Johnny When You Die reel

Also known as Johnnie When You Die, Old Maids Of Galway.

There are 11 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

Johnny When You Die appears in 1 other tune collection.

Johnny When You Die has been added to 9 tune sets.

Johnny When You Die has been added to 31 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Johnny When You Die
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
AB ~B2 e2dB|A2 GA BA A2|eB ~B2 eBdB|A2 GA BGG2|
AB ~B2 e2dB|A2 GA BA A2|GB ~B2 dB~B2|A2 GA BG G2||
g2 fg e2df|g2 fg eaaf|g2 fg ~e2dB|A2 GA BG G2|
g2 fg e2df|g2 fg eaaf|gbag ~e2dB|A2 GA BG G2||
X: 2
T: Johnny When You Die
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
eBB2 eBdB|A2GA BAA2|eBB2 eBdB|A2GA BGG2|
g2fg egde|g2fg eaaf|g2fg egdB|A2GA BGG2|
g2fg egde|g2fg eaa2|bgaf gedB|A2GA BGG2|

Eight comments

Johnny When You Die

From “The Star Above The Garter” by Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford. Followed by “Anything for John-Joe”.

Did some extensive searching before adding this tune, but there’s nothing by this name, and a few related ABC searches didn’t turn up anything either.

Interestingly, a different version is on another site, here:

And, it points to, but to a non-existent URL:

Re: Johnny When You Die

Nice tune, which can also be found on “Kerry Fiddles” (Padraig O’Keeffe, Denis Murphy & Julia Clifford recorded in 1952 in Castleisland). Apparently the title came from “the first phrase of a song sung to this tune” (Music from Sliabh Luachra, booklet 1976).

As for concordances, have a look at “The Mayo Lasses”

There’s a similar untitled reel in Martin Mulvihill’s collection but in D (p24, No.93) which he appears to have got from Tony Smith. Bobby Gardiner also played that setting (see CRE3, No.204), whereas in O’Neill’s MOI (No.1417) and DMI (No.654) it’s called “The Old Maids of Galway”. Other titles noted include Girls of the County Mayo; Johnny’s Gone to France; Paddy’s Gone to France; Into the Room, I Want You; Ballinlough Bay; and The West Mabou Reel.

Re: Johnny When You Die

Interestingly, I just came across a similar tune in Brendán Breathnach’s “Ceol Rince ná hÉireann 1”, where he lists it as “Gearrchailiú Chontae Mhuigheo” (The Mayo Lasses). But it’s more similar to this setting than the one you linked. That makes me suspect these are all the same tune, with various evolutions.

Re: Johnny When You Die

What a cheerful thread to encounter first thing in the morning…… NOT. 🙁

Re: Johnny When You Die

Sure is some amazing naming. On the Star Above the Garter I can hear “Johnny when you live, Johnny when you die”

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Re: Johnny When You Die

On the Star Above the Garter, I hear the opening bar as |eBB2 A2 dB| or maybe |eBB2 [e2A2] dB|
Unsurprisingly Pádraig O’Keeffe gave (unnamed) settings to his pupils. These can be found on the ITMA website:
These settings are simpler single reel versions (4 bars repeated for each part). POK had a different take on the opening bar: |edBd e2dB|