The Fair Maids Of Ireland polka

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

The Fair Maids Of Ireland has been added to 3 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: The Fair Maids Of Ireland
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
AB cd|ed d2|ea ag|ed d2|
eg de|c2 cA|GE cE|ED D2:|
|:A2 AG|AB cA|GE cE|GE cE|
A2 AG|AB cA|GE cE|ED D2:|

Four comments

The Fair Maids Of Ireland

Heard this polka in the playing of Chris Buckley during the O’Flaherty retreat in 2020. He mentioned it as a rather old tune, and I didn’t find anything like it here on TheSession. I did find it as a reel over here:

Not sure if it’s originally a reel and Chris just did it as a polka, or what. But, nice little tune.

Re: The Fair Maids Of Ireland

This tune was taught at Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh in 2016 by Cormac and Breandán Begley. My incomplete notes confirm the first part and my memory the turn. I used to think it was taken from the Goodman collection, but I do not see it in my Hugh Shields copy. They called it Fair Maids of Erin

Re: The Fair Maids Of Ireland

Found my notes: it is in the 2nd Goodman collection, which I don’t have. The setting I took down is identical to the one posted. The link doesn’t work for me.

Re: The Fair Maids Of Ireland

The entire Goodman collection is available online at the ITMA website in both interactive/sheet music and manuscript form. They did a great job on it.

The tune isn’t marked as being necessarily a reel, and Kerry musicians have taken to playing it as a polka for some time now. No stopping them even if the name contained a "reel" I guess, hahah. Sounds great as a polka (and it certainly did at Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh that year!)

It can also be found in the printed edition of the Tunes of the Munster Pipers, vol. 2, p. 108.