The Union reel

Also known as Turfman’s Union.

There are 23 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Ah Surely (a few times), East Clare (a few times), The Pullet (a few times) and The Sligo Maid (a few times).

The Union has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Union has been added to 122 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Union
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
e2 (3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|1 e2 (3cBA eAcA|(3Bcd cA BAFA:|2 ~e3c dcBA|FABc d3A||
K:D
|:df~f2 dfef|df~f2 afef|df~f2 dfec|1 dcBA FABc:|2 dcBA Bcdf||
K:A
"variations"
eA (3cBA eAcA|e2cA Bcdf|1 eA (3cBA eAcA|Bcdc BAFA:|2 ~e3c dcBA|FABc dABc||
K:D
|:df~f2 d2ec|df~f2 afec|df~f2 dfec|1 dcBA FABc:|2 dcBA FAdf||
# Added by tufbo .
X: 2
T: The Union
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
e2(3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|e2(3cBA eAcA|(3Bcd cA BAFA|e2(3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|~e2ce dcBA|1FABc dfaf:|2FABc dABc||
|:dAFA dfec|dAFG A^ABc|dAFA dfec|1 dcBA ^GABc:|2 dcBA FAdf||
e2(3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|e2(3cBA eAcA|(3Bcd cA BAFA|e2(3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|~e2ce dcBA|1FABc dfaf:|2FABc d=cBA||
G2BG FGAF|GABd gedg|e2ce dBGB|ADFA dcBA|G2BG FGAF|GABd gedg|e2ce dBGB|1ADFA dcBA:|2ADFA G2(3eee||
X: 3
T: The Union
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
| e2 (3cBA eAcA | eAcA Bcdf | e2 (3cBA eAcA|(3Bcd cA BAFA |
| e2 (3cBA eAcA | eAcA Bcdf | ~e3c dcBA|FABc d3A|]
| df~f2 dfef | df~f2 afef | df~f2 dfec | dcBA FABc |
| df~f2 dfef | df~f2 afef | df~f2 dfec | dcBA Bcdf |]

Twelve comments

Bo, I’m wondering if the A part is actually intended to be in C (or A minor to be pedantic). A typing mistake perhaps, somewhere along the line? In sessions, I’ve always known the A part to be played in A major, and that’s how it is usually printed.
Oh, in some sessions one or two irreverent persons have been known to call this tune "The Onion"!
Trevor

Key Change

To my ear that A Part has to be in A Major; especially that FNat at the end feels uneasy to my ears.
I have checked several other versions including the Norbeck one on JC Tunefinder and it seems those versions start in A (not even Aminor).
I’d be interested to know how its being played elsewhere.
Cheers
Donough

From Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection:

>

"The Union Reel was named after the Irish uilleann pipes, or union pipes. The tune disappeared from the repertoire of Irish traditional musicians around the turn of the century, and emerged again through a 78 rpm recording of a 10-key melodeon player, Frank Quinn, during the 1920s. Other 78 recording artists chose it for several recordings in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. It was made popular in the United States by Joe Derrane and later Gerry O’Brien, both accordion players. The tune made its way back to Ireland because of the 78 records being sought after by Irish musicians. It’s a unique story of a reel that left Ireland and later returned. This reel has always been played with two parts. The version on this recording has a extra part inserted between the original two, which means it is now a three-part reel. "

This tune is in A major.

I agree with Gian Marco - I’ve only ever heard it played with the 1st part in A major (although the key signature only needs 2 sharps throughout, since there is no G or G# anywhere in the 1st part). It was played at the session I was at last night and there was definitely no sign of any C-natural or F-natural.

I mentioned this recently in the comments to another tune, but the first part of this tune is almost identical to the first part of The Foxhunter’s Reel, while the 2nd part is almost the same as the final part of Lucy Campbell’s. Now that I’ve pointed that out, you’ll probably never be able to play this tune without lapsing into one of the others. On the other hand, if you already play the other two tunes, it’ll make learning this one a lot easier.

Gian Marco - Do you have the middle part of the tune?

Other version

This is the four-parts version of De Dannan in "The Star-Spangled Molly" :
X:1
T:Union Reel (The)
R:Reel
D:De Dannan : The star spangled Molly
M:C|
K:A
e2(3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|e2(3cBA eAcA|(3Bcd cA BAFA|e2(3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|~e2ce dcBA|1FABc dfaf:|2FABc dABc||
K:D
|:dAFA dfec|dAFG A^ABc|dAFA dfec|1 dcBA ^GABc:|2 dcBA FAdf||
K:A
e2(3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|e2(3cBA eAcA|(3Bcd cA BAFA|e2(3cBA eAcA|eAcA Bcdf|~e2ce dcBA|1FABc dfaf:|2FABc d=cBA||
K:G
G2BG FGAF|GABd gedg|e2ce dBGB|ADFA dcBA|G2BG FGAF|GABd gedg|e2ce dBGB|1ADFA dcBA:|2ADFA G2(3eee||

Union Reel

"The Union Reel was named after the Irish uilleann pipes, or union pipes." In Martin Mullvihill’s book this is called the Turfman’s Union. De Dannan’s setting comes from Joe Derrane’s old 78, where Joe played 3 parts, contrary to the assertion above, whatever it is - the liner notes to the DD album?

“The Union Reel”

Here you go, Kevin - just for you - "Derrane’s" and "John Stenson’s" first.
"De Danann" didn’t provide any information about the reel at all on the "Star-Spangled Molly" record sleeve notes, where they called it "The Moher" reel.

http://youtu.be/eYlpdyNyAeY

Posted by .

Union Reel

Yes, that’s Joe’s setting. I’d like to hear the old Frank Quinn record someday.

This tune always sounded like the Foxhunter’s crossed with the Dublin Reel to me.

The Union, X:3

A slightly more readable setting (more or less identical to the first but laid out without repeats and first / second endings.