The Traveller reel

Also known as The Carpenter, Carpenter’s, The Carpenter’s, La Voyager, Laborer’s, The Laborer’s, Le Reel De Voyageur, Le Reel Des Ouvriers, Reel Des Voyageurs, Traveler, The Traveler, Traveler’s, Travelers, The Traveller’s, Walker St., Walker Street, Walker Street Hornpipe, Walking The Street.

There are 79 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

The Traveller appears in 6 other tune collections.

The Traveller has been added to 55 tune sets.

The Traveller has been added to 473 tunebooks.

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Two settings

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Twenty-one comments

Shares a common opening motif with other reels such as Buckley’s Fancy and Five Mile Chase.

Carpenter’s Reel

Wonderful thing, the session! I heard Carpenter’s Reel in 1975 or so by the California group ‘The Arkansas Sheiks’ who do a great rendition with fiddles, mandolin and hammered dulcimer. I could never quite figure out the notes but now at last it is found here - bliss!!

old folks in the acadian community in eastern Canada really enjoy this tune, consider it a definite classic ..

Err… isn’t this just the standard Irish reel “The Traveller” with it’s name translated into French?

Not only that, but there’s already a French title, Le Reel Des Ouvriers, here in the database. Pretty impressive when an Irish tune has two different French names!

It’s also called the Traveller or Walker Street.

I have a tune called Les Jardins De Sallie. Can I post that?

Haha, you’re funny, Dow! 🙂

What about Le Itinérrances Du Connaughthomme?

it’s not at all far-fetched -- i’ve got a lovely one-row accordion album with the set Reel des Ecoliers / Mademoiselle McCloud on it.

Oo yeah post those - we need some more original matrerial like this here at

Thanks Alarican, don’t listen to the jibes - i’m just glad you posted it with the ‘real’ name - and finally linked to the Sharon Shannon album, where it belongs!

Anyway, enough of the pettiness, how do i link it to Shooglenifty’s ‘Venus in Tweeds’??

Add an s to Le (Les Reel Des Voyaguers) as that is how it is listed on the Yenus in Tweeds page. I went a head and did it myself. 🙂

Ah… now i know - cheers!

Le Reel Des Voyageurs

Apparently well known in Canada as “The Laborer’s Reel”. Kate Dunlay has suggested that the “Traveller” title may stem from the French travailler = to work, which leads me to think that O’Neill played one of his re-naming tricks. Who knows?

This tune was also published in 1881 in the Edinburgh publicaton ‘Kohler’s Violin Repository’ as “Walker Street Hornpipe”.

This is also traditional in Quebec

One of the common tunes heard in Quebec.
Many are not aware that the tune is originally Irish.
Other such “importations”:
- The teetotaler (Reel De La Tempérance)
- The Heathery Breeze (Gigue à Ti-Mé which is wrongly attributed to P. Bruneau)

I think the Bothy Band played his in A, but I prefer it in G for the tenor bj.

Key Signature

Some of the French Canadian band and shooglenifty play it in a major

“Add an s to Le (Les Reel Des Voyaguers) as that is how it is listed on the Yenus in Tweeds page. I went a head and did it myself. 🙂”

“Some of the French Canadian band and shooglenifty play it in a major”

The tune on the Shooglenifty recording is a different tune - at least, a very different version. I’m reluctant to add it here as an alternate setting, since the similarities are only incidental.

Re: The Traveller

OK… I like this tune and play a solo arrangement of it on the guitar….. so, here is what I think MAY have happened with the name…. Someone penned a fabulous tune called the WALKER STREET HORNPIPE (Irish?) … This tune caught on and was played extensively and somehow found its way to Quebec. An English player in Quebec got hold of it and somehow read the title as the WORKERS HORNPIPE and played it with that name. (somewhere the tune seemed to lose its hornpipe character and was played more as a reel) …. Sometime later, a French player got hold of it, liked the tune and decided to rename it in French as the REEL DE TRAVAILLEURS. The tune is quite popular in Quebec and, eventually, some English player in Quebec, perhaps not understanding much French (really?) decided to name it THE TRAVELLER’S REEL. So, there you have it . well…maybe…
Bob in Guelph ON