The Coalminer’s reel

Also known as Ashtray On The Altar, The Coal Miner’s, The Coal Miner, Coalminer, The Coalminer, The Coalminers, The Coleminer, Fir An Ghuail, More Power To Your Elbow.

There are 55 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with O’Rourke’s (a few times), Anderson’s (a few times), The Blockers (a few times), Farewell To Cailroe (a few times) and The Heather Breeze (a few times).

The Coalminer’s has been added to 9 tune sets.

The Coalminer's has been added to 200 tunebooks.

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Nine settings

X: 1
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DG~G2 GABc|d2BG AGEG|DG~G2 GABd|gedB A2GE|
DG~G2 GABc|d2BG AGEG|DG~G2 GABd|1 gedB G2GE:|2 gedB G2 (3def||
|:~g3e d2ge|d2BG AGEG|~g3e dega|bagb a2ga|
bg~g2 ageg|d2BG AGEG|DG~G2 GABd|1 gedB G2 (3def:|2 gedB G2GE||
X: 2
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
| DGBG AGEG | {in G: |A,DFD EDB,D|}
X: 3
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DGGD GABc|dGBG AGEG|DGGF G2 (3Bcd|gedB AGEG|
DG~G2 GABc|dGBG AGEG|DGGD GABd|1 gedB GDEG:|2 gedB G2 Bd||
|:g3e dege|dGBG AGEG|fgeg dega|bagb abga|
~b3g abge|dGBG AGEG|DGGD GABd|1 gedB G2 Bd:|2 gedB G2GE||
X: 4
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A,DFD E2EF|ABAF EDB,D|A,DFD EDFA|dBAF EDB,D|
A,DFD EDEF|ABAF EDB,D|A,DFD EDFA|1 dBAF D3B,:|2 dBAF D2Bc||
|:~d3B ABdB|ABAF EDB,D|dcdB ABde|fedf e2de|
f2df efdB|ABAF EDB,D|A,DFD EDFA|1 dBAF D2 (3ABc:|2 dBAF D3B,||
X: 5
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DGBG A2AB|dedB AGEG|DGBG AGBd|gedB AGEG|
DGBG AGAB|dedB AGEG|DGBG AGBd|1 gedB G3E:|2 gedB G2ef||
~g3e dege|dedB AGEG|gfge dega|bagb a2ga|
b2gb abge|dedB AGEG|DGBG AGBd|1 gedB G2 (3def:|2 gedB G3E||
# Added .
X: 6
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GE | DGGB AGGB | dGBG AGEG | DGGB AGGg | egdB AGEG |
DGGB AGGB | dGBG AGEG | DGGB AGGg | egdB G2 ||
ef | g2ge dgge | dBGB AGE2 | g2ge degb | agab a2ga |
bagb ageg | dGBG AGEG | DGGB AGGg | egdB G2|]
X: 7
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DG~G2 DGBG|dGBG AGEG|DG~G2 BGBd|gedB A2GE|
DG~G2 DGBG|dGBG AGEG|DG~G2 BGBd|1 gedB G2GE:|2 gedB G2 Bd||
|:~g3e d2ge|d2BG AGEG|~g3e dega|bagb a2ga|
bg~g2 ageg|d2BG AGEG|DG~G2 BGBd|1 gedB G2 (3def:|2 gedB G2GE||
X: 8
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:DG G2 DGBG|dGBG AGEG|DG G2 BG (3Bcd|gedB A2GE|
DG G2 DGBG|dGBG AGEG|DG G2 BG (3Bcd|1 gedB G2GE:|2 gedB G2 Bd||
|:g3e d2ge|d2BG AGEG|g3e dega|bagb a2ga|
bg g2 ageg|d2BG AGEG|DG G2 BG (3Bcd|1 gedB G2 (3def:|2 gedB G2GE||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 9
T: The Coalminer's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A,DFD EDB,D|ADFD EDB,D|A,DFD EDB,D|dBAF EFDB,|
A,DFD EDB,D|ADFD EDB,D|A,DFD EDB,D|[1 dBAF D CDB,:|[2 dBAF D ABc||
~d3B ABdB|~A2 FD EDB,D|dcdB ABde|fedf ~e2de|
fd~d2 edBd|ABAF EDB,D|A,DFD EDB,D|[1 dBAF D ABc:|[2 dBAF D CDB,|]

Sixteen comments

Not to be confused with the Collier’s Reel, a different tune entirely. It’s a tune which goes nowhere in particular, but gets there by a nice scenic route.

This setting comes from Henrik Norbeck’s collection. It is also played in D, but I have chosen to post it in G, as it sits better on flute/pipes/whistle in that key, without significantly compromising ease of playing on stringed instruments.

Norbeck’s collection also has (in both G and D) an alternate version, which has bars 1, 3, 5 and 7 of the A-part and bar 7 of the B-part as:

| DGBG AGEG | {in G: |A,DFD EDB,D|}

The long g in bars 1 and 3 of the B-part give the tune a great lift and, as a variation, could be played (instrument permitting) simply as sustained notes, without ornamentation.

Here’s how I might play it at this moment, if I had an instrument to hand:



T: Coalminer’s, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
DGGD GABc|dGBG AGEG|DGGF G2 (3Bcd|gedB AGEG|
DG~G2 GABc|dGBG AGEG|DGGD GABd|1 gedB GDEG:|2 gedB G2 Bd||
|:g3e dege|dGBG AGEG|fgeg dega|bagb abga|
~b3g abge|dGBG AGEG|DGGD GABd|1 gedB G2 Bd:|2 gedB G2GE||

There is an absolutely BRILLIANT recording of this tune played by Brendan Mulvihill and Billy McComiskey on an excellent CD called Irish Traditional Music In America: The East Coast. If I can ever transcribe what Mr. Mulvihill is doing on that track, I’ll post it here, by god…

Vincent Broderick Tune?

Isn’t this a Broderick tune? I believe it was one of his first compositions.

Don’t think so

Coalminer’s in D

Here’s a version I got from Denis Liddy and the Turloughmore Ceili Band:

X: 1
T: Coalminer’s, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Dmaj
A,DFD E2EF|ABAF EDB,D|A,DFD EDFA|dBAF EDB,D|
A,DFD EDEF|ABAF EDB,D|A,DFD EDFA|1 dBAF D3B,:|2 dBAF D2Bc||
|:~d3B ABdB|ABAF EDB,D|dcdB ABde|fedf e2de|
f2df efdB|ABAF EDB,D|A,DFD EDFA|1 dBAF D2 (3ABc:|2 dBAF D3B,||

Terrific setting, Nox. I love these low, growly tunes on the fiddle’s G string.

Posted .

Nox’s transcription of Liddy, back to G

Makes a nice version transposed to G, too.

X: 1
T: Coalminer’s, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K:G
DGBG A2AB|dedB AGEG|DGBG AGBd|gedB AGEG|
DGBG AGAB|dedB AGEG|DGBG AGBd|1 gedB G3E:|2 gedB G2ef||
~g3e dege|dedB AGEG|gfge dega|bagb a2ga|
b2gb abge|dedB AGEG|DGBG AGBd|1 gedB G2 (3def:|2 gedB G3E||

Posted .

More Power to your Elbow

This tune is called More Power to your Elbow in O’Neill’s book (1001 tunes). See n°705
X:1
T: More Power to your Elbow
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:G
GE | DGGB AGGB | dGBG AGEG | DGGB AGGg | egdB AGEG |
DGGB AGGB | dGBG AGEG | DGGB AGGg | egdB G2 ||
ef | g2ge dgge | dBGB AGE2 | g2ge degb | agab a2ga |
bagb ageg | dGBG AGEG | DGGB AGGg | egdB G2|]

Ashtray on the Altar

I got it from Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty) in D. He calls it Ashtray On The Altar in that key.

Second part

The second part is so close to the second part of Paddy On The Binge, even though it is a fling.

The Coalminer’s, X:7

A common variant of the first couple bars. This one taken (mostly) verbatim from the recording by Christel Rice (Tunnel Vision).

The Coalminer’s, X:9

Here’s another setting in D.

Re: The Coalminer’s

Gary, the X9 setting is almost note-for-note like I once learned it (from the Danish band Ashplant). Where did you get it?

Re: The Coalminer’s

I transcribed it from a session tape from East Clare.