The Wise Maid reel

Also known as All Around The World, The Connemara Rake, Docherty’s, Doherty’s, Holy Well, Tinker Doherty.

There are 113 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Wise Maid appears in 5 other tune collections.

The Wise Maid has been added to 313 tune sets.

The Wise Maid has been added to 1,756 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Eight settings

X: 1
T: The Wise Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FA|d2AG FDFA|dfaf gfeg|fedf eAcA|dfed cA A2|
BAGB ADFD|dfaf gfed|Bdce dBAG|FGEF D2:|
X: 2
T: The Wise Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DE|~F3 G FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAF BE ~E2|
~F3 G FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAG FD:|
|:FA|d2 AG FDFA|dfaf gfeg|fAdf eAce|dfed cA~A2|
BDGB ADFA|dfaf gfed|(3Bcd ce dBAG|FAEA D2:|
X: 3
T: The Wise Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DE|F4({G} FE)DE|FAAB AFE(D|d2) (3efg f(de)c|dBAd B(E{G}ED)|
F4{G} FEDE|FAAB AFE(D|d2) (3efg f(de)c|dBA(F D2):|
|:(3AB(c|d2) A(G F)DFA|dfa(f gf)eg|f(cd)f e(Ac)e|dfe(d cA)Ad|
B(FG)B A(DF)A|dfa(f gf)ed|(3Bcd c(e d)BAG|(3FGF EF D2:|
X: 4
T: The Wise Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:F3G FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAF BE E2|
F3G FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAG FD D2:|
|:d2AG FDFA|dfaf gfeg|fAdf eAce|dfed cA A2|
BEGB ADFA|dfaf gfed|(3Bcd ce dBAG|FGEF D2:|
# Added by JACKB .
X: 5
T: The Wise Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:~F3 A FEDE|F~A3 AFEF|d2 eg fdef|dBAF BE E z|
~F3 A FEDE|F~A3 AFEF|d2 eg fdef|dBAG FDD z:|
d2 AG FDFA|dfaf gfez|fAdf eAce|dfed c~A3|
BDGB ADFA|dfaf gfez|(3Bcd ce dBAF|GEAG FD2z:|
X: 6
T: The Wise Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DE|F2 F/F/F FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 e/f/g fdec|dBAd BE E2|
F2 F/F/F FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 e/f/g fdec|dBAG FD:|
|:FA|d2 AG FDFA|dfaf gfeg|fAdf eAce|dfed cA A2|
BDGB ADFA|dfaf gfed|B/c/d ce dBAG|FGEF D2:|
X: 7
T: The Wise Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DE|F=F^FG FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAF BEEG|
F=F^FG FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAG FD:|
|:(3FGA|d2AG (3FED FA|dfaf gf (3efg|fAdf eA (3cde|(3def ed cA A=c|
BDGB ADFA|dfaf gfed|(3Bcd (3cde dBAG|FGEF D2:|
X: 8
T: The Wise Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DE|F2FG FEDE|F2AB AFED|d2eg fdec|dBAF BE~E2|
F2FG FEDE|F2AB AFED|d2eg fdec|dBAG FD:|
|:FA|d2AG FDFA|dfaf gfeg|fAdf eAce|dfed cA ~A2|
BDGB ADFA|dfaf gfed|Bdce dBAG|FAEA D2:|

Thirty-six comments

This tune is quite often played together with Cooley’s reel.

This tune isn’t easy. In fact it’s quite a finger twister, but it’s worth perservering with. Not only is it great practice for your finger memory, it’s also a beautiful tune.

I don’t really have an suggestions for ornamentation. If you can find a spot where you can throw in a roll or a triplet, go ahead, but I find the tune hard enough to play “straight”.

I just learned this tune today and it seems to have bits and pieces in it that sound like other tunes. The A part sounds like Maid Behind the Bar for a little bit and in the B part I hear Hand Me Down the Tackle and also a bit of Cooley’s.

No wonder people say this stuff all sounds the same. 🙂

Posted by .

Oops, I meant to say elsewhere in the A part, not the B part….

Posted by .

Ornaments etc

There’s a great setting of this tune in the collection Trip to Sligo. Although it’s quite similar to the one here, it seems to suggest/lend itself to ornamentation really well. Some rolls are written in, but you can see where others would fit nicely, as well as where you would want to play cuts.

Posted by .

With some small variations and ornaments.

T:Wise Maid, The
|:DE|~F3 G FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAF BE ~E2|!
~F3 G FEDE|FAAB AFED|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAG FD:|!
|:FA|d2 AG FDFA|dfaf gfeg|fAdf eAce|dfed cA~A2|!
BDGB ADFA|dfaf gfed|(3Bcd ce dBAG|FAEA D2:|

Wise Maid

This is my all-time favorite reel. Thanks for posting it. I especially love it when Planxty plays it at the end of the Jolly Beggar.

Whistle and pipes

I wouldn’t know about fiddle, but this tune plays itself pretty well on the whistle and pipes.


I learned this tune by the first Album of Planxty, is the reel played after Jolly Beggar.Is it true or my memory wrong?Because I didn’t find it in the recordings .

Wise and foolish maidens?

I’ve wondered sometimes about the title of this reel, and whether it has anything to do with the parable of the 5 wise maidens and 5 foolish maidens, the wise ones who kept oil for their lamps, as they slept, whereas the foolish ones didn’t. So the wise ones were ready for the coming of the lord…ahem, as it were.
I don’t know how this would go along with today’s health and safety legislation though.

The wise maid

Just learning to play this tune myself on the Banjo and it sounds deadly. attempting to throw in a few tripplets….

it’s a great banjo tune but Jeremy’s right, it’s a finger twister….. I find all Cooley’s common ones are a bit like that.

Cape Breton fiddlers are guilty of misnaming a few tunes.

Ok Slainte, but what has that got to do with anything?

Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude. There’s nothing wrong with two different tunes sharing the same title, but sometimes this happens when a few musicians get confused almost at the same time.

Just think about a version of an Irish jig “Contentment is Wealth.” It’s been recorded and played as “The Golden Keyboard” by Cape Breton fiddlers. But, “The Golden Keyboard” is actually the title of a *reel* composed in the last century. I believe some old C.B. fiddlers mixed up the titles of the two Irish tunes, and the mistake got fixed.

I just want to suggest the same might be true with the tune a few C.B. musicans recorded as “The Wise Maid.”

Ahh but Daimh are not a few Cape Breton musicians. The piper is from Cape Breton. The fiddler is from San Francisco. The banjo player is from Dublin and the rest are Scottish. They all live in the Highlands and they would have probably got the tune from Iain MacDonald of Glenuig. It was called The Wise Maid in the old collections. Anyway I don’t really want this discussion again. It went on forever on the comments section of the tune we are discussing anyway. There is more than one Irish tune that has been called the Wise Maid also, never mind the Scottish one.

And don’t worry Slainte, I didn’t think you did mean any offence, It is just a good job that no Irish musicians are guilty of getting a tune name wrong!! 🙂

Also known as The Knotted Chord??

I have just spotted this in the Orange Book of Ossian Irish Session Tunes (selected by Brid Crannitch) p.13, number 6.4 where it is entitled The Knotted Chord. I have never heard this alternative title for this tune before. The Knotted Chord seems generally to be a completely different tune. Is this a mistake or is Around the World also known as The Knotted Chord in some circles?

Most probably a mistake.

Posted by .

And in that case it would be the Knotted Cord anyway.

Posted .

Ideas for backing the B part

Does anybody have any nice ideas for backing the B part of this tune on guitar, - whatever tuning.

I play it on mandolin and wanted to record it, but I’m finding it hard to find something that works with bars 3-6 of the B part and doesn’t step all over it.

Please, folks, this is not a “what are the chords?” question, I’m asking any backers to share some wisdom.


Chords for backing the B part

This is what I like to use for the B part of The Wise Maid.

||: D | D - A | D - A | Bm - A | G - D | Bm - A | G - D | A - D :||

With the Chords listed above

T: The Wise Maid
DE |: “D”EF FG FE DE | FA AB AF ED | “G”d2 (3efg fd ec | dB AF “A”BA FD | \
“D”EF FG FE DE | FA AB AF ED | “G”d2 (3efg fd ec | “A”dB AG “D”F/G/F D2 :|3 c“D“d AG FD FA | \
df af “A”gf eg | “D”fA df “A”eA ce | “Bm”df ed c“A“A A2 | “G”BD GB “D”AD FA | \
“Bm”df af “A”gf ed | “G”(3Bcd ce “D”dB AG | “A”FA EA “D”D4 :| \
W:Created with TablEdit

Holy well

I have found this tune in “Owenmore ceili band” by Owenmore ceili band, side 2, track 1, 1st tune titled as “Holy well”

Wise Maid

Just noticed that Planxty, on their first album play this tune in the key of ‘B’, as is the preceding song the Jolly Beggar. I know little about the pipes but I suppose Liam must have a set of ‘B’ pipes.

Or Bb and the recording pitch was altered.

The Wise Maid, X:5

This is a transcription of Paddy Carty’s version of the wise maid. I decided to add it as a setting as it has some incompatible variations compared to the other versions present here.

On the third measure of the second part, Paddy Carty sometimes replaces the usual |fAdf eAce| with |f2df e2ce| and play a quick short roll of the f2 and e2. The rests the I notated are places where he often breathes but sometimes he will do a full roll instead of a cut and a rest.

The album in which this is recorded is indexed here : . Here is a

youtube link that will hopefully continue to be available for a while :

Re: The Wise Maid

Wonderful tune - am working up a fingerstyle version using DADGAD tuning - should work pretty well and present some different sonic opportunities. Will likely change key to F to fit with some other tunes in the set.