is a box version (that Will calls "unneccesarily complicated") of the tune, as played by the Bradley brothers on one of their dance CDs. After playing through this one, a fiddler could probably start voting for "bare bones" after all. :)

(3EEE) ||: EB ^GBAG Ec | dBcA be ee | d2 ed AdFd | GE FD EDB,D |
EB,EF G3 A | BAGA Be ef | geaf gfec | dBAF E z (3EEE):||
e e^d ||: eBef geed | (3Bcd) Ad Fd Dd | Beef geed |(3efe) ^df eBef |
edBc dBcd | BcdB AdFA | GB (3BBB) AGFA | (3GFE) ^DF Ee e^d :||

Zina

Well, complicated for a fiddler…too many string crossings for my taste. But many a good box player goes looking for chord-related notes (for example |eBef…| and |…AdFdDd|). That low D# at the end gave it away too….

Posted .

P.S. I think it adds a lot to see different settings posted here in the comments to a tune. A great way to pick up variations or a whole ‘nother mind set to a tune. Thanks, Zina!

Posted .

Other Title

I learned this tune as Regan’s Reel, but never heard anyone else call it that. I believe it could be a corruption of Bearhaven Lasses which might be the original title. I have seen it attributed to Dale Russ, but, excellent fiddler/ composer that Dale is, surely this is one of Finbar Dwyer’s? And the box version may thus be closer to the original.

Finnbar Dwyer

According to Kevin Burke this is definitely one of Finnbar Dwyer’s tunes; BTW just like Kylebrack Rambler (source: Brenda Stubbert’s tune book).

Those isolated G#s in the first bar really make this tune - a ghostly outline of the sun showing through the clouds on an overcast day/.

B

I fell in love with this tune the first instant i heard it on M

Richard Dwyer’s

I’m listening to Kevin Burke playing this tune live on Clare fm right now and he just said he believes it was Richard Dwyer that wrote this one.

I first heard it played by Dale Russ beautifully, but he laid no claim to it…

I’ll see if I can find out any more…

“Ríl Bheara” / “Beare Island Reel” - Finbar Dwyer

C: Finbar Dwyer, one of the musically gifted Dwyer brothers from Castletownbeare or Beare Island, Southwest Cork.

http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/RI_RJ.htm
http://www.ibiblio.org/folkindex/b04.htm
http://www.fiddletech.com/music/abcproj.abc
http://finawake.com/new_cd.htm

Unfortunately for us all, as far as I have been able to assess, none of Finbar’s LPs reached the CD state, though it would be nice if Outlet, who released them in the 70s, would at least consider a compilation:

"Ireland’s Own Traditional Accordionist" ~ Outlet
"Irish Traditional Accordionist" ~ Outlet
"The Best of Irish Traditional Accordion" ~ Outlet

This tune is by Richard Dwyer, written for Finbarr Dwyer. It’s called Finbarr Dwyer’s Fancy. Kevin Burke learned it from someone else initially and misnamed it on his album, and the name took off. It’s been Beare Island ever since.

Posted by .

never underestimate the encyclopaedic knowledge of ”steady as a rock” banjo head Mick O’Connor, who informed us that this tune was ‘Finbarr Dwyer’s’ too

but we swam out for Beare Island _a crisp version of which closes our debut …

Master session

i had the pleasure of backing Finbar at a ”sneaky” in-house session on thurs 28th dec ‘06 at The Kilkenny Tavern (formerly The Dark House), hosted by noel

with fellow box players sean mc’donaugh, john bowe and vincent halloran, also alan o’leary, peter coughlan & others

… and before playing the best version of it i’ve heard, Finbar told me that Beare Haven was composed around 1969, at a time when he put a number of tunes down c.1968-1972

… i wonder what he makes of ours?

Master session

i had the pleasure of backing a ”sneaky” in-house session with Finbar on thurs 28th dec ‘06 at The Kilkenny Tavern (formerly The Dark House), hosted by noel

with fellow boxplayers sean mc’donagh, john bowe and vincent halloran, also with alan o’leary, peter coughlan & others

… and before playing the best version of it i’ve heard, Finbar told me that he composed Beare Haven around 1969, at a time of putting a number of tunes down c.1968-1972

… i wonder what he makes of ours?

Berehaven /= Beare Island

Finbarr Dwyer’s reel "Berehaven" (recorded on "Ireland’s Own Traditional Accordionist" in the set : Trim the Velvet/Berehaven) is not the same as the reel known as Beare Island. The Berehaven is a G major reel (accurately transcribed in Joshephine Keegan’s book "A Drop in the Ocean") while the Beare Island is a modal tune in Edor/Emaj.

the beginners (tin whistlers fluters and pipers) might find useful to play the 4th bar this way:
X: 1
T: Beare Island
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Edor
EB^GB AGEc|dBcA Beec|d2 fd AFDF|GEFD EEEF|
GEEF GFGA|B2 A=c Bdef|g2 fg effe|1 dBAF E3 D:|2 dBAF E3 A||
Beef gefd|B2 AG FDDA|Beef gefd|Be^df e2 ef|
edBc d3c|BcdB AFDF|GBBB AFDF|1 GEED E3 A:|2 GEED E3 D||