Feadóga Stáin

By Mary Bergin

Added by Jeremy .

Twenty-nine comments

A Classic

This album is a true classic. It’s rightly regarded as one of the best albums of tin whistle music yet recorded.

The tin whistle playing is, of course, excellent but what I also really like is the accompaniment. Alec Finn on the six-stringed bouzouki and Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh on the Bodhr

“Feadoga Stain” complete.

All of the dance tunes on this recording are now in the database, but all cannot be accessed directly due to differences in tune titles. Here are a few comments which may help.

1 - Gan Ainm - posted on March 9th 2004. Also posted as “Friel’s” by Jamie on Feb 2nd 2003.
The title “Friel’s” comes from a recording of Glasgow Irish musicians, and I
think is a local name only. Eddie Friel is a fine flute player from Glasgow. At a
guess ,the Glasgow musicians may have learned it from him, and given it his

2 - “Micho Russell’s” — Goes to “Mary McMahon”. Several tunes in the database are attributed to
Micho. This one is the reel posted on Feb.15th 2004.

3 - “Tom Billy’s” jig - goes to the 2-part Am jig. 3-part version was posted on June 29th 2002.

4 - “Langstern Pony” - goes to the “Tunes” list, for some reason. Search for either of the 2 words.
It was posted on May 25th 2001.

5 - “Mrs. Crehan’s” - is in the database , but is not recognised because of the full stop after
“Mrs”. in the tune listings. Type Crehan in the “search” facility under Reels.

6 - “ John” Joe’s - goes to the “Tunes” list, same as “Langstern Pony”. It is in the database,
correctly, as “Old Joe’s”. In this instance, Sean means“old”, and not the name
“John”.[ as in the subsequent tune, “Sean Tiobrad Arann” = “Old Tipperary”.]

7 - “Wheels Of The World” - Goes to “The Old Wheels of The World” — a reel. Mary plays the jig,
which is in the database.

8 - “Maud Miller” - There are 2 versions of this reel in the database, and this connects to the
wrong one. Mary’s version [ also the version played by Matt Molloy and Joe
Burke, among others ] is the one posted on Dec.3rd 2002.

98 - “The Garden Of Butterflies” - is not on this recording at all. The tune is “Poll Ha’penny”, and
clicking on “G of B” will take you to “Poll Ha’penny”. Possible
confusion in the titles because Martin Hayes recorded the 2 tunes back to

10 - “Miss Galvin” - gets mis-directed to “Poll Ha’penny”. Search for “Galvin”.
It was submitted on March 29th 2002.

11 - “Concert” Reel — Goes to a different tune called Now She’s Purring”. There was some
discussion about this tune and another which Frankie Gavin recorded after
it without naming the second tune, giving rise to two “Concert” reels. This
“Concert” reel was posted on Feb.8th 2003.

12 - “Wind That Shakes The Barley” - goes to “Rolling In The Ryegrass”. Search for “Barley” in
the reels. It’s the one that’s not “Rolling In The Ryegrass”.

A lovely album. Very sweet playing by Mary Bergin and the accompanient by Alec and Ringo goes well.

Understatement of the year

That’s a bit like saying the “Mona Lisa”’s a good drawing.

A masterpiece

I’m with you, Kenny… this is no ordinary recordingl -- it’s a masterpiece.

I know this is a classic recording, but it doesn’t attract me much. A materpiece sometimes isn’t to everyone’s tastes, you know.

As far as I can tell it was the first record to show off the tin whistle in the wake of the ’70’s supergroups; as a whistler I had felt rather frustrated by how little space Planxty, the Bothies and De Danann had given the instrument (though when they did use it, it was superb), so I was very glad when this one came along. Lots of catchy tunes.

The very first jig

Can anyone give me the link to the first jig? I know I found it here on The Session a while ago but i forgot what it was called here.

Oh sorry I meant reel

Don’t know what I was thinking.

Try it………….

The same logic applies………………..



Apologies, Blackfield - this was a tune I had posted, and after some input from a few others, I changed the name to “Naughton’s”, the name given to it by Mary McNamara. I agree with what was said about it being a version of “Molly Ban / Fair-Haired Molly”.

feadoga stain-unnamed reel?!

I learned the 3rd reel of feadoga stain, track 12, by mary bergin. I tried to know its name, but i discovered that it doesn’t exist…look!


…or….more probably……I’m making a mistake…..mm

Feadoga Stain by Mary Bergin

Thanks for your great workon this,Kenny.I’ve tried to utilise your info to make links; hope it works!

1 Gan Ainm https://thesession.org/tunes/2622
Ah Surely https://thesession.org/tunes/577
The Untion Reel https://thesession.org/tunes/1591
2 Miss Johnson’s https://thesession.org/tunes/2411
Micho Russell’s https://thesession.org/tunes/2509
3 Tom Billy’s https://thesession.org/tunes/816
The Langstern Pony https://thesession.org/tunes/61
4 Sean Reid’s https://thesession.org/tunes/2249
The Drunken Landlady https://thesession.org/tunes/363
5 Liam O Raghallaigh
6 Mrs Crehan’s https://thesession.org/tunes/1250
Gerry Commane’s https://thesession.org/tunes/364
The Rainy Day https://thesession.org/tunes/1807
7 John Joe’s https://thesession.org/tunes/1732
Sean Tiobrad Arann https://thesession.org/tunes/2599
The Wheels Of The World https://thesession.org/tunes/1652
8 The Blackberry Blossom https://thesession.org/tunes/1365
Maud Miller https://thesession.org/tunes/1177
I Wish I Never Saw You https://thesession.org/tunes/2666
Up To Your Knees In Sand https://thesession.org/tunes/2659
9 Poll Ha’penny https://thesession.org/tunes/841
Miss Galvin https://thesession.org/tunes/624
10 The Lady On The Island https://thesession.org/tunes/938
The Concert https://thesession.org/tunes/1474
The Hut In The Bog https://thesession.org/tunes/1573
11 Mo Mhuirnin Ban
12 Mick Hand’s https://thesession.org/tunes/176
The Reel Of Mullinavat https://thesession.org/tunes/1339
13 The Monaghan https://thesession.org/tunes/67
Nora Criona https://thesession.org/tunes/2009
14 Kitty Gone A Milking https://thesession.org/tunes/1647
Last Night’s Fun https://thesession.org/tunes/63
The Wind That Shakes The Barley https://thesession.org/tunes/116

Track 12 Missing tune?

After track 12 - Mick Hand’s / Reel of Mullinavat - there’s another tune. It’s very familiar yet I can’t put a name to it. It doesn’t feature in the original track labelling on the CD or on this site. Anyone able to fill it in?

Read the notes above…

Track 11 Slow air

I am looking for notes of mo mhuirnin ban?? help!

In the tap room is the 3rd of the set on rx12, what an album!! and thanks Kenny for transcribing and identifying so many of the tunes!

Whistle keys

Mary plays a variety of whistles on this recording, details of which are included in the sleeve notes. In light of a recent discussion, here are the whistle keys used on each track :

1 - Eb
2 - Bb
3 - F
4 - Eb
5 - F
6 - D
7 - F
8 - Eb
9 - Bb
10 - Eb
11 - F
12 - Eb
13 - C
14 - Low G

Wild Kenny, not the sleeve notes of the CD we’ve got. I hadn’t dug out the LP yet to check but was going to. You’ve saved me the bother. I’m going to have to have another look at the CD. The notes were sparse, and there’s only the list of musicians and following Mary Bergin’s name a list of keys and then “whistles”… 😏 😀 Nice of you to have added this…

I’ve had to check the CD again ~ Yup! Nothing… The 2nd CD, Shanachie 79083, has more extensive notes, but despite different whistles being used there’s only the one mention in those notes of Bb being the key of one set, track 10, and nowehere is there anything else revealed, not even a list of keys for whistles following her name on the back. 😛

The 1st CD we have is Gael Linn - CEFCD 071

“Mary Bergin: Feadóga Stáin”

I’ve dug out the cassette and the LP, and yes, under Shanachie, everything is there. Gael Linn decided to cut corners.

For the sake of those who purchased these later production, like the CD we have, I’m adding the full notes from the 1979 Shanachie Records production, 79006, New York…

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Here goes, from the back of that record sleeve:
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Mary Bergin
Feadóga Stáin - Eb, Bb, F, D, C and G Whistles

Alec Finn: bouzouki, mandocello
Johnny McDonagh: bodhrán, bones


1. ) reels ~ Eb whistle, bouzouki, bodhrán

2. ) reels ~ Bb whistle, bouzouki, bodhrán

3. ) jigs ~ F whistle, bodhrán

4. ) reels ~ Eb whistle, bouzouki, bodhrán

5. ) air ~ F whistle

6. ) reels ~ D whistle, bones

7. ) jigs ~ F whistle, bouzouki

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1. ) reels ~ Eb whistle, bouzouki, bodhrán

2. ) hornpipes ~ Bb whistle, bouzouki

3. ) reels ~ Eb whistle, bouzouki, bodhrán

4. ) air ~ F whistle, mandocello

5. ) reels ~ Eb whistle, bones

6. ) jigs ~ C whistle, bouzouki

7. ) reels ~ low G whistle, bouzouki


Go minic is soiléir go bhfuil ceoltóir ar fheabhas ach ní fios cé’n fáth. I gcás Mary Bergin, nuair a chuirtear na cáilíochtaí seo leanas I dteannta a chéile: clisteacht le hornáidíocht, cruinneas iontonaithe solúbthacht teanga agus análú, éascaíocht chun seinm I ngléas ar bith, chomh maith le brí agus fuinneamh a cuid ceoil, is soiléir ansin go bhfuil stíl neamhchoitianta aici, fé mar a bhí ag Michael Coleman, Patsy Touhy agus Willy Clancy.

This is Mary Bergin’s long awaited first solo album. On it she plays what is possibly the most expressive and intimate of traditional instruments, the tin whistle.

May was born into a very musical Dublin family, and at an early age was encouraged to take up a musical instrument. This encouragement and Mary’s own dedication to the tin whistle led her to develop a highly individual and innovatory style, winning her the All-Ireland Chamionship by her late teens.

(At the time ~ Mary was living in Spiddal in the Connemara Gaeltacht with her then husband Bruce Du Vé, where they were making uilleann pipes and concert flutes.)

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Alec Finn and Johnn ‘Ringo’ McDonagh are best known through their playing with the group De Danann. Both are old friends of Mary’s, Mary and Alec having first played together many years ago in Dublin; it was Alec’s first session of traditional music. Since then they have played together many times around the country, and it was through Alec that Mary first met Johnny at one of the many session at Alec’s home in Spiddal.

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Producer: Micheál Ó hEidhin
Executive producer: Gerry Harford
Recording engineer: Paul Waldron, Trend Studios, Dublin
Design: Richard Ward (sleeve), Syd Bluett (layout)
Photo: Sean Bergin
Notes: Micheál Ó hEidhin and Jackie Small
Special thanks to: Bruce du Vé and Breandan Breathnach

A Gael-Linn Production

“Mary Bergin: Feadóga Stáin” ~ the Gael-Linn cassette

CEFC 071 ~ lists the names of the musicians, tracks and tunes & instruments used, and nothing else of substance…

Re: Feadóga Stáin

Track 5 is a slow air version of the tune we all know as the melody to “Star Of The County Down.” It goes by a ton of different names.