Upside Down

By Sharon Shannon, Mike McGoldrick, Jim Murray, Dezi Donnelly

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Thirty-three comments

Upside Down

I saw this band live at the Port Fairy Folk Festival last weekend, they were simply brilliant, the best Irish band I have heard. They are all consumate musicians, but are able to reach new heights whilst playing as a band. I have been playing Irish music for about thirty years, and I found these musicians to be inspirational. To put it simply, It would be hard to create a better sound than this band. Well done.

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I’m trying to get the names of all the tunes in the sets; I have a few.

1. James Brown’s March / Noon Lassies
6. Retour Des Hirondelles / Music For A Found Harmonium
8. Last one is Lisnagun Jig

I’ll try to complete the list while I work out which tunes they are. Brilliant album though, If you are in Ireland I would definately suggest trying to see them during their upcoming tour.

I attended their Friday and Saturday shows held as part of the M2006 Festival in Melbourne. They were brilliant. My 4 y.o. daughter danced from the start to the end of the Sat. session.

A minor amendment to the track listing. Track 2 is the Kilfenora jig not the reel.

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Help with tune identification?

And I saw them as part of the Commonwealth Games Festival in Bendigo. Quite impressive, though I suspect a fair degree of pearls before swine. Particularly impressed by Jim Murray’s nylon Guitar style.
We have been spoiled by the coincidence of the Port Fairy Festival, WOMAdelaide festival and Commonwealth Games within a week. Takes something like this to get a band like La Bottine Souriante out here.
The cd was made for the tour, so may not be very available elsewhere. But if you do have a copy, some more detail on the tunes within the tracks would be a great help! Their liner notes are almost as informative as the Bothy Band albums… ie not.


If someone comes across an extra copy i would be very interested in buying it - in that case, please email me 😉


Seeing as though it’s not available…

where can I get the mp3s of this cd? has someone ripped it and distributed it yet? it isn’t fair that they aren’t releasing it.

Have you tried to see if it is not available?

Why not try contacting Sharon through her website (site address given earlier) and see if you can obtain a copy. This beats ripping and distributing and the artists get paid for their time and effort.

It would be interesting if it was only a limited release in Australia. This would be a first as we normally miss out on releases and tours as we are a small market based on population and travel distance.

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Not the first time SS has put out a limited-release CD. “Sharon Shannon and the Woodchoppers - Live in Galway” is a great one I picked up at a gig a few years back.

I’ll trade a copy of that for a copy of this new one, if anyone wants to do that.


Tune List

Tune list is slightly more complete now

1. James Brown’s March / Noon Lassies
2. Jig / Kilfenora Jig (the one with 5 parts)
3. Scandanavian tune called Annika’s Butterfly
4. Farewell to Whalley Range / Reel
5. Slow air called Cailin Na Gruige Donna
6. Retour Des Hirondelles / Music For A Found Harmonium
7. The Second Star / Mason’s Apron (Old timey version 😉 )
8. Last one is Lisnagun Jig
9. Slow air / Reel
10. The Blessings of Gold (comp. Liz Carroll) / The Milltown Malbay Shuffle (comp. Darmaid Moynahan)
11. Jigs
12. Lafferty’s ( / Trip to Herves (
13. Reel / Ramnee Ceilidh (comp Gordon Duncan

Tune List

The first reel on track 13 is Hull’s reel played on an F whistle, followed by Ramnee Ceili.

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Lisnagun jig

Hi, I’m new to the session and this is my first post. I would like to know if it is definately the Lisnagun jig on track 8. It seems that neither the tune name nor the composer are credited and since the composer is me I’d like to know!

Hi, Brendan - welcome to “The Session”. Best thing to do would be to e-mail the person who posted the recording , and ask him/her direct. You can do that by “clicking” on the orange “kjay_bc_box” above. Hope you get it sorted.

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Lisnagun Jig

Hello Brendan, welcome to thesession!
Sorry for any misunderstanding around crediting your tune ‘Lisnagun Jig’. As you can see, I had made an effort to note composers where applicable, but I obviously forgot Lisnagun (I was aware it was composed by you), so I offer my apology. As for credit on the album itself, as stated by Neil Barr, the liner notes are quite lacking, hence my quest in trying to find the names of the tunes. I don’t think any composers were credited in the liner notes, but not being connected to the album in a professional sense, I had simply assumed the artists had followed the correct channels regarding recently-composed tunes. My advice would be to try and contact any of them to discuss them using your tune.

Ps, Lisnagun, Coolinarne and Tyrell’s Pass are wonderful tunes, thanks for bringing them into the world!

Track 9

The “reel” following Cape Clear seems more like a highland, and Tony McManus calls it “Irene Meldrum’s Welcome to Bon Accord” on his Pourqoui Quebéc - album.

Favourite tune at the moment!

Track 2 first jig

God I love this jig. It has such charm and character. What’s it bloomin well called ?

Carousel did it on their rare album years ago. I know that much.

Found it

How lazy was I !! Found the jig’s name ( track2, first jig) after a bit of industry.

It;s Tommy Peoples‘ GRAINNE’S JIG, and here’s the link - .

The 2 mcGuire brothers and daithi Sproule do play it on ‘Carousel’ - as “Felix Kearney’s”, a mistaken appellation.

Oh, and the Mason’s

Isn’t this the best version of the mason’s ( track7 ) you’ve heard ? Including the Great Man and also Aly bain’s lovely version.

I saw the group in Brisbane when they toured last year, and said to Dezi Donnelly that he’d out- Maguired Maguire. He sternly differed with this piece of apostasy ( well, I WAS drunk).
So I ameliorated my compliment to “ You’ve done Sean maguire proud”, and he took that.

After their gig McGoldrick came next door and played pipes with us in our regular Wednesday night session. He barely stopped for a pint. What a great gesture !!

I asked him to try out my Olwell bamboo E-flat ( flute that is), and of course that instrument is now a sacred object. I shall never wipe the embauchure hole !!

Track 11, “The Duck” and …… ?

This track consists of 2 jigs, “The Duck” which is a Scots piping tune and here on The Session -

The second is below, but what’s the name ? Oh, I have written it in G, because that’s what I got used to playing it in. Sharon plays it in E, which goes way too high for me ( and most I suspect). Anyway here it is, beautiful, ornate jig -

X: 1
T:Gan ainm
S:“Upside Down”
d|: dBG ~G3| Gce gec| dBG ~G3 | GBd dBd | cAc BGB|AFA GEG|FAG EGF|DFA ~c3|
| dBG ~G3| Gce gec| dBG ~G3 | GBd dBG |FAd AFD|^CEA GE^C |DFA dAF |D3 DcB |
|:cBA ~A2G |FED D2C| B,G,D B,G,B,|DB,D GDG| BGB dBd |gdB dBG|DGB dBG|~A3 Add|dBG ~G3|Ggg ~g3| gfe ~e3|edc d2c| Bc^c dBG|cAF DFA|GDB GDB,|G,3 G,cB:|

Track 11, “The Duck” and …… ?

… “A Sore Point”. It’s also on Libertango Track 11 and Live at Dolan’s Disc 1 Track 12 in the Burst Mattress set - Amy’s Waltz / An Tunnag / A Sore Point. Don’t have the albums, so can’t tell you who wrote it.

A sore point

Fliuit, …why not submit this abc in the usual place?

A Sore Point

“A Sore Point” was written by Chris Newman, husband and duo partner of harper Maire Ni Cathasaig.

Copy of this album

Has anyone got a copy of this cd? Unfortunately, it is sold out on Sharon’s website and cannot be got anywhere else 🙁

I’d really appeciate if anyone could sell me their copy in good condition.


Available to listen to on Spotify

Available to listen to on Spotify and presumably some other streaming sites

A Sore Point: Fernando Sor, of course !

5 years ago I posted the abc to the second jig on track 11. I know how, having by chance heard the original on a friend’s stereo, that it is part of movement 2 of Fernando Sor’s “L’Encouragement” [ opus 34].
michaelr, you are sort of right, because Newman and Ni Cathasaig do play Sor stuff.

Re: Upside Down

Just in case anyone else is as confused as I was, the recording on Spotify (and youtube) seems to be transposed up a semitone. Not sure why. Makes it tough to play along unless you have a program to shift it back to the normal keys! (Anytune does the trick…)

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Re: Upside Down

That sounds very odd. Did you compare it with the original CD ?

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Re: Upside Down

I just played along with 3 of the tracks I know, and had to use an Eb whistle. As far as I can tell the original recording was made using instruments a semi-tone sharp of concert pitch - nothing at all to do with Spotify or “Youtube”. Why would they bother ?

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Re: Upside Down

it sounds to my ear as though the fiddle is also tuned up a semitone (i.e. to A flat, E flat, B flat, F)
is it an accordion thing, or something that occurred post-production? other recordings with Michael McGoldrick of Farewell to Whalley Range and Roddy McDonald’s Fancy seem to be in the regular keys.

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Re: Upside Down

It’s nothing to do with “post-production”. Many Irish traditional musicians, especially on commercial recordings , like to “tune up” a semi-tone, the usual reason given that it gives a “brighter” sound. Most probably Sharon Shannon preferred to play an accordion a semi-tone sharp for this recording, so naturally McGoldrick uses an Eb flute, Donnelly “tunes up” a semi-tone, and Murray capoes at the first fret.
McGoldrick can play in any key he likes on other recordings, but he needs to use an Eb flute to play along on this one. It’s not rocket science, was very common in the recordings made in the 1980s, and obviously still happens today.

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Re: Upside Down

“” member Alex Davidson asked me if I could identify the tune Jim Murray plays following “Cape Clear” on track # 9. “DADdyGADdy” did identify it above 12 years ago, I can confirm that, and have added it to the track list.

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