The Fowler On The Moor hornpipe

Also known as The Moor Fowler.

There are 12 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Fowler On The Moor appears in 1 other tune collection.

The Fowler On The Moor has been added to 25 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: The Fowler On The Moor
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:G>E (3EEE c2 B>G|(3ABA G>E A>c B>A|G>E (3EEE c>A B>G|A>E G>E D2 D>E|
G>E (3EEE c2 B>G|(3ABA G>E A>c B>A|G>A B>c d2 B>G|1 (3AGE G>E D2 B>A:|2 (3AGE G>E D2 D>E||
G>A B>c d>G B>G|(3ABA G>E A>c B>A|G>A B>c d2 B>G|1 (3AGE G>E D2 D>E:|2 (3AGE G>E D2 B>A||
X: 2
T: The Fowler On The Moor
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
BA|G2E E3 c2A B2G|AcA G2E A2c B2A|
G2E E3 c2A B2G|AcA G2E D3 D2E|
G2E E3 c2A B2G|AcA G2E A2c B2A|
G2A B2c d2G B2G|AGE G2E D3 D2||
E|G2A B2c d2G B2G|AcA G2E A2c B2A|
G2A B2c d2G B2G|AGE G2E D3 D2c||
# Added by JACKB .

Twelve comments


It’s actually a fling, not a hornpipe.

Manipulated the abcs from:
Though the poster had transcribed it in 12/8 as a slide or single jig rather than a 4/4 fling. Can’t blame the person too much, Breandán Breathnach notated the fling ‘Mary Brennan’s Favourite’ in 6/8. I turned it into swung 4/4 and here you have it.

The original poster took it from Willie Clancy’s performance, which I don’t have, so can’t check it for accuracy.


‘Can’t blame the person to much’

Pat Mitchell used 12/8 as well in ‘The Dance Music of Willie Clancy’
Willie Clancy, and generally anybody I have heard play the tune, plays the tune in 12/8.

So who’s the odd one out?

Posted .

12/8 Vs. 4/4

The really funny thing is that, when you listen to the results of putting it in 12/8 & then swung 4/4 (on a MIDI player, anyway- and yes, I know that a machine playing it lacks the subtleties that a human would bring), IT SOUNDS EXACTLY THE SAME. I think either way is “right”, it just depends on what kind of phrasing the individual player is going for. To be honest, I do react differently to seeing “12/8” as opposed to “4/4” at the beginning of a tune. I have seen tunes like this one listed as both Flings and Single Jigs (they’re definitely NOT slides, though). I suppose it really comes down to something I’ve suspected for awhile; 3 is THE most important number in ITM, insofar as rhythmic “feel” is concerned. It’s the common denominator in almost all Irish dance tunes, even the ones in common (4/4) time. Even the reels have (to my ears, anyway) an underlying “three feel” to them. One can almost THINK 12/8 while playing a reel & get a bit closer to the right rhythm. I get the feeling this is why Scottish fiddlers have often complained about how the Irish play reels (a legitimate complaint; it IS a Scottish tune form, the Irish just adapted them to suit their “fondness for 3”!). The main thing I’m getting at is that if you wanted to, you could write out a Fling (or Hornpipe, or Barndance, Etc.) in 12/8. The time signature of 12/8 isn’t the exclusive property of Slides/Single Jigs, it’s just a time signature.

I’m gonna go run for cover now. This IS the Mustard Board, after all- this is BOUND to get contentious! Let the opinions fly like shrapnel, Gentlemen (& Ladies)!



I agree with Jay. It’s kinda a matter of deciding which written convention most closely mirrors the reality of the rhythm. Writing is always an approximation. But it’s also a matter of acknowledging certain standards for notating certain kinds of tunes in certain ways for the same reason that I don’t write every word phonetically. I typically see flings written in 4/4, so I put it in 4/4. And I’d agree that a consistently swung 4/4 can sound like 12/8, but the only tune type consistently notated in 12/8 are slides and it’s not a slide. Basically, I figured it’d be best to go with a standard rather than a personal interpretation.

Here’s the original poster’s ABCs so people have easy access to them:
T:The Fowler on the Moor
R:Single Jig
|: G2E EEE c3 B2G | ABA G2E A2c B2A | G2E EEE c2A B2G | A2E G2E D3 D2E |
G2E EEE c3 B2G | ABA G2E A2c B2A | G2A B2c d3 B2G |1 AGE G2E D3 B2A :|2 AGE G2E D3 D2E |]
|: G2A B2c d2G B2G | ABA G2E A2c B2A | G2A B2c d3 B2G |1 AGE G2E D3 D2E :|2 AGE G2E D3 B2A |]

I was thinking about a few of the tunes that are in the grey area between the two time signatures. pat Ward’s Jig vs ’The Madcap in the Darley and McCall collection for example.

You’re right, there’s an area where 12/8 and 4/4 meet.

FWIW, The Fowler on the Moor is classed as a slide in The Dance Music of Willie Clancy.

Posted .


That’s interesting. The only recording I actually own with the tune is ‘Comb Your Hair and Curl It’ by Catherine McEvoy et al, and is played in a set with ‘Mary Brennan’s Favourite’ and ‘Follow Me Down To Carlow’ and sound a fling to me. These websites selling the Clancy CD calls it a Fling, too:

Fiddler’s companion agrees with you and says 12/8 single jig or slide:

Slightly weirder is
A “single jig” in 2/4 (?)

Certainly seems to be a matter of interpretation!

Along the misty back lanes ~

Some changes, including into the usual 16 bars of a fling, which also agrees with the dances that the music complements…

K: CMaj ~ ? (C & F natural)
B>A |\
G>E (3EEE c2 B>G | (3ABA G>E A>cB>A |
G>E (3EEE c>AB>G | A>EG>E D2 D>E |
G>E (3EEE c2 B>G | (3ABA G>E A>cB>A |
G>AB>c d2 B>G |[1 (3AGE G>E D2 ||
|: D>E |\
G>AB>c d>GB>G | (3ABA G>E A>cB>A |
G>AB>c d2 B>G | (3AGE G>E D2 :|

Transposed ~

K: DMaj
c>B |\
A>F (3FFF d2 c>A | (3BcB A>F B>dc>B |
A>F (3FFF d>Bc>A | B>FA>F E2 E>F |
A>F (3FFF d2 c>A | (3BcB A>F B>dc>B |
A>Bc>d e2 c>A | (3BAF A>F E2 ||
|: E>F |\
A>Bc>d e>Ac>A | (3BcB A>F B>dc>B |
A>Bc>d e2 c>A | (3BAF A>F E2 :|

& ~ with one of those classic second endings in the B-part that complements moves at the end of the dances…

K: DMaj
(3dcB |:\
A>F (3FFF d2 c>A | B>FA>F (3GGG G>B |
A>F (3FFF d2 c>A |[1 B>FA>F D>E>F>G :|[2 B>F (3AGF D3 ||
|: g |\
f>de>d c>A (3AAA | f>de>f (3gag a>g |
[1 (3fgf e>d c>A (3AAA | B>FA>F D3 :|
[2 f>ge>f d>BA>F | (3Bcd A>F D2 |]

Flings are generally 16 bars in length. This one is also known as the single reel “The Sunny Banks” / “The Flowers of Ballymote”:

A number of good melodies moved over to other duties, such as single reels, as highland fling dances and tunes were less called for. Who’d give up a good melody? And, not forgetting what has already been said, 9/8 ~

“Top It Off” ~ 9/8 Hop Jig
Submitted on March 5th 2004 by turophile.

Version of Rip the Calico?

Listening to the version on “Comb your Hair and Curl it” it sounds like a fling version of Rip the Calico.

Re: The Fowler On The Moor

FWIW, Willie Clancy’s rendition is now available on YouTube:

He plays it (on a flat set in B!) pretty much (not quite) as per the OP/X1 here (ignoring the debate over time signature), 8-bar A music x2, 4-bar B music x2, but melodically closer to JACKB’s X2.