The Happy Days Of Youth reel

Also known as The Happy Bloom Of Youth, John McKenna’s, McKenna’s No. 2, Sean McKenna’s, Sean McKenna’s No. 2, Thomas Byrne’s, Thos Byrnes.

There are 30 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Colonel Rodgers’ Favourite (lots of times), Lucky In Love (a few times) and Welcome To The Country (a few times).

The Happy Days Of Youth has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Happy Days Of Youth has been added to 79 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Five settings

X: 1
T: The Happy Days Of Youth
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
efed BcBA|GABG AE~E2|~G2GB dBeB|dBAc BGGB|
efed B2BA|GABG AE~E2|~G2GB dBeB|dBAc BGG2||
faad (3fed ^cd|edef ~g3g|eBBe (3gfe dB|BAB^c dcdB|
faad (3fed ^cd|efgf ~g3a|baaf gfed|faad g2fd|
X: 2
T: The Happy Days Of Youth
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
.B/.c/d|~e3d ~B3 A|GABG AE ~E2|~G3 B dBeB|dBAc BGGd|
.e.f.ed B.d BA|GABG AE ~E2|~G3B dBeB|dBAc BG G2 ||
fa{b}af gfed|.B/.c/d ef ~g3 f|eB ~B2 .g.fed|BAGA Bcde|
fa{b}af gfed|.B/.c/d ef ~g3a|bgaf gfed|.e/.f/g af ~g3f:|]
X: 3
T: The Happy Days Of Youth
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
efed ~B3A|GABG AGEF|~G3B dg~g2|dBAd BG~G2|
~e3d BdBA|G2BG AGEF|~G3B dgge|dBAd BG~G2||
faag fedf|edef ~g3f|eB~B2 gfed|BAGA BA~A2|
f2ag fedf|edef ~g3a|bgaf gfed|egfa ~g3f||
X: 4
T: The Happy Days Of Youth
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
efed ~B3A|GABG AGEF|GAGE DEGB|dBeB dBAd|
efed ~B3A|GABG AGEF|~G3F DEGB|dBAc BGG2||
e|fgag fd~d2|(3Bcd ef ~g3f|eB~B2 gB~B2|BAGA BA~A2|
fgag fd~d2|(3Bcd ef ~g3a|bgaf gfed|egfa ~g3|
X: 5
T: The Happy Days Of Youth
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
~e2ed ~B2BA|~G2BG AGED|~G2BG dz~e2|dBAd BG~G2|
aged edBA|~G2BG AGED|~G2BG dz~e2|dBAd BG~G2||
faag fedB|eBfB ~g2gf|eB~B2 gfed|BAGA BA~A2|
fzag fedB|eBfB ~g2ga|~b2af gfed|(3efg fa ~g2gf||

Eight comments

Sourcs: John McKenna
Transcription: g.m.p.
In Mckenna’s recording this reel flollows https://thesession.org/tunes/311

In both reels all the Cs are not exactly c natural. Many seem C sharp.

This tune is also widely known as the Happy Days of Youth, and less frequently goes by the title Thomas Byrnes.

Posted .

The Happy Days of Youth

This is slightly different version. My transcription of Liam O’Flynn’s playing on "The Piper’s Call"

X:1079
T:The Happy Days of Youth
T:Sean McKenna’s #2
C:from Liam O’Flynn
D:Liam O’Flynn: "The Piper’s Call"
Z:transcription Johannes Schiefner(jschiefner@gmx.net)
Z:id:js_1079
R:reel
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:G
.B/.c/d|~e3d ~B3 A|GABG AE ~E2|~G3 B dBeB|dBAc BGGd|
.e.f.ed B.d BA|GABG AE ~E2|~G3B dBeB|dBAc BG G2 ||
fa{b}af gfed|.B/.c/d ef ~g3 f|eB ~B2 .g.fed|BAGA Bcde|
fa{b}af gfed|.B/.c/d ef ~g3a|bgaf gfed|.e/.f/g af ~g3f:|]

The Happy Days of Youth

Here’s a version inspired by Frankie Gavin’s "flashy" flute playing.

K: Gmaj
efed ~B3A|GABG AGEF|~G3B dg~g2|dBAd BG~G2|
~e3d BdBA|G2BG AGEF|~G3B dgge|dBAd BG~G2||
faag fedf|edef ~g3f|eB~B2 gfed|BAGA BA~A2|
f2ag fedf|edef ~g3a|bgaf gfed|egfa ~g3f||

I believe this is simpler and easier on the flute, but still as effective as other versions. There’s lots of room for variation and ornamentation though.

here’s a version I had from last year’s Clancy festival

X: 1
T: John McKenna’s reel #2
S: Siobhan ni Chonarain (Clancy Week 2007)
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
efed ~B3A|GABG AGEF|GAGE DEGB|dBeB dBAd|
efed ~B3A|GABG AGEF|~G3F DEGB|dBAc BGG2||
e|fgag fd~d2|(3Bcd ef ~g3f|eB~B2 gB~B2|BAGA BA~A2|
fgag fd~d2|(3Bcd ef ~g3a|bgaf gfed|egfa ~g3|

An old tune

This tune appears, under the title The Happy Days of Youth, in O’Neill’s ‘Music of Ireland’. Does anyone know how John McKenna’s name came to be associated with it?

Posted by .

Because he recorded it early on in the 78 era, after Colonel Roger’s Favourite, and the set is still very often played together.

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