The Ivy Leaf reel

Also known as The Extremity, Miss Farr’s.

There are 73 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Green Groves Of Erin (lots of times), Mulqueen’s (a few times), The Flogging (a few times), The Holly Bush (a few times) and The Man Of The House (a few times).

The Ivy Leaf has been added to 8 tune sets.

The Ivy Leaf has been added to 251 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: The Ivy Leaf
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A3A cdeA | AceA dBGB | A2ed cdec | AE~E2 GEDG |
A2ed cdec |(3.A.B.A ec dBGB | A2ed cdec | AE~E2 GEDG |
|: ea{b}ag eA (3.B.c.d |efge d3f | ea{b}ag edcd |
AE~E2 GED2 |ea{b}ag eA (3.B.c.d | efge d3c |
[1 A3B +E3c3+d | (3.e.f.g fa gedB :|2 AEAc {d}cBcd| (3.e.f.g fa gedB ||
X: 2
T: The Ivy Leaf
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
A2 ed cdec|Acec dBGB|A2 ed cdec|B~E3 GABd|
A2 ed cdec|Acec dBGB|A2 ed cdec|B~E3 GABd||
e~a3 edBd|e~g3 dBGB|e~a3 edBA|B~E3 GABd|
e~a3 edBd|e~g3 dBGB|A2 AB =cBcd|e/f/g fa gedB||
# Added .
X: 3
T: The Ivy Leaf
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
~A2 Ae cA ec | Ae ce dB GB | A2 Ae cA ec | AG EF GE D2 |
Ae ~e2 ce ~e2 | ae ~e2 dB GB | A2 Ae cA ec| AG EF GA B1/2c1/2d|
e2 ag eg fa | ~g2 ge dG B1/2c1/2d | e2 ag ed _cA | BG EF GA B1/2c1/2d |
e2 ag eg fa | ~g2 ge dB GB | A2 AB _cB cd | e2 fa ge dB |
X: 4
T: The Ivy Leaf
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|: ~A2 eA cAec | Acec dBGB | ~A2 eA cAec | d2 BG EFGE |
~A2 eA cAec | Acec dBGB | Aced cBcA | BEED EFGE :|
|: eaag edcd | effe BA G2 | eaag edcA | BEED EFGE |
eaag edcd | effe BAGB | ~A3 B =cBcd | egfa gedB :|
|: Aced cAec | Acec dBGB | Aced cAed | BEEF GABG :|
ea a2 caea | Bg g2 dgBg | ea a2 caec | BEEF GABG |
ea a2 caea | Bg g2 dgBg | afge fdec | BEEF GABG |]
X: 5
T: The Ivy Leaf
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
AEAe cAec|Aece dBGz|AEAe cAec|AGEF GzBG|
Ae~e2 ce~e2|Aece dBGB|AEAe cAec|AGEF GzBd||
eaag eABd|eg~g2 dz (3Bcd|eaag edcA|GBEF GzBd|
eaag eABd|eg~g2 egdB|AGAB =cBcd|ez~f2 gedB||
A2~A2 (3Bcd ec|Aece dBGz|AEAe cAec|AGEF GzBG|
Ae~e2 ce~e2|Aece dBGz|AEAe cAec|AGEF GzBd||
eaag eABd|eg~g2 dG (3Bcd|ezag edcA|GBEF GABd|
ezag eafa|~g3e dBGB|AGAB ~=c3d|ezfa gedB||
X: 6
T: The Ivy Leaf
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A3e cAec | AecA (3Bcd BG | A3e cAed | BE E2 GABG |
A3e ce e2 |Ae e2 (3Bcd BG | A3e cAed | BE E2 GA (3Bcd ||
|:e3f ed (3Bcd |edge dG (3Bcd |eaag ed (3Bcd | BGEF GA (3Bcd |
e3f ed (3Bcd |edge dGBG |A3B =cBcd |edfd gedB ||
|:A3e cAed|gedg (3Bcd BG|A3e cAed|BE E2 GABG|
Ae e2 ce e2|ge e2 (3Bcd BG|A3B =c3d|BE E2 GA (3Bcd||
e3f ed (3Bcd|edge dG (3Bcd|eaag ed (3Bcd|edge dG (3Bcd|
e3a geag|eage dG (3Bcd|A3B =c3d|edgd aged||
# Added by JACKB .

Twenty-four comments

Ivy Leaf

Trad, I think. There’re several tunes going by this name but this is the version I learned, note for note. I wonder if it has a different name, or if the others are imposters…. I think it’s got a good interesting sound to it without pushing the ‘different’ factor. We play it with Glass of Beer and Silver Spear, or at least we will be soon.

Ivy Leaf

I’ve alway’s liked how this tune goes after a G major reel, "Crooked Rd to Dublin" & the G version of "Maude Millar" come to mind….

Ivy leaf

I have a double LP of one of the "Irish Folk Tours" of Germany in the 1980s (late 70s?) when Miko Russell played this tune. He also introduced it before playing it, and because of his strong Clare accent, it ended up on the sleeve notes as "I Will Leave"
( Ivy Leaf = I Vill Leave) ! So don’t be surprised if it ‘s known by that name on the continent.
First heard it by Desi Wilkinson, who recorded it with "Cran".

Posted by .

Ivy Leaf

A little note for backers: this tune is in key of A mixolydian (also 2 sharps). So don’t try any D major chord progressions on this one.

Posted by .

Amix

Thanks, Jani. I’m afraid I never quite learned my modes so I wouldn’t have caught that. Guess I’ll have to start studying… ;)

Ivy Leaf Reel

Here’s a setting based on the playing of Kevin Burke (fiddle):

X: 1
T: Ivy Leaf, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
S: From the playing of Kevin Burke.
K: Amix
A2 ed cdec|Acec dBGB|A2 ed cdec|B~E3 GABd|
A2 ed cdec|Acec dBGB|A2 ed cdec|B~E3 GABd||
e~a3 edBd|e~g3 dBGB|e~a3 edBA|B~E3 GABd|
e~a3 edBd|e~g3 dBGB|A2 AB =cBcd|e/f/g fa gedB||

Posted .

I had a rough time finding this tune since it’s A myx rather than D major. Can someone fix it?

“The Ivy Leaf” ~ composer?!

I could swear I’d met the composer of this one, and learned it from them, and guess what, not in A Mixolydian, but A Dorian, or that is how I’m remembering it. Now I’ll have to find my old ABCs for it…

X: 3
T: The Ivy Leaf
C:
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: A Dorian
|: cB |\
A/B/A eA cdec | Acec dBGB |
A/B/A eA cdeA | BEGE dG :|
|: B/c/d |
eaag e2 B/c/d | eaag e/g/e dg |
[1 eaag edBA | BEGB dG :|
[2 eAAB c2 cd | eg f/g/a gB |]

But, then again, it could be the ‘lurgy’ affecting my reason… 8-)

Only ‘Trinil’, the original contributor, can correct it to A Mix. I’ve sent here a scramble of emails to that effect, from my current state of ‘lurgydom’, the poor soul… :-/

Another version

i learnt another version of this tune:

X: 1
T: Ivy Leaf, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Amix
~A2 Ae cA ec | Ae ce dB GB | A2 Ae cA ec | AG EF GE D2 |
Ae ~e2 ce ~e2 | ae ~e2 dB GB | A2 Ae cA ec| AG EF GA B1/2c1/2d|
e2 ag eg fa | ~g2 ge dG B1/2c1/2d | e2 ag ed _cA | BG EF GA B1/2c1/2d |
e2 ag eg fa | ~g2 ge dB GB | A2 AB _cB cd | e2 fa ge dB |

i play it with off beats emphasis on the Es. a really great tune indeed.

Primitive instrument, and 19th-century play

In Ireland long ago, rural folk knew how to make music with an ivy leaf. You hold it between your thumbs and blow over it, making the leaf into a "reed" which can vary in pitch according to the shape of your mouth. This seems to be a lost art in Ireland now, but I met a Chinese fellow from Yunnan province last summer who was in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian Folklife Festivel. He could make the most amazing music this way using any ivy-like leaf that came to hand. He traded tunes one night with piper and low whistle player Jarlath Henderson of Armagh to the delight of all present.

Another possible source for the name of the reel is the play "The Ivy Leaf," which was produced throughout Ireland and America in the late 19th century and featured an uilleann piper in the cast.

Gumleaf playing too !! In the Antipodes

Although the ivy-leaf as an instrument may have fallen into disuse, it persists, however vestigially, in Australia.

Gum-leaf playing, in the 19th century and earlier 20th, was a reasonably widespread art. There aren’t many old codgers left who do it. But just two years ago there was an old Aboriginal bloke playing Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ with a backing band on the Grand Final of "Australia’s Got Talent" on the box. Splendid !! Here’s the link -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpWUEEuXBtg


There were Australian championships as recently as 1978.

Grass was the reed of choice in my youth, but other tough leaves work well, and much better than ivy… :-D

“The Ivy Leaf” / “Miss Farr’s” ~ a rescued duplication

Submitted on April 12th 2012 by Sean B..
~ /tunes/11896

X: 5
T: Miss Farr’s
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Amix
|: ~A2 eA cAec | Acec dBGB | ~A2 eA cAec | d2 BG EFGE |
~A2 eA cAec | Acec dBGB | Aced cBcA | BEED EFGE :|
|: eaag edcd | effe BA G2 | eaag edcA | BEED EFGE |
eaag edcd | effe BAGB | ~A3 B =cBcd | egfa gedB :|

Authorship, origin, alternate setting ~ I obtained it from either a Yankee Clipper or a Tenpenny album. I no longer have either album so I can’t be sure. Here’s an alternate setting I found online:

X: 6
T: Miss Farr’s Reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Amix
|: Aced cAec | Acec dBGB | Aced cAed | BEEF GABG :|
ea a2 caea | Bg g2 dgBg | ea a2 caec | BEEF GABG |
ea a2 caea | Bg g2 dgBg | afge fdec | BEEF GABG |]

# Posted on April 12th 2012 by Sean B.

“Miss Farr’s” / “Lucy Farr’s” ~

A lot of tunes were passed on via the bow of Lucy Farr, who influenced many, but didn’t always remember or have a name for all the tunes she knew and played, with many and varied sources for her repertoire…

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/farr.htm

Iederă frunze

Marioara Mut, a singer from Transylvania can also be heard playing the ivy leaf (the instrument, not the tune!) on the Track: Nu-i Motru Ca Stiu Cînta (on the Ocora label).

Yves Pacher, from Poitoux in France, can be heard playing a range of various ‘hedge instruments’ on his Musique Buissonière (Naïve / Silex label) and Lutherie Éphémère CDs.

X: 5
Tara Bingham

Re: The Ivy Leaf

On the Green Linnet release of Hugh Gillespie classic recordings, “Gurren’s Castle,” identified as a highland fling, to my ear has a strong resemblance to The Ivy Leaf reel. Is this far-fetched?

As to the title….The ivy leaf has an iconic significance that’s hard to overlook. I have to think that the name Ivy Leaf is a reference to Charles Stewart Parnell and the Irish Home Rule movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An ivy leaf was worn by nationalists, particularly on Ivy Day, the anniversary of Parnell’s death, and identified wearers as supporters of Home Rule and of Parnell….after O’Connell the most popular and influential nationalist politician in Ireland. In Joyce’s “Dubliners” the Ivy Leaf lapel badge, with its reference to Parnell, figures in the short story “Ivy Day in the Committee Room”