The Trip To Birmingham reel

Also known as Josie McDermott’s, Peg McGrath, The Pile Of Bricks.

There are 44 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Darby’s Farewell To London (a few times), Down The Broom (a few times), The Ashplant (a few times), The Baltimore Salute (a few times) and The Boys Of The Lough (a few times).

The Trip To Birmingham has been added to 16 tune sets.

The Trip To Birmingham has been added to 198 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Eight settings

X: 1
T: The Trip To Birmingham
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DB{A}GF GzBd|~E3D edBA|~G3B dzBG|ABAG EGDE|
DG{A}GF Gz{A}BD|e~d3 efga|b~g3 azge|dBAB {A}G4:|
|:dggf gzg2|{c}Bgag edBA|~g3B d2BG|ABAG EGDz|
dg{a}gf gzga|bgag edBA|~g3B d2BG|AGFA G4:|
"variation"
d~G3 A~G3|BG{B}AG edBA|~G3B DzBG|AGFA {A}G4:|
X: 2
T: The Trip To Birmingham
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DGGF GABd | e2 ed edBA | G2 GB dGBG | ABAG ED D2 |
DGGF GABd | e2 ed efga | bg g2 ageg |1 dBAB G3 E :|2 dBAB G2 Bc |
dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB dGBG | ABAG ED D2 |
1 dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB dGBG | AGFA GABc :|
2 dg g2 ag g2 | b2 ag edBA | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G4 |
# Added by Kenny .
X: 3
T: The Trip To Birmingham
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
E|DGGF G2Bd | ~e3d edBA | ~G3B dGBG | ABAG EFGE |
DGGF G2Bd | ~e3d efga | bg~g2 ageg |dBAB G3:|
e|dggf g2 ga | bg~g2 edBA | ~G3B dGBG | ABAG EFG2 |
dggf g2 ga | bg~g2 edBA | ~G3B dGBG | AGFA G3e |
dggf g2 ga | bg~g2 edBA | ~G3B dGBG | ABAG EFG2 |
dg~g2 ag~g2 | bg~g2 edBA | ~G3B dGBG | AGFA G3 ||
X: 4
T: The Trip To Birmingham
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
Part A, second and third bars |eged edBA|G3B G3B|
X: 5
T: The Trip To Birmingham
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: GE |DGGF GABd | eged edBA | G3 B dGBG | ABAG ED ~D2 |
DGGF GABd | eged efga | bggb ageg | dBAB G2- :|
|: Bc |dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G3 B dGBG | ABAG ED ~D2 |
[1 dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G2 :|
[2 dg ~g2 bg ~g2 | bgfa gedB | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G2 |]
X: 6
T: The Trip To Birmingham
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DGGF GAB/c/d | e2 ge edBA | G2 GB dGBG | ABAG EG DG |
DGGF GAB/c/d | e2 ge efga | bg g2 ageg |1 dBAB G3 E :|2 dBAB GABc ||
dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB dGBG | ABAG EG D2 |
|1dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB dGBG | AGFA GABc :|
|2dg g2 ag g2 | ab ag edBA | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G4 ||
X: 7
T: The Trip To Birmingham
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: GE |DGGF GABd | eged edBA | G3 B dGBG | ABAG ED ~D2 |
DGGF GABd | eged efga | bggb ageg | dBAB G2- :|
|: Bc |dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G3 B dGBG | ABAG ED ~D2 |
[1 dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G2 :|
[2 dg ~g2 bg ~g2 | bgfa gedB | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G2 |]
X: 8
T: The Trip To Birmingham
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DGGF G2 (3Bcd | e3d edBA | G3B dGBG | ABAG EGGE |
DGGF G2 (3Bcd | e3d efga | bg g2 ageg |dBAB G3:||
|:dggf g3a | bg g2 edBA | G3B dGBG | ABAG EG G2 |
dggf g3a | bg g2 edBA | G3B dGBG | AGFA G3e |
dggf g3a | bg g2 edBA | G3B dGBG | ABAG EG G2 |
dg g2 ag g2 | bg g2 edBA | G3B dGBG | AGFA G3 ||
# Added by JACKB .

Fifteen comments

Written by Josie McDermott
This is a setting by flautist June McCormack

Trip to Birmingham

What a great tune - played all the time around Josie country i.e. Ballyfarnon, Roscommon. Often played with Darby’s Farewell to London at our session in the Bogside bar where the session is joined by Tom Harte who is Darby of the title!

Corrections

Sorry to have to point out that there are several errors in the transcription of this reel. I think what follows is more accurate.

DGGF GABd | e2 ed edBA | G2 GB dGBG | ABAG ED D2 |
DGGF GABd | e2 ed efga | bg g2 ageg |1 dBAB G3 E :|2 dBAB G2 Bc |
dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB dGBG | ABAG ED D2 |
1 dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB dGBG | AGFA GABc :|
2 dg g2 ag g2 | b2 ag edBA | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G4 |

Posted by .

The version I learned several months ago is very similar to Kenny’s one. But I play the 4th bar of each part like this: |ABAG EFGE| or |ABAG EFG2|.

It’s a lovely flute tune, and of course one of my favourites. It’s locally known as simply "Josie McDermott’s" named after the composer.

The Trip to Birmingham

This tune has been among my favourite tunes. I used to play it with The Sligo Maid, but recently found it goes even better with the classic Sligo set: Down the Broom and The Gatehouse Maid. That’s probably because there is some similarity between the opening phrases of this modern Sligo tune and Down the Broom.

Here’s a slightly modified transcription of my version:

K: Dmaj
E|DGGF G2Bd | ~e3d edBA | ~G3B dGBG | ABAG EFGE |
DGGF G2Bd | ~e3d efga | bg~g2 ageg |dBAB G3:|
e|dggf g2 ga | bg~g2 edBA | ~G3B dGBG | ABAG EFG2 |
dggf g2 ga | bg~g2 edBA | ~G3B dGBG | AGFA G3e |
dggf g2 ga | bg~g2 edBA | ~G3B dGBG | ABAG EFG2 |
dg~g2 ag~g2 | bg~g2 edBA | ~G3B dGBG | AGFA G3 ||

It seems this lovely neat tune is not so common in some parts of the world. I tried playing the first half of the tune while joining a session in London just several days ago, but nobody recognised it.

Trip to Birmingham

Here are some variations from Traditional Irish Fiddle Music, Track 12: a.
Part A, second and third bars |eged edBA|G3B G3B|

Key

This reel is in “G” not “D”. Surprised if no-one knew it at that session “slainte”. This was the “Josie McDermott’s” reel recorded by Matt Molloy on his very 1st album. It’s also listed in one of the Bulmer & Sharpley collections as “The Pile Of Bricks”, but that’s the only place I’ve seen that title used, so it’s probably best ignored. Josie himself recorded it on his “Darby’s Farewell” LP as “The Trip To Birmingham”.

Posted by .

Sorry. It’s obvious, isn’t it? I copied someone else’s transcription first, and left the wrong key signature unchanged. James Carty recently recorded it on flute with his brother John on banjo.

“The Pile of Bricks” ~ Dave Bulmer & Neil Sharpley

"Music from Ireland, Volume Two"
ISBN: 0-9503784-10

page 3, tune #9

With a slight adjusted of the last bit into a lead-in, & minor corrections ~

X: 1
T: Pile of Bricks, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: G Major
|: GE |\
DGGF GABd | eged edBA | G3 B dGBG | ABAG ED ~D2 |
DGGF GABd | eged efga | bggb ageg | dBAB G2- :|
|: Bc |\
dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G3 B dGBG | ABAG ED ~D2 |
[1 dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G2 :|
[2 dg ~g2 bg ~g2 | bgfa gedB | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G2 |]

A-part ~ Bulmer & Sharpley’s 1st and second endings given for comparison , they did not have lead-ins ~

~ |[1 AGFA G3 E :|[2 AGFA G2 Bc ||

Here’s a video of flute player James Mahon playing, "The Trip to Birmingham."

http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_207_5_james_mahon

Here’s the slightly altered ABCs of his version.

X: 1
T: Trip To Birmingham, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Dmaj
DGGF GAB/c/d | e2 ge edBA | G2 GB dGBG | ABAG EG DG |
DGGF GAB/c/d | e2 ge efga | bg g2 ageg |1 dBAB G3 E :|2 dBAB GABc ||
dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB dGBG | ABAG EG D2 |
|1dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB dGBG | AGFA GABc :|
|2dg g2 ag g2 | ab ag edBA | G3 B dGBG | AGFA G4 ||

Tune for the duet comp?

i love this tune especially in a flute banjo duet m.sh james and john carty….its these connought(josie mc dermot) tunes that should be played more often….goes particularly well with darbys farewell to london then into trim the velvet….

It’s called “Peg McGrath” too

This tune also appears in "Learn to Play the Tin Whistle with the Armagh Piper’s Club" (Part 2, #26) as follows:

X: 1
T: Peg McGrath
M: C
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: G Major
|: GF |\
DGGF G2 Bd | eged edBA | G2 BG dGBG | ABAG ED,BC |
DGGF G2 Bd | eged egga | bg g2 ageg | dBAB G2- :|
|: Bc |\
dggf g2 ga | bgag edBA | G2 GB eBdB | ABAG ED ,BD |
dg g2 ag g2 | bg g2 edBA | G2 BG dGBG | AGFA G2 :|

Very similar to the B&S version noted above.

Posted by .