The Oak Tree reel

Also known as An Crann Darach, An Seanchrann Darach, Bean A’ Ti Ar Lar, The Old Oak Tree, Old Simon’s, Old Simon’s Hornpipe.

There are 36 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Nine Points Of Roguery (a few times), Toss The Feathers (a few times), Ask My Father (a few times), Finbarr Dwyer’s (a few times) and The Steampacket (a few times).

The Oak Tree has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Oak Tree has been added to 221 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Five settings

X: 1
T: The Oak Tree
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
(3FED AD FDAD|FAAF GFEC |~A,3B, CA, (3A,A,A, | A,G,A,B, CDEG|
(3FED AD FDAD | FAAF GFEA | ~B2eg fgec |1 dcce dBAG :|2 (3ded ce dfeg|
|: fB (3BBB fa^ge | fece ~f3e | cAAc eA (3AAA | A^GAB cdeg |
fB (3BBB fa^ge | fece (3f^ga ec | ABce ~a3e |1faec dfeg :|2 faec ~B3c|
|: d2fd Adfd | c2ec Acec | d2fd Adfg | gfed cABc |
d2fd Adfd | c2ec Acec | dfaf gfed |1 B2ec dcBc :|2 B2ec dBAG || [F8A8] ||
X: 2
T: The Oak Tree
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AG|:FD D/D/D A,D D/D/D|FGAF GEFD|E2EF GEFD|EDEF GFEG|
FD D/D/D A,D D/D/D|FGAF GEFd|cdef geag|[1fdec dBAG:|[2fdec d3e||
|:fB B/B/B fa^ge|fB B/B/B afed|c/B/A eA fAeA|c/B/A cd efge|
fB B/B/B fa^ge|fB B/B/B afed|cdeg faec|[1d2dc d3e:|[2d2dc d3A||
d/d/d fd d/d/d fd|c/c/c ec c/c/c ec|d/d/d fd d/d/d ef|gfge dcBA|
d/d/d fd d/d/d fd|c/c/c ec c/c/c ef|gfge dcBA|cdec dBAG||
X: 3
T: The Oak Tree
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AG|:FD D/D/D A,D D/D/D|FGAF GEFD|E2EF GEFD|EDEF GFEG|
FD D/D/D A,D D/D/D|FGAF GEFd|cdef geag|[1fdec dBAG:|[2fdec d3e|
|:fB B/B/B fa^ge|fB B/B/B afed|c/B/A eA fAeA|c/B/A cd efge|
fB B/B/B fa^ge|fB B/B/B afed|cdeg faec|[1d2dc d3e:|[2d2dc d3A|
d/d/d fd d/d/d fd|c/c/c ec c/c/c ec|d/d/d fd d/d/d ef|gfge dcBA|
d/d/d fd d/d/d fd|c/c/c ec c/c/c ef|gfge dcBA|cdec dBAG||
X: 4
T: The Oak Tree
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AG|:FD D2 AD D2|FGAF GEFD|E3F GEFD|EDEF GFEG|
FD D2 AD D2|FGAF GEFd|cdef geag|[1fdec dBAG:|[2fdec d3e|
|:fB B2 fage|fB B2 afed|cAeA fAeA|cAcd efge|
fB B2 fage|fB B2 afed|cdeg faec|[1d2dc d3e:|[2d2dc d3A|
d2 fd Adfd|c2 ec Acec|d2 fd Adef|gfge dcBA|
d2 fd Adfd|c2 ec Acef|gfge dcBA|cdec dBAG||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 5
T: The Oak Tree
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:D2ED ADED|FAAF GFED|A3B =cdec|A3B =cAEG|
F2ED ADED|FAAF GFED|B2eg fdec|[1 d2ce dBAG:|[2 d2ce dfea|
|:fBB2 faea|fece faec|A3c eAce|cAea fece|
fBB2 faea|fece faec|ABce a3e|[1 faec B2ae:|[2 faec BABc|
|:d2fd Adfd|c2ec Acec|d2fd Adfg|[1afge dcBc:|[2afge dBAG||

Forty comments

The oak tree

as far as i know, this isa traditional irish reel, any ideas on composer?

Composer

If it’s a traditional Irish reel, then there is in all likelihood no known composer. Most traditional tunes are not a product of one person’s pen, but rather have evolved over time into the tunes we play today.

Composer

I don’t quite agree about traditional meaning it evolved rather was written. It has been my experience that many of the "traditional" tunes that are regularily played in sessions (maybe only 15-20%) were actually written by someone who is alive or lived in the 20th century. I personally find it interesting to know if there is an undisputed author and would like to see him/her given due credit.
Obviously your comment does hold true for the majority of tunes but don’t let that stop people asking the question if anyone knows a relevant composer.

The Oak Tree

This is a great reel. I first heard it on "Sult - The Spirit Of Music". It was played with a load of musicians from Altan, including Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh’s father on the fiddle. John McCarthy also guested on the flute, along with the usual house band. They made a great job of it. I thought Altan played it on one of their albums, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I reckon it’s a Donegal reel, but I could be frightfully wrong. The tune reminds me of a jig called Behind The Haystack. Simply for the reason that the keys are almost exactly the same in each. The only problem is that I can’t find a definitive setting for this tune. If I could hear the Sult version again, I could transcribe it. It was definitely the best sounding one so far. Does anyone know where one can get the whole series on CD or DVD?

Recorded as Old Simon’s Hornpipe on “The Floating Bow” by John Doherty

In the leaflet of the CD on "The Floating Bow" this tune is labelled Old Simon’s Hornpipe. "Old Simon" refers to Doherty’s grandfather, An Dochartach Mor (1820-1899), but whether the name stems from his liking of this tune or because he composed is not mentioned.

Frankie Gavin on Frankie Goes to Town

Track 6, he plays this fine tune, wonderfully I might add, but he does not play the repeat on the 3rd part.

"The Bridge Céilí Band" play this AABBC…

This tune appears on Shetland fiddler Debbie Scott’s eponymous CD under the name ‘Bean a’ Ti ar Lar’ with the description “a traditional Irish tune which we call ‘Da Birlie Reel’”. I haven’t been able to find any tune on the web matching this, and the two tunes I have found with the same Irish title are significantly different. So I have posted this under its Shetland title.
Guitarist John Hutchison (who also plays fiddle) used this tune to demonstrate Shetland style accompaniment at this year’s Shetland Fiddle Frenzy. I’m afraid we just called it ‘Da Bean Tune’.
On the recording Debbie Scott plays the three parts in the order AABBCAABBCAA.

Duplicated

https://thesession.org/tunes/212

Debbie Scott should really know better, considering that Aly Bain recorded it with Boys Of The Lough over 30 years ago. Let’s be generous, and say it was before her time. :)

Posted by .

How odd that a (presumably) professional Shetland fiddler has never heard The Oak Tree. O tempora,o mores?

Oh dear, I obviously didn’t search hard enough. I should maybe have gone for the fage bit in the B part. Can’t think why she thought it was called ‘Bean an Tighe ar Lar’, though. I’ll repost it under ‘The Oak Tree’.

As played by Debbie Scott (in 1999) and curiously mistitled as "Bean a’ Ti ar Lar":
X: 1
T: The Oak Tree
M: C|
L: 1/8
Q: 1/2=112
K: D
AG|:FD D/D/D A,D D/D/D|FGAF GEFD|E2EF GEFD|EDEF GFEG|
FD D/D/D A,D D/D/D|FGAF GEFd|cdef geag|[1fdec dBAG:|[2fdec d3e|
|:fB B/B/B fa^ge|fB B/B/B afed|c/B/A eA fAeA|c/B/A cd efge|
fB B/B/B fa^ge|fB B/B/B afed|cdeg faec|[1d2dc d3e:|[2d2dc d3A|
d/d/d fd d/d/d fd|c/c/c ec c/c/c ec|d/d/d fd d/d/d ef|gfge dcBA|
d/d/d fd d/d/d fd|c/c/c ec c/c/c ef|gfge dcBA|cdec dBAG||

I don’t think they have oak trees (or indeed any trees) in Shetland, unless there is one hiding in Lerwick.

The Oak Tree is already here - has been since 2001, so there’s no need to post it again. The reason is probably that Tommy Peoples recorded the "Oak Tree" and followed it with "Bean An Ti Ar Lar" on his "High Part Of The Road" recording. It’s very likely that the names of the 2 tunes have become confused.

Posted by .

Duplication ~ here’s the chat from the comments that Donald missed

Good on yuh DonaldK, you beat me to the rescue… ;-) Here’s a bit of the banter you forgot to rescue as well yourself first ~

This tune appears on Shetland fiddler Debbie Scott’s eponymous CD under the name ‘Bean a’ Ti ar Lar’ with the description “a traditional Irish tune which we call ‘Da Birlie Reel’”. I haven’t been able to find any tune on the web matching this, and the two tunes I have found with the same Irish title are significantly different. So I have posted this under its Shetland title.

Guitarist John Hutchison (who also plays fiddle) used this tune to demonstrate Shetland style accompaniment at this year’s Shetland Fiddle Frenzy. I’m afraid we just called it ‘Da Bean Tune’.

On the recording Debbie Scott plays the three parts in the order AABBCAABBCAA.

# Posted on September 27th 2007 by DonaldK

Duplicated

Debbie Scott should really know better, considering that Aly Bain recorded it with Boys Of The Lough over 30 years ago. Let’s be generous, and say it was before her time.

# Posted on September 27th 2007 by Kenny

How odd that a (presumably) professional Shetland fiddler has never heard The Oak Tree. O tempora, o mores?

# Posted on September 27th 2007 by dafydd

Oh dear, I obviously didn’t search hard enough. I should maybe have gone for the fage bit in the B part. Can’t think why she thought it was called ‘Bean an Tighe ar Lar’, though. I’ll repost it under ‘The Oak Tree’.

# Posted on September 27th 2007 by DonaldK

I don’t think they have oak trees (or indeed any trees) in Shetland, unless there is one hiding in Lerwick.

# Posted on September 27th 2007 by DonaldK

The reason is probably that Tommy Peoples recorded the "Oak Tree" and followed it with "Bean An Ti Ar Lar" on his "High Part Of The Road" recording. It’s very likely that the names of the 2 tunes have become confused.

# Posted on September 27th 2007 by Kenny

Valued comment!

What I meant was that I would post it under the comments section, which I have done so.
It is interesting to note that the only half note grouping from the A part that would have yeilded a match with an ABC search is the very last grouping, dBAG, leading back into the A part. I guess that’s why I didn’t find it here (or anywhere else on the web).

Comment continued ~

It is interesting to note that the only half note grouping from the A part that would have yeilded a match with an ABC search is the very last grouping, dBAG, leading back into the A part. I guess that’s why I didn’t find it here (or anywhere else on the web).

# Posted on September 28th 2007 by DonaldK

The perils of variation ~ ;-)

"I don’t think they have oak trees (or indeed any trees) in Shetland, unless there is one hiding in Lerwick."

I remember seeing a couple of small, wind-battered rowan trees on the streets of Lerwick - they’ve got to be worth a tune. No doubt, Shetlanders know the whereabouts of every tree in the archipelago.

They’re in the bogs…

"I don’t think they have oak trees (or indeed any trees) in Shetland, unless there is one hiding in Lerwick."
I remember seeing a couple of small, wind-battered rowan trees on the streets of Lerwick - they’ve got to be worth a tune. No doubt, Shetlanders know the whereabouts of every tree in the archipelago.

# Posted on September 28th 2007 by NameChangesRConfusing

They’re in the bogs…

Sorry but i dont quite agree!!

Sorry but i do not quite agree about debbie scott getting the name of that tune wrong!! Check out Breandan Breathnach’s "Ceol Rince na hEireann" book 2
It is under the name "Bean a’ ti ar Lar"!!

Breathnach is not infallible.

Posted by .

But it’s a *book*, Kenny! It’s written there in black and white! You can’t argue with a *book*!

;-)

;)

No one is ‘infallible’ of course.
But also i suppose that no one can argue with what ‘you guys’ are saying…!
;-) haha…
Hayley X

Oops

* i meant to say everyone is infallible ! ;-)

Ps

If you look at the index of Breathnach 2, you’ll find "The Oaktree" s an alternative title. What is for sure, is that Debbie Scott is not an expert on Irish fiddle playing.

Posted by .

John Hutchison told me that Debbie Scott got it out of a book so it was likely that Breandan chappie’s tome.
You would hardly expect Debbie Scott to be an expert on Irish fiddle playing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play Irish tunes in your own style. The Irish have been nicking other people’s tunes for centuries and turning them into their own (and changing the titles in the process).

Book

There is a very good version of this tune in the book "Irish Fiddle Solos." By Pete Cooper? Published by Mel Bay. All the ornamentations, bowings (very good ones) and chords written in. I practically learned how to fiddle by playing the tunes out of that book, and especially like the Oak tree.

The Oak Tree Reel

Many folks attribute this tune to the Doherty brothers, John, Simon and Mickey. The person to ask would be Cathal McConnell. I have a copy from his (Cathal’s) early, like late ’60s or early ’70s, field recordings with Paddy Kelly of Bundoran, County Tyrone playing the tune.

A great 3part reel… if you skip past the first part! (and then skip past the third part again back to Part 2!) :- )

No trees on Shetland

I think Rhoda Bulter would disagree with that if she were here to..

Confusion compounded indefinitely

Absolutely the only reason that the title ‘Bean a’ Tí ar Lár’ has become associated with this tune in any way is that the printer accidentally switched the titles between two tunes appearring in Brendan Breathnach’s CRE 2 book. How many generations from now will this error persist, to the bemusement of future scholars?

Posted by .

Re: The Oak Tree

this is in bagpuss