The Eagle’s Whistle waltz

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

There are 33 recordings of this tune.

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

The Eagle’s Whistle has been added to 9 tune sets.

The Eagle's Whistle has been added to 214 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 :|2 G2 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 :|2 D2 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 .

Thirty-two comments

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."

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).

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||

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

@Caitersmarie and nmcshea: indeed Adam Agee and Jon Sousa play this tune in F. The way Adam makes his fiddle sound so haunting is by tuning the fiddle down a whole step to F-C-G-D. That way it’s the same fingering you’d use to play it in G.

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

One addendum to the above comment….Adam’s top string is actually tuned to C, so the tuning is F-C-G-C. That gives more droning options. To play it in G, you could cross-tune your fiddle to G-D-A-D to get a similar effect.

Re: The Eagle’s Whistle

Just found this tune under ‘waltz’ having failed to find it under ‘marches’. A bit strange as it is apparently the clan march of the O’ Donovan’s ……………?