The Jinkin’ Mermaid reel

Also known as Jinking Mermaid.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

The Jinkin’ Mermaid has been added to 1 tune set.

The Jinkin' Mermaid has been added to 42 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Jinkin' Mermaid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
cBAG ABcA|B ~E3 cEBE|cBAG ABcd|efed cBAB|
cBAG ABcA|B ~E3 cEBE|cBAG ABcd|edcB A3 B:|
c2 Gc EcGc|A ~c3 gcac|A ~c3 GcEc|EFGA BdcB|
c2 Gc EcGc|A ~c3 gcac|e ~g3 ag^fa|g^fed cBAB:|
# Added by Jamie .

Eleven comments

The Jinkin’ Mermaid

This is a great tune which has a lilt and is open to lots of variation and interpretation. I got it from a friend in Cork, Michael Sweeney. He is a good fiddler with a Donegal style who got this tune from the composer, Dinny McLaughlin. He prefers triplet bowed ornaments in the first half, I prefer using rolls in both halves.

This tune is also featured on Liz Doherty’s - Last Orders. She also got it straight from Dinny McLaughlin who taught her fiddle in Buncrana, Donegal.

Posted by .

is that the dude who taught mairead ni mooney and ciaran tourish?

I know he taught Mairead, but I don’t know about Ciaran. Ciaran comes from Buncrana too so its quite likely.

Posted by .

if he taught mairead then he taught ciaran, they met initially at their teacher’s house (or so i’ve been told). ‘tis a cracker of a tune. A minor’s my favourite key.


I was going to say that only God and Dinny knew, but, being short for "jinking" its in the Oxford English Dictionary as: to move elusively, dodge or to elude by dodging! I guess that’s a characteristic of the mermaid in question…..

Posted by .


Thank you. I am much relieved. I was concerned lest the revelation of its meaning could have necessitated the renaming of the tune.

In’t this tune in e-minor?

Key of Jinkin’ Mermaid

Nope, the tonic is clearly A, not E, and there are no F#s.

Posted by .

Here’s what Dinny says about this tune in "From Barefoot Days", the book that Liz Doherty wrote about him.

"This reel honours Ballymagan Celtic’s contribution to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade some years ago- a float of Noah’s Ark, complete with jinkin’ (jumping) mermaids".



I’m not disputing your conclusion about the key but your evidence is somewhat flawed. There are twice as many F sharps in this tune as F naturals. It won’t take you long to count them.

Great tune as is the Gally Canter which I learned from Liz Doherty a couple of years back in Ullapool.