The Banks Of The Ilen strathspey

Also known as The Banks Of The Ilen Highland Fling.

There are 18 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Scartaglen (a few times) and Tom Billy’s (a few times).

The Banks Of The Ilen has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Banks Of The Ilen has been added to 15 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Banks Of The Ilen
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: A>G |F<D (3FGA d2 f>d | (3dcd f>d e>cA<G |\
F<DF>A d2 f>d | e>cA<F G2 :|
d>e |f2 f>d g2 g>e | a>ba>g f<dd>e |\
f>A (3fed g>B (3gfe | a2 (3fga g2 f>g |
a2 (3fga g>fe>g | f<dd>f e>cA<G |\
F2 (3DFA d>A (3fed | e>cA<F G2 |]
X: 2
T: The Banks Of The Ilen
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
R: hornpipe
|: (AG) |FDFA d2 (fe) | d2 (fd) ecAG | FDFA d2 (fd) | ecAF GBAG |
FDFA d2 (fe) | d2 (fd) ecAG | FDFA d2 (fd) | ecAF G2 :|
|: (de) |f2 (fd) g2 (ge) | abag fdde | f2 (fd) g2 (ge) | abaf g2 (fg) |
abaf gage | fgfd ecAG | FDFA defd | ecAF G2 :|
X: 3
T: The Banks Of The Ilen
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
R: hornpipe
|: (3BAG |F>DF>A d2 f>e | d2 f>d e>cA>G | F>DF>A d2 f>d | e>cA>F G>B (3BAG |
F>D (3FGA d>Af>e | d>A (3fed e>cA>G | (3FED F>A d>Af>d | e>cA>F G2 :|
|: (3cde |f2 f>d g2 g>e | a>ba>g f>dd>e | f2 f>d g2 g>e | a>ba>f g2 (3efg |
a>ba>f g2 (3gfe | f2 (3fed e2 (3BAG | F2 D>A d>A (3fed | (3efe A>F G2 :|

Five comments

“The Banks Of The Ilen” ~ the highland fling of it… 8-)

Answering a request, this lovely tune, recorded as a 32 bar hornpipe by O’Neill in both of his major collections (see below), is a lovely highland fling, and great to dance any of those dances to too… It also makes a lovely step dance set, a la Cape Breton, going from this into the same melody as a reel.

X: 2 & X: 3 ~ “The Banks Of The Ilen” ~ transcribed as a hornpipe - Captain Francis O’Neill & Co.

X: 2
T: Banks of the Ilen, The
S: "O’Neill’s Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies", 1903, page 295, tune #1592
S: O’Neill’s "The Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems", 1907, page 144, tune #837
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: DMaj
|: (AG) |\
FDFA d2 (fe) | d2 (fd) ecAG | FDFA d2 (fd) | ecAF GBAG |
FDFA d2 (fe) | d2 (fd) ecAG | FDFA d2 (fd) | ecAF G2 :|
|: (de) |\
f2 (fd) g2 (ge) | abag fdde | f2 (fd) g2 (ge) | abaf g2 (fg) |
abaf gage | fgfd ecAG | FDFA defd | ecAF G2 :|

X: 3

This transcription is based on O’Neill’s but makes the swing (>) obvious while also throwing in a few triplets and other bits on the repeat phrases of bars 5 - 8 of both the A & B parts and the lead-ins…

Personally, I suspect, and they wouldn’t be the first to do so, that someone turned this from 16 bars into 32 and a hornpipe to meet their own preconceptions, and then entered it as such for the O’Neill collection. Nowadays they’re more likely to have carried forward as a reel, single or double…