The Sprig Of Shillelagh polka

There are 4 recordings of this tune.

The Sprig Of Shillelagh has been added to 8 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Sprig Of Shillelagh
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:d2 ed/c/|BG G/G/G|AD D/D/D|BG G/G/G|
d2 ed/c/|BG G/G/G|AD D/E/F/G/|AG G2:|
GB g>f|f e3|A/A/A fe|d3 d|
eA fA|g/g/g/g/ fe|d4|dg ff|
e4|A/A/A fe|d3 d|ef gB|
d/e/d/c/ BA|G4||

Four comments

I got this from “The Irish Music Anthology (40 Classic Songs, Jigs and Reels)” (Proper/Retro R2CD.40-107). It’s the first tune in a set of polkas by The Flanagan Brothers, which is followed by “The Rose Tree”.

I doubt that this is the real title, since “The Rose Tree” which follows isn’t the polka I know by the same name and since the only “Sprig of Shillelagh” which I’ve come across is a jig which the boul’ Danny’s got.

Anyone know any other name by which this tune goes?

By the way it’s in C (or thereabouts!) on the CD … but I’ve transposed it to G here.


The first part is 99% the same as the german folk sonf ‘Oh du lieber Augustin’


Was a singer and bagpiper in Vienna (Austria) in the 17Th century. People says he was a great drunkard, but that was (is?) common for pipers and it’s no surprise as he made his living by touring through the pubs and playing there for a pint and some coins.
According to the legend, in 1679 one night during the pest epidemic the 36-year-old Augustin slept somewhere on the road absoltely intoxicated. The corpse collectors held him for dead and carried him out of town and threw him in an open mass grave.
The following day, Augustin amid the corpses and played on his bagpipes until rescuers pulled him from the mine.