The Merry Sisters reel

Also known as Margret O’Donnell’s, The Merry Sisters Of Fate.

There are 32 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Dogs Among The Bushes (a few times) and The Longacre (a few times).

The Merry Sisters has been added to 152 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: The Merry Sisters
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
BE~E2 BdcA | B2Ed BAFA |1 BE~E2 BdcA | dD~D2 ~D2FA :|2 DEFA dfea | fdec d2cA ||
Beec dBcA | Beed BAFA | Beec dfed | BdAB dAFA |
~B3A dcdf | edef gfed |(3Bcd ec dfed | BdAB dAFD ||
Edcd BdAd | BE~E3 BAFA | B2dA BdAB | dD~D2 DEFA |
BdAd ~B2Ad | BE~E2 BAFE | DEFA dfea | fdec d2cA ||
"Last time" fdec d4 ||
X: 2
T: The Merry Sisters
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
dc|:BE{G}E{F}E Bd c/2{d}c/2A|{c}BE{G}E{F}E dAFA|
BE{f}ec d2cA|Be{f}ed BAFA|Be{f}ec dcdA|
B3/2{c}B/2{A}Bc dAFA|Be{f}ec d2-dA|Be{f}ec defg|
af .g/2.f/2e fded|BABc dAFA|BdcA {c}BAFA|BE{G}E{F}E BEFA|
B3/2{c}B/2{A}BA B3/2{c}B/2{A}Bc|dD{G}D{F}D ADFA|BdcA {c}BAFA|
BE{G}E{F}E {c}BAFA|D2.E/2.F/2A d2eg|fdec dAFA|]
X: 3
T: The Merry Sisters
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:BE E2 BdcA | BE E2 dAFA |BE E2 BdcA | dD D2 FA A2
BE E2 BdcA | BE E2 dAFA |BE E2 BdcA | dD D2 ADFA||
|:Beec d2 BA | Beed (3cBA FA | Beec dcdA | B3c dAFA |
Beec d2 BA | Beec defg |af (3gfe fdec | BABc dAFA ||
|:BdcA BAFA | BE E2 ADFA | BdcA BABc | dD D2 ADFA |
BdcA BAFA | BE E2 BEFA | D2 FA d2 eg | fdec dAFA ||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 4
T: The Merry Sisters
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
B>E (3FED BdcA|B>E (3FED dAFA|B>E (3FED BdcA|1 d>D (3.D.D.D ADFA:|2 dfec dAFA||
Beec d2 cA|Beec dAFA|Beec d2 cA|BABc dAFA|
Beec e2 cA|Beec defg|(3agf (3gfe fdec|BABc dAFA||
BdcA BFAF|B>E (3.E.E.E BEFA|BdcA BFAF|d>D (3.D.D.D ADFA|
BdcA BFAF|B>E (3.E.E.E BEFA|DFAc d2 eg|fdec dAFA||
# Added by Moxhe .
X: 5
T: The Merry Sisters
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|: BE (3EEE B2 ^cA | BE (3EEE ADFA | BE (3EEE BE^cE | dDED ADFA :|
B2 e^c d2 cA | B2 ed BAFA | B2 e^c d2 cA | BAB^c dAFA |
B2 e^c d2 cA | (3Bcd ef g2 fg | (3agf g2 fge^c | BAB^c dAFA ||
Ed^cd BdAd | BE (3EEE B2 FA | Bd^cA B2 Ac | dD (3DDD ADFA |
Ed^cd BdAd | BE (3EEE B2 AF | DFA^c d2 de | fae^c d4 |]

Seven comments

The Merry Sisters

This setting is from Donegal fiddler Tommy Peoples and owes much to his inventive style of playing.

The third part is more or less a variation on the first part, but it’s a heck of a finger-twister.

AKA The Merry Sisters of Fate…

it’s the same tune, just in Edor (or Em?). Altan and Lunasa also do it, among many many others…

The version by Liam O’Flynn, played with (what he calls) O’Rourke’s and Colonel Fraser on "The Given Note":

X:1
T:Merry Sisters
S:Liam O’Flynn
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:Reel
K:Em
dc|:BE{G}E{F}E Bd c/2{d}c/2A|{c}BE{G}E{F}E dAFA|
BE{G}E{F}E Bd c/2{d}c/2A|dD{G}D{F}D ADFA:|
K:Edor
BE{f}ec d2cA|Be{f}ed BAFA|Be{f}ec dcdA|
B3/2{c}B/2{A}Bc dAFA|Be{f}ec d2-dA|Be{f}ec defg|
af .g/2.f/2e fded|BABc dAFA|BdcA {c}BAFA|BE{G}E{F}E BEFA|
B3/2{c}B/2{A}BA B3/2{c}B/2{A}Bc|dD{G}D{F}D ADFA|BdcA {c}BAFA|
BE{G}E{F}E {c}BAFA|D2.E/2.F/2A d2eg|fdec dAFA|]

The Merry Sisters, X:4

Here is the version published by O’Neill in Dance Music of Ireland - 1001 Gems (1907), p. 100, no. 535.

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The Merry Sisters, X:5

This is as heard from "The Celebrated Recordings" of John Doherty, at the end of a set with Kitty’s Gone A’Milking and The Dog Among The Bushes.