The Witches reel

By Joseph Lowe

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

The Witches has been added to 13 tune sets.

The Witches has been added to 112 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Witches
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
gfeg Bgeg|fdad bdaf|gfeg Bgeg|fdaf fee2|
gfeg Bgeg|fdad bdaf|gaeg deBd|ABFA BEE2||
# Added by Berni .

Eleven comments

I learned this one from a friend of mine, a fiddleplayer from scotland; thats about all information i have about it. So maybe somebody else knows more about it…

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Not 100% sure, but I think this may be a composition of Eddie McGuire, the flute-player with Glasgow traditional band “The Whistlebinkies”.

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This is by 19th century Scottish composer Joseph Lowe. I think Jerry Hollan has recorded a version.

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Witches -

The first part definately is in E Dorian … but the second part? Is this in B Minor?

Has anyone figured out some chording to go with this marvelous bouncy tune?


The singer I work with tells me that Witches Reel is the oldest recorded reel dating back to the late 1500’s. Recorded in this case means written down; the reel was notated as part of the testimony at a witch trial that took place in Scotland.

If I’m not mistaken, there was even a version in the movie “Waking Ned Devine”.

The Witches (reel)

It’s the last two bars of this tune that really make it.


no its not actually.. my mistake

The Witches Reel in the movie “Waking Ned Devine” is a different tune alltogether, although Shaun Davey might have been “inspired” by the original Scottish tune.

I think Kenny has a tune from the Nineties Collection in mind called the Witches of Mull by Eddie McGuire. It’s a completely different tune.

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The Witches

This tune was composed by Joseph Lowe of the 19C. His brother Robert composed The Warlocks. Both tunes can be heard on the CD “A Fiddle Affair” track #2. Great tunes!

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