O’Rourke’s reel

Also known as The Daisy Field, The Irish Girl.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

O’Rourke’s has been added to 2 tune sets.

O'Rourke's has been added to 28 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: O'Rourke's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
F2 AF DEFD|EA~A2 ABAG|FGAF DEFD|(3Bcd ec d2 zg|
fddc dfaf|edcd efge|fddc dfag|faeg fdde|
fddc dfaf|edcd efge|fdef gbag|faec dBAG||
X: 2
T: O'Rourke's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
F3A D3F|EA A2 ABAG|FD D2 DEFA|1 (3Bcd ec d2 d2:|2 (3Bcd ec d3g||
|:fddc dfaf|edcd efge|fddc dfag|faeg fdde|
fddc dfaf|edcd efge|fdef gbag|fdec dBAG:|
# Added by JACKB .

Thirty-one comments

A tune I llearned in a pipes class many years ago, cannot remember who teached it and where, probably Willie Week.

This is the “O’Rourke’s” played by Liam O’Flynn on “The Given Note”:


I have a transcription:

{AB}AG|:{A}FG{c}AF DE{A}FD|EA{c}A{G}A {c}AB{c}AG|
FG{c}AF DEFA|B/2c/2d ec .dB{c}AG|F3/2{A}F/2{E}FA DE{A}FD|
EA{c}A{G}A {c}AB{c}AG|FD{G}D{F}D {G}DEFA|B/2c/2d ec d3g|
{a}fd.dc .df.af|{g}edcd ef{a}ge|fd.dc .df.ag|
.f/2.f/2A eg {a}fd.de|{a}fd.dc .df.af|{g}edcd ef{a}ge|
f.def gb{ab}ag|[1faec dBAG:|[2.f/2.g/2.a ec d2|]

Yep, that’s the same tune, Kenny. However, as many have said in the comments to that tune, the low G notes in that setting should be low A notes. This setting is playable on the pipes, and Swisspiper has written it out correctly, so perhaps it should be retained here. It’s not the O’Rourke’s that is submitted elsewhere in the database.

I never said it was “O’Rourke’s” - I’m saying it’s “The Daisy Fields”, and a duplication.

Posted by .

But it is the “O’Rourke’s” that is played on Liam O’Flynn’s recording - if you see the recordings listing for O’Rourke’s on the earlier submission (The Wild Irishman) it lists Liam O’Flynn’s “The Given Note” - so that is wrong, because it is the tune presented here.
So, either you get a wrong listing there, or the correct listing here but put up with the fact that a badly written version (and significantly different version) of this tune has already been submitted. I think the latter is more acceptable to me.


If someone heard that and was looking for it on here, before this was submitted, they would find a completely different tune. If they somehow found “The Daisy Fields” they would find a (poorly transcribed) version that is unplayable on the pipes.

Retaining this here makes the database more practical at least.
And I’m not going to argue with Liam O’Flynn about the title. Identifying the tune is more important (names can be arbitrary).

Thanks for your version and the hint where the version originally came from. Your version seems to be more to Liam’s one than mine. I had it on a hand written score with a few variations which fit well to your version…

Kenn yhas this one.

It wouldn’t be Flynn’s first mistake in naming a tune. The reversal of The Sailor’s Cravat and I am waiting for you on the Fine Art of Piping is a good (and similar) example of that. And it’s a mistake quite often copied by people who lifted the tune from his recording.

The database shouldn’t accomodate that sort of thing and perpetuate obvious mistakes.

Posted .

Often “mistakes” like this are what helps to diversify the music. What some people call “the folk process”. The version of the tune O’Flynn calls “O’Rourke’s” is quite distinct - lifting those low A notes (the ones that are written as G notes in the database - a far more important “mistake” to rectify) an octave gives the tune an entirely different feel. This thing has been going on for decades, and I don’t think this site should become the adjudicator of such matters.

And, Kenny, just linking to a recording doesn’t really make your point. You linked to the variation of the tune earlier, yet claimed you were “saying it’s “The Daisy Fields”, and a duplication”. You didn’t really say that, though it could be inferred.

I think the point I am making is that whether O’Flynn has made a mistake or not, it’s just a name - and it’s not a duplication submitting it here, because that “tune” already in the database is quite different. Just entering “The Daisy Field” as an alternative title would be enough to allow people to find this tune - and a note to say that it is Liam O’Flynn who calls it “O’Rourke’s” (hey, didn’t I say that?) would be enough to clarify any suspicion of an incorrect title.
The version submitted here is a wee bit more accurately written - and the tune is more important than the name.

Plot Thickens…

Liam O’Flynn implies that he got the three tunes in his set from Leo Rowsome, and Leo Rowsome’s version of this tune is called “The Daisy Field” (his O’Rourke’s is a version of the tune widely known under that name).
It would be easy to infer from this that O’Flynn made a mistake in calling this tune “O’Rourke’s”.
On the other hand, Rowsome’s version of the tune firmly establishes a general pipe setting of raising the low A notes an octave and perhaps this warrants a separate listing from the (fiddle?) version elsewhere. Swisspiper may want to change the main title heading - or just leave things as they are, considering that either way, it would not be too difficult to find the tune (The Daisy Field is now entered as an alternative name). Hopefully, Jeremy won’t zap this as a duplicate (there is a strong enough reason not to IMO - the second tune in O’Flynn’s set mentioned above has two separate entries here, both variations of the same tune).

T:The Daisy Field
S:Leo Rowsome
(3fga ec dBAG|FGAF DE (3FED|EA {B}(3AGA EA{B}(3AGA|
FGAF DFAd|[1(3fga ec d2z2:|[2(3fga ec d2ag|
|:fddc dcdf|edcd ef (3gfe|fddc dfaf|ge (3ABc d2ag|
fddc dfgf|edcd ef(3gfe|fdef gbag|(3fga ec dcBA:|

I’m not wasting any more time time arguing about this. Jeremy’s call, as always.

Posted by .

I don’t think you’ve really been arguing. You just provided a link to a variant of the tune (under a different main heading than The Daisy Field) and later you linked to a recording.
You were being somewhat obtuse.
I know you are extremely good at putting names to tunes, Kenny, but I think that sometimes you are placing too much importance on the name.

Plot was pretty thick in the first place….

Interesting twist:-
Track 1 of “Portland” by Kevin Burke And Mícheál O’Domhnaill, lists “The Wild Irishman” as the second tune. The tune he plays is a fiddle version of this tune (The Daisy Field), yet another well known tune often called “The Wild Irishman” is also known as “O’Rourke’s” - a different tune - in fact, the one Leo Rowsome calls “O’Rourke’s”.

I think this clearly illustrates how names can be misleading.

Bottom line is that O’Rourke’s and The Daisy Field is a pretty standard set, Michael Coleman is to blame for it. Liam Og just mistook the names, just as he did with the Sailor’s Cravat and the other one. Easily done. Mistake. Move on.

Posted .

Well, Liam O’Flynn doesn’t play the two tunes together in this case, so that is just conjecture. Bottom line is that here is a pipe setting of the tune properly written out. The name is not that important, and there is a facility to add other titles to this submission. I agree that moving on would be a good idea - as would be a proper discussion about the discrepancy of titles. Merely posting a link to a different setting which is poorly transcribed isn’t really helping.

It is also interesting that Mr Kuntz suggests that Coleman mixed the titles on his recording - his O’Rourke’s was “The Wild Irishman (The Daisy Field)” and his “Wild Irishman” was “O’Rourke’s” He also has a story from O’Neill concerning the “true” Wild Irishman.
So, what we have now is Michael Coleman (or the record company) calling “The Wild Irishman (The Daisy Field)” “O’Rourke’s” several years before Liam O’Flynn was born.

It’s enough to do your head in…….



“ The titles were apparently reversed on this disc, leading subsequent generations to call the first tune O’Rourke’s. Coleman plays it in A but flute players and pipers set it in D. Various Wild Irishmen resembling this first tune are found in books and field recordings. The second tune was recorded by fellow Sligoman James Morrison as The Irish Girl; in O’Neill’s it is called the Daisy Field.“

So which one is really called O’Rourke’s?

My head hurts….

The names aren’t important, the names aren’t important…….

Well, the names might not be important, but a little snippet on this very forum from Don Meade has sorted my head out a bit:

“ The tune is indeed very much like another reel called “The Daisy Field” (also in Breathnach’s CRE), which was also recorded by Michael Coleman as the second reel in his “O’Rourke’s/Wild Irishman” side. Martin [Wynne] told me the names were reversed on that side, however, so “The Daisy Field” is really “O’Rourke’s.”

Posted on June 12th 2007 by blarneystar


Thank you Don. If there’s any truth in this (and the archive comment backs it up), then Liam O’Flynn is a step ahead of the title police.

This kind of thing certainly should be accommodated on here.

Coleman recorded that 78 rpm in oct 1936. O’Neill published the Daisy Field (DMI 538 MI 1270) quite a bit before that.

Try explain that one away then.

Posted .

“Coleman recorded that 78 rpm in oct 1936. O’Neill published the Daisy Field (DMI 538 MI 1270) quite a bit before that. “

Irrelevant. That is just another name for it (as is putting the Daisy Field in the plural). I have never disputed that The Daisy Field is an incorrect title for it. What is relevant, however, is that there is a suggestion that “O’Rourke’s” was Coleman’s name for it - just as “The Irish Girl” was Morrison’s name for it. The “O’Rourke’s” that is applied to “The Wild Irishman” actually stems from the very same kind of error that O’Flynn made on his solo piping album. The kind of thing you said shouldn’t be accommodated on here.
It’s ironic to say the least.

Should read “I have never argued that The Daisy Field is an incorrect title for it”.

“I have never argued that The Daisy Field is an incorrect title for it”.

No, you just keep going like an energiser bunny..

Posted .

Do you mind? Duracell bunny here - (probably in your neck of the woods too).

I’d rather put some time and energy into trying to make sense of the issue than declaring O’Flynn as having made a mistake and considering O’Neill as the authority.

Who was O’Rourke anyway? What did he call the tune - or did he even have a name for it?

Names aren’t that important, but the story behind the names can be quite interesting. You don’t have to take part.

Oh, and most of my posts have been made with a few hours between them. Those spaces have been filled with more pressing engagements, like trying to work out why the pigeon was on the gate in the first place, and why Jenny should be welcoming Charley.

You may move on to the question put forward so often by Seámus Ennis: ‘Was the pigeon facing inward or outward when sitting on the gate?’

Posted .

Ah…well…that would depend on whether you were viewing it from the daisy field or the tar road to Sligo.

Was n’t it originally The Pigeon on the Gale?

Nah, that pigeon was a doo.

Happy New Year!

Just coming back from some days in the alps, I’m surprised about the size of the discussion here… How many new tunes could have be learned in the time of such a discussion?