Source: Kevin Burke : "In Concert"
Transcription : g.m.p.
Notes: Play it slow and enjoy it!
The Norbeck version:
AB|cBcB AGAe|edec G2 (3DEF|G2ge dBAB|G2E2 E2:|
|:zB|efga b2ag|agab g2ed|efga b2ag|f2e2 efga|
b2bg a2ae|d^cdB gab2|B2AG AcBA|G2E2 E2:|
I love this tune.
BTW, this is NOT, in case you’re here looking for the traditional set dance for an Irish stepdancer, the correct version of Blackbird for that dance.
Great tune, you can also play the ‘d’ notes in the first line sharp. I also first this tune played by Kevin Burke, but on his album with Jackie Daly, ‘Eavesdropper.’
Arty McGlynn does a very striking version of this on his first recording "McGlynn’s Fancy", which we recently found on CD. I think this might be 1980 or thereabouts and he learnt it off Jackie Daly. Lovely stuff.
This tune is notated in O’Neill’s "Irish Minstrels and Musicians;" according to whom it was taken from an earlier source, Paul Alday’s "A Pocket Volume of Airs, Duets, Songs, Marches, etc., vol. 1," published in Dublin sometime around 1800-1803. The setting differs just slightly from the way Jackie Daly and Kevin Burke play it.
O’Neill’s book is out of copyright and one can download it from Google books!
This tune is totally different from "The Blackbird" https://thesession.org/tunes/1104 and not so often heard or recorded. I suspect most of the artists listed in the detail section here recorded the commoner ‘/1104 ’ hornpipe/set dance tune.
The Blackbird had 7 1/2 measures in the first part & 15 in the second. An interesting recording of this is by John Kimmel where he makes the first part have 8 measures by holding the last note of the 1/2 measure
There’s a version I like by Sheffield band, Rumours of Whiskey, which goes into Toss the Feathers.