The Eagle’s Whistle waltz

Also known as The Eagle’s March, Fead An Fhiolair, Fead An Iolair.

There are 31 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Eagle’s Whistle appears in 1 other tune collection.

The Eagle’s Whistle has been added to 7 tune sets.

The Eagle's Whistle has been added to 209 tunebooks.

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Six settings

1
X: 1
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G/A/||BB d/B/A/G/|BB d/B/A/G/|BA AB/d/|BA AG/A/|
BB d/B/A/G/|BB d/B/A/d/|AG GB/d/|AG GB/d/|
gd e/d/B/d/|gd e/d/B/G/|BA AB/d/|BA AB/d/|
gd e/d/B/d/|gd e/d/B/d/|AG GB/d/|AG Gd/c/||
2
X: 2
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: ed |\
B2 dB AG | B2 dB AG | B2 AA Bd | B2 AA GA |
B2 dB AG | B2 dB Ad | A2 GG Bd | A2 GG Bd |
g2 ed Bd | g2 ed BG | B2 AA Bd | B2 A2 (3Bcd |
gd ed (3Bcd | g2 ed BD | A2 G2 Bd | AG G2 :|
3
X: 3
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:D|B2 dBAG | B2 dBAG | A2 ABAG | A2 ABAG |
B2 dBAG | B2 dBAB | G2 GBAB |1 G2 D2 D2 :|2G2 GABd||
|: e2 degd | e2 dBAG | A2 ABAG | A2 AGBd |
e2 degd | e2 dBAB | G2 GBAB |1 G2 GABd :|2 G2 D2 D2||
# Added by JACKB .
4
X: 4
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
M:3/4
B2 dB AG|B2 dB AG|A3 BAG|A2 AB AG|B2 dB AG|B2 dB AG|
FG2B AG|[1 G3 G,GA:|][2 G3 GBd]|eg/e/ de g2|eg dB AG|A3 BAG|A3 ABd|
eg/e/ de g2|eg dB AG|G3 BAG|[1 G3 GBd:|][2 G3 G,GA|]
5
X: 5
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
BA/B/ dB AG|BA/B/ dB AG|A3 BAG|A3 BAG|
BA/B/ dB AG|BA/B/ dB AB/A/|G3 BAB/A/|[1 G3 G,GA:|][2 G3 ABd]|
ef/e/ de gf|ef/e/ dBAG|A3 BAG|A3 BAG|
ef/e/ de gf|ef/e/ dB AB/A/|G3 BAB/A/|[1 G3 ABd:|][2 G3 G,GA|]
# Added by DomW .
6
X: 6
T: The Eagle's Whistle
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A|F2 AFED | F2 AFED | E2 EFED | E2 EFED |
F2 AFED | F2 AFEF | D2 DFEF |1 D2 A2 A2 :|2D2 DEFA||
|: B2 ABdA | B2 AFED | E2 EFED | E2 EDFA |
B2 ABdA | B2 AFEF | D2 DFEF |1 D2 DEFA :|2 D2 A2 A2||
# Added by JACKB .

Twenty-nine comments

The eagle’s Whistle (march)

Source: Michael Tubridy
Transcription: g.m.p.

Tune requested by Kath

MARCH, not polka.

MARCH, not polka.

March

Gian Marco, this tune is usually played as a 3/4 March which I know sounds like a contradiction unless you have 3 legs. There are several settings around but most often it is in my experience, encountered as a 3/4 March. There is one old setting from pre-1885 that was in 2/4. I don’t know if that proves that this was the authentic Marching version. There are a few other examples of 3/4/or 6/8 marches.
The punchline is that as an O’Donovan I have to point out that this is the O’Donovan Clan March so I have to be excused if the tune gets me a little fired up in sessions.
Cheers
Donough

I have to support Odono on this one. This is a very special, very beautiful old march tune that dates back at least 300 years.

I have nothing against it being recycled as a Polka, but it’s worth learning as the grand old clan march.

Cathal McConnell

I was at workshops with Cathal McConnell of Boys of the Lough and he taught this tune. He played it in 3/4 then 4/4. He had the class playing first time round the first part in 3/4 then the repeat in 4/4 and same with the second part. A wee bit of a challenge for the rhythm players.

Posted by .

March

I also know this tune learned from Peter Phelan, Dublin Piper
in his class many moons ago as a March and a quite lovely one at that.

"The Eagle’s Whistle"

Here’s a simple take on the tune in 3/4:

T: Eagle’s Whistle, The
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: march
K: Gmaj
|: ed |
B2 dB AG | B2 dB AG | B2 AA Bd | B2 AA GA |
B2 dB AG | B2 dB Ad | A2 GG Bd | A2 GG Bd |
g2 ed Bd | g2 ed BG | B2 AA Bd | B2 A2 (3Bcd |
gd ed (3Bcd | g2 ed BD | A2 G2 Bd | AG G2 :|

Eagle’s whistle:story?

Does any-one out there know if there is a particular story - folktale or legend - attached to this tune? Such an evocative title is worthy of one.

Not a Polka

This tune can be written in 3/4 or 9/8 not 2/4.

Posted by .

The Eagle’s Whistle

This tune CAN be written in 2/4 or 4/4 if you listen to the source recording (Michael Tubridy, The Eagle’s Whistle 1978). It may be more commonly heard as a 3/4 tune, but it exists in other forms as well.

Or 4/4

I’ve edited my original post to 4/4 as this sounds better.

Posted by .

Anyone happen to know what tuning Caoimhín uses on his hardanger fiddle for this tune (from his album "Where the One-eyed Man Is King)? It doesn’t seem to be the standard "B E B F#" nor normal violin tuning of "G D A E."

The Eagle’s Whistle, X:4

As played by Jenna Moynihan on her album Woven.

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

Prefer the slower version, as in the video posted by Jason van Steenwyk above: they are playing in A which is the key I’ve most often heard it in. Sounds nice on Lowland pipes too.
3/4 marches (and even 9/8 and 5/4) : perfectly possible to march to them, albeit asymmetric: one pace per beat! (Or per dotted crotchet in the case of 9/8s).

The Eagle’s Whistle, X:5

from the version played by Boys of the Lough and Aly Bain

Posted by .

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

(it’s also the version played by Blazin Fiddles on their album Magnficent Seven)

Posted by .

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

Haunting arrangement by Adam Agee and Jon Sousa on their album Suantrai. A clip is here but do check out the album version. I am really struggling to hear how he is playing this?

https://youtu.be/IkauC1BNxKU

Eagle’s whistle

I’m new to this tune, is it usually 3/4 or 4/4? I think I’ve heard both. Also how old is it? It sounds rather old to me. Is it Scottish?

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

I think you’ll find your answers in the posts (and links) higher up the thread, Kaeleigh.
I learned it in 3/4, but see what others have said. Irish, I think.

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

Has anyone added guitar chords to The Eagle’s Whistle? (Not needed for my flute, but my guitar-playing friends get cranky when they are left out. ;) )

-Thom

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

Try this (based on X:3):
: G - - /Em7 - - /Am7 - - /D7 - -
G - - /Em7 - - /G - D7/[1]G - - ://[2] G - -
: C - - /Em7 - - /Am7 - - /D - -
C - - /Em7 - - /G - D /[1]G - G7 ://[2] G - -

Posted by .

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

Thanks Bazza!

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

Interesting to hear how ‘The Eagle’s Whistle’, that ancient Irish clan March of the O’Donovan’s, of Co. Limerick, evolved into the jolly Old Time Appalachian tune - ‘Bonaparte’s Retreat’.

I played both tunes here on Hammered Dulcimer, English Concertina, Tenor Guitar, Fiddle & Tenor Banjo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFrlxx0-l3c


Cheers,
Dick

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

@Caiterzmarie - You’ve probably figured this out by now, but I believe Adam and Jon are playing this in F - so something like this:

|:C | A2 cAGF | A2 CAGF | G2 GAGF | G2 GAGF |
A2 CAGF | A2 CAGA | F2 FAGA |1 F2 C2 C2 :|2F2 FGAC||