King Of The Clans reel

Also known as King Of The Clan, The King Of The Clans.

There are 50 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

King Of The Clans appears in 1 other tune collection.

King Of The Clans has been added to 4 tune sets.

King Of The Clans has been added to 112 tunebooks.

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Four settings

1
X: 1
T: King Of The Clans
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:^c|{c}d2BG Bdge|dgdB {B}AGEG|DGBG dGBG|=cege dcBc|
dGBd gdBd|gabg {b}agef|~g3e dBge|1 dBAG EGG:|2 dBAc BGG||
|:f|{f}g2fg egdf|gdBG {B}AGEG|DGBG dGBG|cege ~d3f|
[1 {f}g2fg egdf|gdBG {B}AGEG|DGBd e=cge|dBAG EGG:|
[2 gabg efge|dBgB {B}AGEG|DGBd e=cge|dBAc BGG||
2
X: 2
T: King Of The Clans
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
^c|d2GA (3Bcd ge|dedB AGEG|DGAG dGBG|cege dcBc|
dG (3Bcd edBd|gabg agef|~g3e dBge|1 dBAG EGG:|
|:f|g2fg egdf|gdBG AGEG|DGAG dGBG|cege dcBc|
[1 g2fg egdf|gdBG AGEG|DGBd gece|dBAc BGG:|
[2 gabg efge|dBgB AGEG|DGBd gece|dBAc BGG||
3
X: 3
T: King Of The Clans
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
d2GA Bdge|dedB AGEG|DGBG dGBG|cege dcBc|
dGBd edBd|gdbg agef|g2 ge dBge|[1 dBAc BGBc:|[2 dBAc BGBd||
g2bg (3efg dg|edBG AGEG|DGBG dGBG|cege dcBd|
[1 g2bg edge|d2BG AGEG|DGBd gece|dBAc BGBd:|
[2 gabg abge|dBGB AGEG|DGBd gece|dBAc BGBc|]
4
X: 4
T: King Of The Clans
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d2 GA Bdge | dedB AG E2 | DGBG dGBd | cege dcBc |
dGBd gdBd | gdbg agef | gage dBge |[1 dBAc BGGB :|[2 dBAc BGBd ||
g2bg edge | dBGB AGE2 | DGBG dGBd | cege dcBd |
g2bg edge | dBGB AGEG | DGBd gece | dBAc BGBd |
g2bg edge | dBGB AGE2 | DGBG dGBd | cege dcBc |
dGBd gdBd | gdbg agef | gage dBge | dBAc BGGB ||

Eleven comments

I first heard this reel played full-tilt by a fiddle player in Sydney - it’s a real showpiece for the fiddle and for me it was one of those memorable "session moments". Luckily I managed to get a recording, and the version transcribed here is the way I play it, based on the setting at that session (I’m not a fiddle player). It’s slightly different to the O’Neill’s setting, and also different from other settings that can be found on JC’s index.
Mark

a very nice version to learn

Blame Ivan, not me 🙂

King of the Clan

Was a very popular reel in the sixties. A great box reel and you would hear it at all the sessions. Over the years it sort of died a death. I played it recently for some very good young musicians and they had never heard of it , which was a pity.

King of the Clans

This tune seems to be going through a bit of a revival. I’ve heard it was very popular many years ago (backing Free Reed’s statement) and I’ve heard it at sessions around Dublin in the last few months.

I guess I was just ahead of my time in 2002. I think I was anticipating its revival or something 🙂

I notice I play it differently these days, 6 years later:

X: 1
T: King Of The Clans
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
^c|d2GA (3Bcd ge|dedB AGEG|DGAG dGBG|cege dcBc|
dG (3Bcd edBd|gabg agef|~g3e dBge|1 dBAG EGG:|
|:f|g2fg egdf|gdBG AGEG|DGAG dGBG|cege dcBc|
[1 g2fg egdf|gdBG AGEG|DGBd gece|dBAc BGG:|
[2 gabg efge|dBgB AGEG|DGBd gece|dBAc BGG||

Bar 4 of the B-part should have been |cege dcBd|

X:4 — "King of the Clans," as played by Natalie MacMaster

Here’s a cracking rendition, courtesy of Natalie MacMaster and pretty close to what’s posted on Andrew Kuntz’s site. MacMaster recorded it on her 1991 "Road to the Isle" cassette (at age 18!) with John Morris Rankin, Dave MacIsaac, and Séamus Egan. Highlights from this album (along with the "King of the Clans" medley) were re-released on the 1996 "A Compilation" along with other highlights from her 1989 debut album "Four on the Floor."

It’s the first reel (and the second tune) in a primarily Gmaj set of one strathspey and three reels – beginning with Sir Archibald Grant of Mony Musk ( https://thesession.org/tunes/11167 ) and picking up the pace and intensity into this tune.

As usual, the incomparable MacMaster brings effortless mastery to the fore in her setting here. A treat to hear are the slightly flattened B’s that she plays as a personal touch to the tune in the sixth bar of the A part and in the sixth bar of the second time through the B part.

In addition to MacMaster, a few other heavy-hitting and recognizable Cape Breton artists have taken a shine to this tune, such as:
— Jerry Holland, on "Parlor Music" ( https://thesession.org/recordings/4360 )
— Howie MacDonald and Ashley MacIsaac, on "Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm" ( https://thesession.org/recordings/2134 )
— Carl MacKenzie, on "Highland Fiddle and Dance"
— Joe MacLean, on "Old Time Scottish Fiddle Music from Cape Breton Island" ( https://thesession.org/recordings/3601 )

From Andrew Kuntz’s and Valerio Pelliccioni’s "Traditional Tune Archive":
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/King_of_the_Clans
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:King_of_the_Clans

From Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index:
http://www.cbfiddle.com/rx/tune/t1715.html

Re: King Of The Clans

An excerpt from a recent email I sent to David Lennon regarding a tune played in a recording of my father James "Lad" O’Beirne and Martin Wynne on RTE’s The Rolling Way program in mid February 2021 about my father and Michael Coleman.

"It is interesting that you ask about The Echoes of Bunninadden. I know the tune very well. It’s one of my favorites in his [Lad’s"] repertory. But he never called it by that name to my knowledge. I certainly never heard it called that. I do remember the day I first heard him play it and asked him what it was called. He said that it was The King of the Clans. And then he added an exquisite bit of additional detail. He said that that tune had almost been forgotten in New York, but that he and Martin Wynne, shortly after his arrival from Ireland in the late 1940s, played it on an Irish radio program in New York, and it was instantly picked up by the Irish music community and became a popular standard. I’ve often asked for it at sessions in recent years, but sadly, it seems to have fallen back into the shadows once again, at least here in the Washington, DC area.

Jim O’Beirne