Derry Craig Wood reel

Also known as The Derrycrag, Derrycragg, Father Kelly’s, Mulvihill’s.

There are 17 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

Derry Craig Wood has been added to 5 tune sets.

Derry Craig Wood has been added to 71 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Derry Craig Wood
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GA |: Bd d2 eBdB | eBGB AGED | B,D D2 EDB,D | G2 GA BA A2 |
Bd d2 eBdB | eBGB AGED | B, DGE DEGB |1 cAFA G2 GA :|2 cAFA GABc ||
|: d2 Bd gd d2 | edBd gdBd | e2 ^ce ae e2 | afge fded |
Bd d2 gdBd | d2 Bd gdBd | c2 cB cBAB |1 cAFA GABc :|2 cAFA G2 GA ||
BAGE DB,EB, | DB,DG B2 AB | c2 cd cBAB | cAFA G2 GA :||
GA |: Bd (3ddd eBdB | eBGB AGED | B,D (3DDD EDB,D | ~G3 A BA (3AAA |
B~d3 eBdB | eBGB AGED | B, D (3GGE DEGB |1 cAFA G2 GA :|2 cAFA GABc ||
|: d2 Bd gd (3ddd | ed (3Bcd gdBd | e2 ^ce ae (3eee | af (3gge fded |
Bd (3ddd gdBd | (3ded Bd gdBd | c2{d}cB cB (3AAB |1 cAFA GABc :|2 cAFA GFGA ||
|: BAGE DB,EB, | DB,DG (3BcB AB | cBAG FDDE | ~F3 G (3ABA GA |
BAGE DB,EB, | DB,DG BGAB | ~c3 d cBAB | cAFA G2 GA :||
# Added .
X: 2
T: Derry Craig Wood
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
BA B/c/d eBdB|eBGB AGED|EDB,D E/F/G AB|1 cAFA G3A:|2 cAFA GABc||
|:d2Bd gdd2|edd2 gdBd|e2^ce aee2|afge fded|
Bdd2 gdd2|edd2 gdBd|c2cB cBAB|1 cAFA GABc:|2 cAFA G3A||

Eleven comments

Derry Craig Wood

This is just a cranking three-part reel, composed by New York accordion player Charlie Mulvihill (1917-1975). Mulvihill played in New York City clubs with the likes of Michael Coleman, James Morrison, and Ed Reavy back in the 1930s.

I’ve given the basic melody first, and then some ideas about how an experienced player (a fiddler in this case) might interpret that melody. There’s a definitive version by Frankie Gavin on fiddle and Charlie Piggot on banjo as recorded on DeDannan’s Mist Covered Mountain album (where I first learned the tune). The liner notes list it as "Mulvihill’s Reel." Lot’s of good ideas there for how to string together the rolls, triplets, double stops, slides, etc.

Posted .


I think you will find that the actual author of this reel is Father Kelly as in the other Fr Kelly Reel. I wouldn’t like to doubt the man himself, him being a man of the cloth and all.
Norbeck also does give the credit for composition to the good priest who incidentally is also a piano accordion player. He is/was a missionary priest now retired but has passed through Perth (Oz) a couple of times and played in some sessions. Great tune anyway

Despite the musical similarities with Father Kelly’s reel, I’ve never heard anyone associate "this" tune with "that" man. Of course, I’ve also lost the link to Charlie Mulvihill, other than DeDanann calling it Mulvihill’s on their cd.

Posted .

I wasn’t basing this on any perceived similarity with the well known Fr Kelly Reel. He said that he had had words with the guys from De Dannan after they released the CD with the Mulvihill title. But as you can check on H Norbeck’s site or on the Fiddlers companion at Ceolas - they credit the composition to the priest.

So doese Fr. Kelly call it Derry Craig Wood?

Posted .

Sorry Will.
I don’t think I was very clear in my explanation. Yes he did call it by that name - Derry Craig Wood. He also told me something about the place but I can’t remember. His most famous reel usually known as Fr Kelly’s is actually named (by him) ‘Rossmore Jetty’.
Sorry for the confusion.

No need to apologize—that’d be more my job, having got the composer wrong. Better information, especially first hand such as yours, is always welcome.

Posted .

I play the 1st 2 bars as |~B3d eB~B2|eBdB AGED|

Derry Craig Wood, X:3

Went back to the De Dannan version and this is my best stab at their playing of it. Minor differences with X:1, most notably in bar 7 (which was the bit that bugged me when I looked at the transcription in X:1 and in Henrik Norbeck’s, which it resembles strongly).