Colonel Fraser reel

Also known as An Ardtaoiseach Fraser, An Coirneal Frazer, Colonel Fraser’s, Colonel Frasier, Colonel Frazer, Colonel Frazer’s, Colonel Frazers, Colonel Frazier, Colonel Frazier’s.

There are 115 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

Colonel Fraser appears in 4 other tune collections.

Colonel Fraser has been added to 20 tune sets.

Colonel Fraser has been added to 453 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: Colonel Fraser
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:dc|BGAF DG~G2|AF~F2 d2cA|B2AF GBeg|fdcA (3dcB (3cBA|
BGAF DG~G2|Af~f2 d2cA|B2AF GBeg|fdcA ~G2:|
|:Bc|dggf ~g2ag|fdde fdcA|dgga bgag|fdcA BG (3Bcd|
~g3f ~d2dc|BG~G2 AF~F2|G2 (3ABc (3Bcd ge|fdcA ~G2:|
|:BA|Bd~d2 BAGB|AGFG AB (3cBA|Bd~d2 edBd|cAdc BG~G2|
Bd~d2 BAGB|AGFG AB (3cBA|G2 (3ABc (3Bcd ge|fdcA ~G2:|
|:GA|~B2GB ~B2GB|~A2FA ~A2FA|~B2GB ~B2GB|cAdc BGG2|
~B2GB ~B2GB|~A2FA ~A2FA|G2 (3ABc (3Bcd ge|fdcA ~G2:|
|:GA|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|(3Bcd fd (3Bcd fd|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|cAdc BGG2|
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|(3Bcd fd (3Bcd fd|G2 (3ABc (3Bcd ge|fdcA ~G2:|
X: 2
T: Colonel Fraser
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
A|BGAF DG~G2|AF~F2 ~d2cA|BGAF GBeg|fdcA dBcA|
BGAF DG~G2|AF~F2 ~d2cA|BGAF GBeg|fdcA ~G3:|
|:B|dggf ~g2ag|fddc ABcA|dgga bgag|fdcA G2 (3Bcd|
gagf ~d3c|BG~G2 ADFA|GBAc (3Bcd ge|fdcA ~G3:|
|:A|Bd~d2 BGdB|AGFG ABcA|Bd^cd BGdB|=cAFG AGGA|
Bd~d2 BGdB|AGFG AB (3cBA|GBAc (3Bcd ge|fdcA ~G3:|
~B2GB GBGB|~A2FA FAFA|GBAc (3Bcd ge|fdcA ~G3:|
|:A|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|Adfd Adfd|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|cAFG AGGA|
(3Bcd gd gdgd|Adfd AdFA|GBAc (3Bcd ge|fdcA ~G3:|
X: 3
T: Colonel Fraser
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:dc|BGAF DG G2|ABcA dBcA|BGAF GBeg|fdcA dBcA|
BG G2 DG G2|AF F2 dBcA|G3A (3Bcd eg|fdcA AG G2:|
dggf gaag|fdcA ABcA|dggf gaag|fdcA G2 (3Bcd|
g3f dedc|B2 GB AD D2|G3A (3Bcd (3efg|fdcA AG G2||
dbba g2 ag|fdcA ABcA|dbba g2 ag|fdcA AG (3Bcd|
g3f dedc|B2 GB AD D2|G3A (3Bcd (3efg|fdcA AG G2||
|:Bd d2 BGdB|AF F2 ABcA|Bd d2 BcdB|cAFG AG G2|
(3Bcd cd BGdB|ADFA DFAD|G3A (3Bcd (3efg|fdcA AG G2||
(3Bcd ^cd BGdB|AF F2 ABcA|(3Bcd ^cd BGdB|cAFG AG G2|
(3Bcd gd BG G2|AD (3FGA DFAD|G3A (3Bcd (3efg|fdcA AG G2||
B2 GABG dB|AF F2 ABcA|G3A (3Bcd eg|fdcA AG G2:|
DBBD BBDB|DAAD AADA|G3A (3Bcd (3efg|fdcA AG G2||
BDGB DGBD|ADFA DFAD|G3A (3Bcd (3efg|fdcA AG G2||
BDDB DDBD|ADDA DDAD|G3A (3Bcd (3efg|fdcA AG G2||
|:(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|Adfd Adfd|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|cAFG AG G2|
(3Bcd gd g3d|Adfd f3d|G3A (3Bcd eg|fdcA G2||
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|Adfd Adfd|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|cAFG AG G2|
(3Bcd ga bgdB|(3ABd fg afdA|G3A (3Bcd eg|fdcA G2||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 4
T: Colonel Fraser
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
d2 cA|:{d}BG~G2 {A}DG~G2|AB{d}cA .d.BcA|{d}BG~G2 DG{c}Bd|.c.A.d.c {B}AG~G2|
{d}BG~G2 {A}DG~G2|{B}AF~F2 cF~F2|{d}BG{A}GF GBdg|f.d.cA {B}AG~G2:|
|:dg{a}gf {a}g2~g2|fdc.A .AB{d}cA|dg~g2 ~a3g|f.d.cA {B}A2 (3.B.c.d|
.g2~g2 dedc|(3.B.c.B G.c (3.A.c.A FA|GBAc (3Bcd eg|{g}f.d.cA AG~G2:|
|:Bd (3.d.c.d BGdB|{d}AFcF (3.A.B.c AF|B.d.d.d (3.B.c.d (3.B.c.d|.c.A.d.c {B}AG~G2|
Bd (3.d.c.d BGdB|{d}AFcF (3.A.B.c AF|(3.G.A.B Ac (3.B.c.d eg|{g}f.d.cA {B}AG{A}Gc:|
|:(3.B.c.B Gc (3.B.c.B Gc|(3.A.c.A F.c (3.A.c.A F.c|(3.B.c.B Gc (3.B.c.B G.d|{d}cADF {B}AG{A}Gc|
(3.B.c.B gB gBg.c|(3.A.c.A fA fAfA|(3GAB Ac (3Bcd eg|{g}f.d.cA {B}AG~G2:|
|:(3Bcd gd (3.B.c.d gd|(3.A.c.A f.c (3.A.c.A fd|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd g.d|{d}cAFG {B}AG.G.c|
(3.B.c.B gB gBgB|(3.A.c.A fA fAfA|(3.G.A.B Ac (3Bcd (3efg|(3fed (3cBA (3BAG {B}AG:|

Thirty-three comments

Col Fraser’s

I just spent an hour or so trying to get Conal O’Grada’s version of this famous fluters/pipers tune under my belt. It’s not really hard but it is a lot to remember, well worth it if you can. I’d say it’s more of a party piece than a ‘chestnut’ often heard at sessions. Enjoy

Colonel Fraser

Off the top of my head, - also recorded by The Dubliners, Finbar Furey, Paddy Keenan, Brendan Ring & Niall Keegan, Charlie Lennon, Seamus Tansey, Liam O’Flynn, Kieran Hanrahan, and “Inchiquin”. Has to be a great tune.

Posted by .

Col Fraser

Yeah, this is one of the ‘big’ tunes, I wish I had it all under my belt.

Colonel Frazer

I’ve always liked this one, being a piper. This is a tune that just begs you to vamp on the regulators during parts of it, especially the fourth part. I wish it were more of a session chestnut, I try to play it once in a while at sessions because there are a few fiddlers in town that enjoy it, too.

This version looks more like a flute version to me and does not have the flow of a piping version. I strongly suggest listening to Johnny Doran’s version for variations and Liam O’Flynn’s very clean, precise playing is full of ideas, too. Brian McNamara recorded a slower-than-usual version on his solo album that still has logic and invention to spare. He plays it on a C set, so you’ll need a C whistle to play along or be able to transpose the tune into F.

Jerry Sullivan also plays a good version of this, worth checking out.

Posted by .

Am posting my version of this as a note for myself so I won’t have to sit down and relearn it for a 3rd time. Why does a tune have to have so many parts to remember?

X: 1
T: Colonel Fraser’s
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
BGAF DG~G2|ADFA d2cA|BGAF GBdg|fdcA G3:|
|:B|dggf g2ag|fdde fdcA|dgga bgag|fdcA G2 (3Bcd|
~g3e d2dc|BG~G2 ADFA|GBAc (3Bcd ge|fdcA G3:|
|:A|Bd~d2 BGdB|AGFG ABcA|Bd~d2 BGdB|cAFG AGGA|
Bd~d2 BGdB|AGFG ABcA|GBAc (3Bcd ge|fdcA G3:|
~B2GB dBGB|~A2FA DAFA|GBAc (3Bcd ge|fdcA G3:|
|:A|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|Adfd Adfd|(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|cAFG AGGA|
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd|Adfd AdFA|GBAc (3Bcd ge|fdcA G3:|

Lovely version by Kieran Hanrahan. He plays the F’s in the last part natural. Sounds to me like am mix of the Flogging and College Groves.

the best version i’ve heard of this was played by John McSherry live in Dublin. Very clean with impecable ornamentation

Fiddle version by Bobby Casey

There’s a great version of this by Bobby Casey in the RTE Ceili House Archives for August 7 2004. Casey was recorded in the RTE studios in 1977. The commentator says “anybody looking for a good version of Colonel Frazier, well it’s right there”.

The programme also includes solo recordings of Junior Crehan and Paddy Canny.

Posted .

Sleeve Notes - Inside Out

According to the sleeve notes on Michael O Raghallaigh’ s album, this was recorded in the 20’ by Michael Coleman and titled “Malloy’s Favourite”.


I hate to keep asking this, but does anyone know the composer’s name? Or is it another for the “Traditional” pile?

To my knowledge, no-one has ever put a name to a composer for this classic. Seamus Tansey was quoted once somewhere as saying the good Colonel had been a popular land-owner in Co. Sligo, I seem to recall. The tunes’ origins seem to have been lost. Surprised that nobody has mentioned Paddy Keenan’s version recorded on his first solo album. Used to be one of Barney McKenna’s showpieces.

Posted by .

Kevin Crawford on Bb flute

The clip has become unavailable on Custy’s website, but thankfully someone has posted it on Youtube. I’m sure that model of Bb flute made by M. Grinter is getting popular among other flute players in Ireland. I saw Damien Stenson of Teada playing it in Sligo a few years ago.

From the Fiddler’s Companion:

“Flute player Seamus Tansey relates that Colonel Fraser was an English landlord in Leinster, a man of good temperament who was kind to his tenantry and to travelling pipers. He bought one piper a set of new pipes and had this tune composed for him in gratitude. Tansey said the piper was inspired by the sight of the Colonel galloping on his horse to the hunt, “It’s like the ‘Fox Chase’, but different.”

Colonel Fraser’s

It’s a fantastic tune to add variations, so I have posted a few variations I use.

Posted by .

Re: Colonel Fraser

My own version - “Colonel Fraser’s Return To Scotland” - a strathspey [ of sorts ]. From 2001, thanks to RonP for excellent guitar accompaniment.

Posted by .

Re: Colonel Fraser

This tune set titled “Colonel Fraser and O’Rourke’s Reel” hypnotised me in the late sixties, in digs in London; it took a number of years before I realised it was two separate reels rather than one with a grand climax. This saves me posting the LP “Seven Drunken Nights” (EMI Starline SRS5059, 1967). Thanks to Barney McKenna and the Dubliners!