Bob McQuillen’s reel

Also known as Aly Bain’s, Aunt Susan’s Favourite, Bob McQuillan’s, Dermot Byrne’s, Dermot Byrnes, Maud McQuillan, Maud McQuillan’s.

There are 11 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Cathkin Braes (a few times) and Sophie’s Dancing Feet (a few times).

Bob McQuillen’s has been added to 1 tune set.

Bob McQuillen's has been added to 70 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: Bob McQuillen's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:dc|BGBc dcBA|GABG D2 Bd|CcCD EDCB|AGFE Dddc|
BGBc dcBA|GABG DB,G,B,|CGEG DAFA|AGFA G2:|
|:B2|d2 Bd g'bgf|eccB cBAB| cA (3dcB aAga|fddc dcBc|
d2 Bd g'bbf|eccd efge|dGBd cAFA|AGFA G2:|
X: 2
T: Bob McQuillen's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:dc|B2Bc dcBA|GABG D2 Bd|cBcd edcB|AGFE D2dc|
B2Bc dcBA|GABG DB,G,B,|CDEC B,DGB|cAFA G2:|
|:Bc|d2 Bd g3f|eccB cBAB| c2Ac a3g|fdd^c d=cBc|
d2 Bd gagf|ecc2 efge|dBGB cAFG|AGGF G2:|

Sixteen comments

There are some very high notes in this, and lots of leaps. If the ABC is correct it’s very unusual…

Those very high g’s in bars 1 and 5 of part B make more musical sense if they’re an octave lower. I’ve tried it, and it’s now quite a fun tune to play.

Aly Bain composition

I’m sure this tune was composed by Aly Bain, who named it after Bob McQuillan, an American fiddle-player, I think. Trevor’s right about dropping the octave.

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P.s.

Once again, as Bob McQuillan’s is the name given to the tune by the composer, I think it should be listed as such.

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Moot point

Perhaps my eyes are failing me or the monitor’s resolution is poor, but shouldn’t the discrepant high g’ s in the ABC appear in the sheet music skewered by ledger lines?

You must have been on the ball to have noticed that Gra5ity. It does look as though the skewer has been chopped off on both sides. Maybe the note is so high that the computer assumes that no-one would ever bother counting the ledger lines!

Bob McQuillen

Bon McQ is a pianist/accordionist from New Hampshire (I dunno, maybe he does play fiddle) who has composed God knows how many contra-dance tunes. His best known is Dancing Bear, which I utterly despise, but dancers love it, and I have to admit, it "dances" pretty good!

Bob McQuillen

I thought I once heard Aly introduce it as a tune he had written for a fiddler, but accept I could be wrong here. I’m sure you’re right, ffidylguy. Anyway, it is "Bob McQuillen’s", composed by Aly Bain.

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McQuillen

Bob McQuillen doesn’t play the fiddle in public — if at all. He’s a pretty famous and much-loved New England character who has written thousands of tunes. He wrote Amelia’s Waltz, among other tunes played world-wide.

Jackson’s

It’s the second Jackson’s Reel on Christy Dunne’s pluckin good album. He played Jackson’s first and then Bob McQuillan’s but called the track a collective title of Jackson’s. I believe this must have just been in reference to the first tune and the second being a Gan Ainm.

The transcription above is a little bit suspect - at the very least, not session friendly. So here’s the way I play it, and more or less the way you’ll hear it in sessions:

X: 1
T: Bob McQuillen’s
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
|:dc|B2Bc dcBA|GABG D2 Bd|cBcd edcB|AGFE D2dc|
B2Bc dcBA|GABG DB,G,B,|CDEC B,DGB|cAFA G2:|
|:Bc|d2 Bd g3f|eccB cBAB| c2Ac a3g|fdd^c d=cBc|
d2 Bd gagf|ecc2 efge|dBGB cAFG|AGGF G2:|

Sounds a lot like the Dorsetshire Hornpipe played faster

Rubbish….

Why are there so many alternative names for this tune which are plainly wrong ? Aly Bain composed it, and named it after Bob McQuillan. That’s all it needs.

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Aka The Shetland

So it is named in Brid Cranitch’s Blue Book of session tunes. But since we know the tune’s given name - and a non-specific name as Shetland will just cause some incorrect links to this tune - I prefer not to add this to the name list.

Kenny’s right. It’s just called Bob McQuillan’s. The other names should be deleted.

And one thing’s for sure - it’s certainly NOT called the Dorsetshire Hornpipe (which I’ve just posted):

https://thesession.org/tunes/12692

The Dorsetshire Hornpipe was doing the rounds in the 19th Century - way before Aly Bain was born.

True, there is some similarity in the opening phrases - but that’s just a coincidence.

"Sounds a lot like the Dorsetshire Hornpipe played faster"

@MSW: Traditional music is rife with plagiarism - that’s part of what makes it traditional. Aly Bain might have had The Dorsetshire Hornpipe somewhere in the back of his mind when he wrote this, but it’s not the same tune.