Water From The Well

By The Chieftains

Thirty-one comments

Chieftains “Water From the Well”

I’ve been listening to the Chieftains “Water From the Well” for a long time, now, and I’m wondering if anyone knows anything about the first jig on the Kilfenora Set (Track 12).

I have another CD of Irish Music with the same tune, where it’s called John Joe’s Jig but every abc source I’ve ever found of that tune is the same as Old Joe’s Jig which is NOT the Chieftains’ tune. I already know the other tunes are the Concertina Reel and Spindle Shanks.

I’ve tried learning it by ear, but I’m not very good at it, yet. So far, my only successes in learning by ear have been at sessions where the “teacher” will play slower and go over tricky passages a few times. From CD’s I’m not having much luck….

Any information anyone has would be welcome.

Here’s the ABC for the jig that starts the Kilfenora Set


I really like this CD as well. I wasn’t able to find the name for the first jig on the Kilfenora Set, but it’s still a great tune, and here’s a (reasonably accurate) transcription. Thanks for the names of the other tunes on that set!


T:Kilfenora Set Jig
H:This is the jig played at the beginning of the Kilfenora Set
H:on the Chieftains’ “Water from the Well”. Haven’t been able
H:to find out what the real name of this tune is.
|:A3 AGE|ABA AGE|~G2E ~G2E|GED DEG|ABA ABc|dBG G2D|GBd dcB|1c3 BcB:|2c3 c2d|
|:efe ~e2d|ceg g2z|~G2E ~G2E|GED DEG|~A3 ABc|dBG G2D|GBd dcB|1c3 c2d:|2c3 BcB|“end” A6||

Tunes in the “Dusty Miller” set

Well, none of the tunes in the Dusty Miller track are actually the Dusty Miller slip jig 🙂

I did manage to figure out the last two reels, though… they are “Dowd’s Number 9” followed by the “Hunter’s House”.

Track List

Someone emailed me saying they had the tunes that were in tracks 5 and 12 so here you go. Jeremy said the track listing can’t be changed to put in the additional links, so I’ll just post them here.

5. Dusty Miller
Ketch Called Sullivan John
Dowd’s No. 9
Hunter’s House

12. Kilfenora
Spindle Shanks

8. Tom Billy’s
The Gladstone
The Star above the Garter

10. Willy’s Single
King of the Pipers
The Glen Road to Carrick

16. Fred Finns
Castle Kelly
The Red Haired Lass


Hey, everyone. What is that first polka that they play on track 14 Ballyfin Polkas. I’m dying to know.

Ballyfin polkas

I found the polkas listed on irishtune.info here they are.

The Murroe
Ballydesmond Polkas No. 1
St. Mary’s Polka

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Track 1

Can you help with naming the tunes in Track 1?

1 tune

Just the one tune - “The Drops Of Brandy” - but played in different rhythms.

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Track 10

There seems to be a slow reel or strathspey right before “The Glen Road to Carrick” Anyone know it? Thanks.

Water from the Well, information on Track 12

I think I’ve found another source for the jig transcribed above as the Kilfenora Set JIg. It is called John Joe’s, and is the first jig on Track 2 of Traditional Irish Fiddle Music, https://thesession.org/recordings/1428. The first part is definitely the same, and I haven’t seen whether the second part is the same. However, I believe that at least two fiddlers played on both Traditional Irish Fiddle Music, which is by the Kilfenora Ceili Band, and on Track 12 of Water from the Well. They may have got this jig from the same source.

Track 5

Here’s the link to the first tune in this set:


It’s the same ‘Dusty Miller’ as on Lunasa’s ‘The Merry Sisters of Fate’, though a slightly different setting.

Anyone know what the tunes are in ‘The Galician set’ which is track 4 of the DVD ‘Live over Ireland/Water from the Well’?

nb my query relates to the DVD, not this CD, but the DVD includes many of the tunes on the CD (id that makes sense!)

Chieftains, Live from Matt Molloy’s Pub, First tune

Hello all, I’m trying to identify the first tune off the track entitled ‘Live from Matt Molloy’s Pub’ on the chieftains record Water from the well (2000). The last two are Castle Kelly and The Red Haired Lass if I’m not mistaken. Anyone know it off hand? Cheers.

Re: Chieftains, Live from Matt Molloy’s Pub, First tune

That’s the one! Just verified that there, I didn’t think to look in recording, thanks a lot Domino.

Re: Chieftains, Live from Matt Molloy’s Pub, First tune

This is the set that got me hooked on Irish music.

Fred Finn’s is a regular at our session because of this set. Thanks for posting the utube link - I’d never seen it before. Great stuff.

Track 4

Great album - I think the second tune in track 4 is “The Old Blackthorn” rather than the “The Blackthorn Stick”. Check it out (https://thesession.org/tunes/720) and see what you think.

Admittedly they, also jump a fifth higher and so also add two extra parts….

Track 14 ~ “The Ballyfin Polkas” 1 - 3

1. ) “The Ballyfin Polka No. 1”
Submitted on January 18th 2012 by ceolachan.

2. ) “The Ballyfin Polka No. 2” / “The Balldesmond Polka”
Submitted on January 20th 2012 by ceolachan.

3. ) “Gurteen Cross” / “St. Mary’s Polka” / “The Ballyfin Polka No. 3”
Submitted on April 2nd 2003 by Bannerman.

Names of the tunes in the Galician Set (Water from the Well DVD)

This is in response to domnull. The last two tunes of that set are Sixpenny Money (https://thesession.org/tunes/387) and
Polka de Vilagarcia. Those two tunes actually make up the “Duelling Chanters” number on the Chieftains’ “Santiago” CD. I put in a request on here for the last tune. A sheet music search on the web turned up nil thus far, and I’m a LONG way from ever being able to figure that one out by ear.

As far as the beginning of the set, they played two parts of the 11-minute “Galician Overture” - also from the “Santiago” CD.

Track Eight First Tune

I changed the name of the first tune on Track 8 from “Tom Billy’s” (which linked to a jig) to “Far From Home”.

I have seen the chieftains in concert before but don’t own any of their CDs. Is this one pretty good.

Definitely recommended. The best thing they’d recorded in years, and better than anything since, IMHO.

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Re: Water From The Well

I absolutely love all the variations on “Drops of Brandy” and often have it on replay.

Re: Water From The Well

“19506” appears to be a duplicate of “2188” - posted here 17 years ago. The jig had been identified above by “enirehtac” 14 years ago, but not linked. I’ve made the link. Well done for spotting it, and thanks for reminding me of this recording, which also was released as a DVD.

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