The Belfast march

Also known as The Belfast Brigade.

The Belfast has been added to 1 tune set.

The Belfast has been added to 3 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: The Belfast
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AG|F2 GE|D2 Ad|f2 ge|d2 FG|AB cd|FA GF|E4-|E2 AG|
FA GE|D2 Ad|f2 ge|d2 FG|AB cd|FA GE|D4-|D2:|
cd|e2 ed|c2 de|f>g fe|d2 FG|A2A2|Bc d2|e4-|e2de|
f2 fe|d2 cd|ed BG|B2 FG|AB cd|FA GE|D4-|D2:|

Five comments

The Belfast

I composed this March in 1964 while I was playing with the Belfast-based Árd Rí céilí band (led by fiddler James McKendry). It was orginally called ‘The Belfast Brigade’, a somewhat ambiguous title, referring in one sense to the band members and in another sense it was a reference to the Belfast Brigade of the Old IRA (1920s) which was also the title of a popular ballad often sung at the céilíthe we serviced in the city. Under that title we played it on several broadcasts of the Céilí House programme from Radio Éireann in the 1960s, with both the Árd Rí and later my own Blackthorn Céilí Band. The tune caught on and was adopted by several Irish bands, even being heard in céilí band competitions at the All-Ireland Fleadh in subsequest years. As time went by the title and composer’s identity were lost and it still pops up from time to time in sessions and YouTube videos. Of all my tunes, this is the one I am most confident in offereing to The Session as having been absorbed into the tradition.

Re: The Belfast

I have bootleg recording of Gary Hastings and Tara Diamond where they played your tune with another march Down the glen.
They introduced your march as Belfast brigade.
I searched for some other recording of your tune, but I didn’t find anything.
Great tune ….

Re: The Belfast

A good and satisfying tune. Been playing more marches lately. Seems to provide some regulation to these uncertain times. Thank you.

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Re: The Belfast

Thanks for kind comments received. For anyone interested in sampling more of my compositions I published a book a few years ago entitled “Keynotes”. As it is now out of print, I have made it available online as a freely downloadable PDF file at I am currently working at giving each of the 100+ tunes its own page in sheet music and abc notation, and as playable audio file.
Please explore, enjoy and pass on.

Re: The Belfast

Love this tune Seán. Will look at your other compositions with pleasure, thankyou for sharing your talent/s. Áine Brennan Australia.