Garryowen jig

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

There are 16 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

Garryowen appears in 5 other tune collections.

Garryowen has been added to 13 tune sets.

Garryowen has been added to 327 tunebooks.

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Four 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:|
X: 4
T: Garryowen
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
(d/2c/2)|:(BA)G (FE)D|F3/2G/2F F2 (d/2c/2)|(BA)G (FE)D|(E3/2F/2) E E2 (d/2c/2)|
(BA)G (FE)D|F3/2G/2F F z A|(AB)c (dc)F|1 F E3 z (d/2c/2):|2 F E3 z (F/2G/2)||
|:A2 F A2 d|A2 F A2 d|B2 G B2 d|B2 G B2 c|
d2 e f2 e|d2 B A2 F|(AB)c (dA)F|F E2 z2 z:|

Seventeen 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. 🙂

Garryowen, X:4

This is the tune for “From Garyone, my happy home” with the air credited as “Garyone” from Beethoven’s arrangements of Irish folk songs, WoO 154. However, it is clearly the same jig usually called “Garryowen,” and Garyone is a different transliteration of the Irish Garraí Eoin - “the garden of Owen”, an area then outside the city of Limerick. D major, or more properly E Dorian, is the original key.

Lyrics are by T. Toms

From Garyone, my happy home,
Full many a weary mile I’ve come,
To sound of fife and beat of drum,
And more shall see it never.
’Twas there I turn’d my wheel so gay,
Could laugh, and dance, and sing, and play,
And wear the circling hours away
In mirth or peace for ever.

But Harry came, a blithesome boy,
He told me I was all his joy,
That love was sweet, and ne’er could cloy,
And he would leave me never:
His coat was scarlet tipp’d with blue,
With gay cockade and feather too,
A comely lad he was to view;
And won my heart for ever.

My mother cried, dear Rosa, stay,
Ah! Do not from your parents stray;
My father sigh’d, and nought would say,
For he could chide me never:
Yet cruel, I farewell could take,
I left them for my sweetheart’s sake,
And came, ’twas near my heart to break
From Garyone for ever.

Buit poverty is hard to bear,
And love is but a summer’s wear,
And men deceive us when they swear
They’ll love and leave us never:
Now sad I wander through the day,
No more I laugh, or dance, or play,
But mourn the hour I came away
From Garyone for ever.

Re: Garryowen

Well, a most interesting history lesson reading comments here. I am familiar with the tune (always reminds me of the “Irish Washerwoman”. As a Brit I never knew of Custer’s association with some of the Crow Native Americans and their part in the infamous event. Altogether quite morbid links for such a jaunty tune.

Re: Garryowen

It seems we should let go of the past and not allow a mere Irish tune to create animosity among any group of people. Bringing up Custer (who lost to the Indian tribes anyway) or Orange/Republican hatred is pointless at this stage of history. Everyone who would have experienced Custer’s last stand, or the Irish/UK conflicts are long gone. I will always enjoy this bouncy tune.