The Drummer reel

Also known as The Piper O’ Dundee, Seallaibh Curraigh E.

There are 22 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Little Donald’s Wife (a few times) and Miss Lyall (a few times).

The Drummer has been added to 1 tune set.

The Drummer has been added to 39 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Seven settings

X: 1
T: The Drummer
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
|:ABcA E2 E^F|GABc dBGB|ABcA E2 Ec|edcB A2 A2:|
|c2 ce d2 de|c2 ce dBGB|c2 ce d2 df|edcB A3 B|
c2 ce d2 de|c2 ce dBGB|(3ccc ce (3ddd df|edcB A2 A2|
X: 2
T: The Drummer
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: E | "Am"ABcA "Em"E2 (3DEF | "G"GABc dBGB | "Am"cA"G"BG "Em"E2 Eg | "Am"ec"G"dB "Am"A2 A :|
|: B | "C"c2 ce "G"d2 de | "C"c2 ce "G"dBGB | "C"c2 ce "G"d^cdg | "Am"ec"G"dB "Am"A2 A :|]
# Added by Tate .
X: 3
T: The Drummer
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmin
M: 2/4
|: D |G>A BG | D2- DE | F2 FG | A>B cA |
G>A BG | D2- De | dc BA | G2- G :|
|: F |B>B Bd | c>c cA | B>B Bd | cA GF |
B>B Bd | c>c ce | dc BA | G2- G :|
X: 4
T: The Drummer
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
M: 2/4
|: E |AB cA | E2 EF | G2 AB | d/c/B/A/ GB |
AG AB | E2 E=f | ed cB | A2 A :|
|: B |c>B ce | d>c de | c>B ce | d/c/B/A/ GB |
c>B ce | dc d=f | ed cB | A2 A :|
X: 5
T: The Drummer
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
M: 2/4
|: E |AA/B/ cA | E2- EF | G2 GA | B>c d/c/B/G/ |
A>B c/B/A | E2- E=f | ed cB | A2- A :|
|: B |c2 ce | d>c de | c>B ce | d/c/B/A/ G2 |
c>B ce | d>^c d=f | ed cB | A2- A :|
X: 6
T: The Drummer
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmin
|: B/A/ |GABG D/D/D DE | F2 FG A>BcA |\
GABG D/D/D De | dcBA G/G/G G :|
|: F |B/B/B Bd c/c/c ce | B/B/B Bd cAFA |\
B/B/B Bd c/c/c ce | dcBA G/G/G G :|
X: 7
T: The Drummer
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|: B |(AB){A/B/}cA TE2 (E^F) | GABc dB{^F/}GB |\
cABG TE2 (Eg) | ed{A/B/}cB {c/B/}A2 A :|
B |{A/B/}c2 (ce) {^c/}d2 (de) | {A/B/}c2 (ce) {^c/}dB{^F/}GB |\
{A/B/}c2 (ce) {^c/}d2 (dg) | ed{A/B/}cB {c/B/}A2 (AB} |
{A/B/}c2 (ce) {^c/}d2 (de) | {A/B/}c2 (ce) {^c/}dB{^F/}GB |\
ccce dddg | ed{A/B/}cB {c/B/}A2 A |]

Ten comments

Dougie MacDonald’s Version

This version I have provided is from Dougie MacDonald’s CD "A Miner". He adds many grace notes and cuts that are inconsistent and have not been included. Just a bare-bones version of this good ol’ tune.

Posted by .

Aiken Drum

The Scots tune The Drummer is clearly related to (and very likely the origin of) the tune of the nursery rhyme Aiken Drum:

Aiken Drum
There was a man lived in the moon,
Lived in the moon, lived in the moon
There was a man lived in the moon,
And his name was Aiken Drum.
Chorus
And he played upon a ladle, a ladle, a ladle
And he played upon a ladle, and his name was Aiken Drum.

And his hat was made of good cream cheese,
of good cream cheese, of good cream cheese,
And his hat was made of good cream cheese
And his name was Aiken Drum.
Chorus

And his coat was made of good roast beef,
of good roast beef, of good roast beef,
And his coat was made of good roast beef,
And his name was Aiken Drum.
Chorus

And his buttons made of penny loaves,
of penny loaves, of penny loaves,
And his buttons made of penny loaves,
And his name was Aiken Drum.
Chorus

And his breeches made of haggis bags
of haggis bags, of haggis bags
And his breeches made of haggis bags,
and his name was Aiken Drum.

X: 3 “The Drummer” ~ a country dance & tune. 1700s

While having a discussion about dance & dance music history and fiction at a dance in a local hall, folks were frolicking to this tune, dancing the dance by the same name. This is how I remember the tune, given in a very basic form. I have come across it before, and we used to play it a long time ago, my wife and I, in a very large English Country Dance Band, along with a load of other early dance tunes for dancers. I’ve given it in 2/4. I’ve some transcriptions dating back to the 1700s and will try to remember to dig them out and add one or two more here later, and maybe a description of the dance too…

X: 4 “The Drummer” ~ a little history, 1782

"Aird’s Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1", 1782
Most early transcriptions give this tune as 4/4, "Aird’s" as shown, gives it as 2/4… I tend to end this take on it with one change, the c# in the 6th bar/measure of the B-part, holding that last A:

~ | c>B ce | d^c d=f | ed cB | A2- A :|

X:5 “The Drummer”

Some alternate ways from the previous "Aird" transcription…

X: 6 “The Drummer” ~ more history, 1757

"Thompson’s Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1", 1757

X:7 “The Drummer” ~ more history, 1884

"The Athole Collection", James Stewart-Robertson", 1884, page 42
S: "Gow Repository"