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.
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:
T: King Of The Clans
^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":
From Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index:
Re: King Of The Clans
Here’s Micheal O’Raghallaigh’ amazing version