The Horse In The Houseboat reel

By Ian Stevenson

Also known as The Hoor On The Houseboat, The Houseboat, The Whore In The Houseboat, The Whores In The Houseboat.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

The Horse In The Houseboat has been added to 23 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: The Horse In The Houseboat
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
A2 gA fAeA|A2 eA dcBc|A2 gA fAeA|GABc dcBc|
A2 gA fAeA|A2 eA dcBG|DEGA cdeg|aged cA A2:|
aged cA A2|GAEA GAEA|aged cA A2|bagb a2 ag|
aged cA A2|GAEA GAEA|DEGA cdeg|aged cA A2:|
# Added by Kenny .

Six comments


Will comment tomorrow.

Posted by .


I have not heard this tune for many, many years, except when I play it myself or with the two other musicians I know who can play it. Wonderful to know that it has gone further. This is a composition of singer/ mandolin player Ian Stevenson, an English musician who lived in the north of Ireland for many years, where I first met him and manys a tune we played together. He is currently in France somewhere, but I saw him in Ireland 4 years ago when he was back for a visit. “The Destitution”, another one of Ian’s great compositions can be found here as well. The title, as I learned it, was “The Hoor on the Houseboat”.


Thanks for that, Longnote - I had a feeling you might have something to say about this one. I posted a reel, “The Cocktail” earlier on this year, which came from a 20-year old recording of Gary Hastings and Gerry O‘Donnell. This tune comes from the same recording, and I had been intending to post it as “Gan Ainm”. I only discovered the name of it 2 days ago. It appears on one of the 4-CD set which Frankie Gavin has just released. The third CD is of Frankie and Gary Hastings, and naturally features quite a few tunes from “up North”. The flute playing and selection of tunes is superb - [ but be warned, there’s a string quartet lurking in there.] This particular CD ( of the 4 )should appeal to all flute players - the other 3 feature Frankie duetting with Mairtin O’Connor, Joe Derrane and Stephane Grappelli.

Posted by .

Houseboat - p.s.

p.s. - This is the order of the 2 parts of the tune as played by Gary, but I somehow prefer them reversed. Anyone agree ?

Posted by .

The sheetmusic isn’t showing properly.


The original name for this reel was “The Horse in the Houseboat”. I wrote it at the end of 1977 or start of ’78 after a tour of Holland. Our agent was driving us back from Almelo to Utrecht, when he mentioned that a couple of canals we were just passing were full of Houseboats moored to the banks and that was where the Horses lived. His English wasn’t great he had meant to say, Whores…….
The 2 parts I composed were originally the other way round and the first was played on the G string of the fiddle.
It is just now that I have learned there are 3 recordings of it.
I wonder what other tunes Gary is still playing of mine????