Garryowen jig

Also known as Fieldtown, The Fieldtown, Garry Owen, The Garry Owen, Garry Owen’s, Garryowen, The Garryowen March, Gary Owen, Garyowen, Walk Of The Twopenny Postman, The Walk Of The Twopenny Postman.

There are 15 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

Garryowen appears in 5 other tune collections.

Garryowen has been added to 8 tune sets.

Garryowen has been added to 304 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Garryowen
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A2 F A2 F|A2 F Adc|B2 G B2 G|B2 G B2 c|
d2 e f2 e|dcB AFG|ABc dAF|1|3EFE EFG:|2 4EFE E dc||
X: 2
T: Garryowen
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
e>dc BAG|B>cB B2 g/f/|e>dc BAG|A>BA A2 g/f/|
e>dc BAG|B>cB B2 c|dd/e/f gdB|A>BA A2:|
d2 B d2 B|d2 B dgf|e2 c e2 c|e2 c e2 f|
g2 a b2 a|gg/f/e d2 B/c/|d>ef gdB|A>BA A2:|
X: 3
T: Garryowen
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
edc BAG|B>cB B2 g/f/|edc BAG|A>BA A2 g/f/|
edc BAG|B>cd g2 a|bag e/f/ge|dBG A2:|
{d/e/}d2 B {d/e/}d2 B|{d/e/}d2 B {d/e/}dgf|{e/f/}e2 c {e/f/}e2 c|{e/f/}e2 c {e/f/}e2 f|
g2 a b2 a|gfe {d/e/}dBc|d>ef gdB|A>BA A2:|

Fourteen comments

Gary Owen’s

I’m familiar with this tune from all my life though I only recently learned it on fiddle. Every time I hear it I think of Custer’s last stand, as this is what he had his band play as they marched. I believe there are lyrics to go with the tune, but I don’t know what they are.

I’ve usually seen this spelled Garryowen. We play it on occasion, but in G maj (gf|edc BAG|BcB Bgf|etc.). War history buffs love it, but I’ve also seen people take umbrage at the tune. Here in Montana, it’s important to know who’s listening—some of the Crow tribe fought and died alongside Custer at Little Bighorn, while other Crow and the Northern Cheyenne fought against him. So it’s still possible to spark hostilities by playing this tune in mixed company, at least in my corner of the world.

Posted .


As I gather, the Garryowen has historically been played in Orange lodges as a prelude to an anti-Catholic riot. So it has some political baggage in some circles. Best avoided among Irish. It’s overplayed anyway.

Clan March?

I realize that there a limitation on tune catageories available here. But to clarify, I’ve always been told this tune is a Clan March? Do other, more knowledgeable here agree?

"Garyowen" ~ march

~ a march that was and can also played without the repeats, or simply AB. The following is with the repeats, AABB:

X: 1134
T: Garyowen
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: march
K: A Dorian
|: g/f/ |
e>dc BAG | B>cB B2 g/f/ | e>dc BAG | A>BA A2 g/f/ |
e>dc BAG | B>cB B2 c | dd/e/f gdB | A>BA A2 :|
|: B/c/ |
d2 B d2 B | d2 B dgf | e2 c e2 c | e2 c e2 f |
g2 a b2 a | gg/f/e d2 B/c/ | d>ef gdB | A>BA A2 :|


Garryowen is the unofficial song of the of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers (the Royal Dragoons of Ireland) in the 1700’s whowhen dispanded in 1799 as one of the oldest andmost repected armies in the British Army, made up mostly of Irishmen. Former Dragoons emigrated to various parts of the world to ply their trade as cavalrymen.

The US 7th Cavalry adopted the song as their own and is played throughout the world still today.

Garryowen means Owen’s Garden and was a pub in Limerick

Sensitive by Hickory 6

I laughed when I read your comment, however I nust set you straight. The Orange Lodges don’t play tunes anid they don’t riot. The lodge may employ a band, which are not Orange , to accompany them on their traditional route.

The anti Catholic Riot as you say has confused me. It is well known by the security forces that the only riots in the past 15 years at any march are orchestrated by Republicans, who would wish to stop peacful marches through an area of a town which was once dominated by the Unionist people.

The Orange don’t riot, if hey did they would be banned and rightly so, but Sinn Fein do, but maybe that’s ok in your book.

Garry Owen

This jig can be traced back to c.1750. It was composed re: a place in Limerick, known as Owens Garden (Gaghoire meaning garden in the Irish language.) a "park" of sorts for the local lads. There occurred at this place considerable drinking, trysting, general hooliganism, including the torture of geese. It was recorded that "the geese suffered" from the twisting of their necks which resulted in their deaths. It was later "adopted" by Gen. Geo. Custer. All this unpleasant association makes in impossible for some people to enjoy this tune.


"Garyowen" ~ a bit more fun with it

X: 3
T: Garyowen
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: march
K: A Dorian
|: g/f/ |\
edc BAG | B>cB B2 g/f/ | edc BAG | A>BA A2 g/f/ |
edc BAG | B>cd g2 a | bag e/f/ge | dBG A2 :|
|: B/c/ |\
{d/e/}d2 B {d/e/}d2 B | {d/e/}d2 B {d/e/}dgf | {e/f/}e2 c {e/f/}e2 c | {e/f/}e2 c {e/f/}e2 f |
g2 a b2 a | gfe {d/e/}dBc | d>ef gdB | A>BA A2 :|

Re: Garryowen

There is some bizarre comment in this thread.
Garryowen is a place in Limerick (from the Irish, John’s Garden). It has many pubs and I’ve never heard of a goose being strangled in any of them except maybe in ancient times when someone was preparing one for the dinner.
It’s interesting that it can raise animosity among native Americans on account of the association with the 7th Cavalry and it did cause offence to our Orange defender, above, who merely wants to parade with his Union Flag through nationalist districts.
I’m still goint to learn it and play it with St Patrick’s Day on St Patrick’s Day. A great immortal tune!

Re: Garryowen

It was also the marching tune of Civil War Irish regiments like the infamous 69th.

Re: Garryowen

I play this at Civil War reenactments. Very popular tune and haven’t met a Yank or Reb yet who has a complaint. 🙂