translated as "reel of the hanged", the legend behind this tune is quite interesting. If a man condemned to death by hanging could pick up a fiddle whilst he stood on the gallows and could play this tune from ear, he would be allowed to go free. Ornamentation is interesting to find for this reel. heard it when i was in donegal of all places.
Reel du pendu - reel du cordonnier
I’ve heard this as an arcadian tune. It works well with reel du cordonnier, whihc is the hang mans reel.
I seem to remember Aly Bain playing this as the opening music to a TV programme in the 1980’s; stunning!
The first time I saw the Boys of the Lough in person, Aly played this. He was in absolutely top form and when he finished, the entire audience instantly leapt to our feet and went berserk. It was a peak experience.
Reel du Pendu
You can listen to this tune played by the French-Canadian fiddler Jean Carignan on
There’s no video, unfortunately, but the music is accompanied by old stills of the player with explanatory text in French.
There’s also a more expanded and detailed dots version in scordatura tuning in the Fiddler’s Fakebook.
You can hear several old recordings of traditional fiddlers playing Reel du pendu at http://www.udenap.org/groupe_de_pages_06/reel_du_pendu.htm
Jean Carignan’s version is fantastic. All of the versions shown appear to be in A major.
So is this a French tune or an Irish tune?
French-Canadian, I always thought. Definitely not Irish.
Nice version here, Chris Stout
Awesome version here
Re: Reel Du Pendu
Jean Carignan playing (also called Hangman’s Reel)