The Street Player reel

By Ed Reavy

Also known as Ed Reavey’s Favourite, The Streetplayer.

There are 26 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Street Player appears in 2 other tune collections.

The Street Player has been added to 35 tune sets.

The Street Player has been added to 137 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Seven settings

X: 1
T: The Street Player
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DFAd f2 fe|dcde fdAF|G2 FG E2 EF|GBAF EA,CE|
FD D2 FAGA|BG G2 Bcdg|fgaf gecd|1 eddc dBAF:|2 eddc d2 Ad||
|:fddc dfaf|gfed cdeg|f2 fa gfed|cAAG A2 EG|
FDA,D FA A2|BG G2 Bcdg|fgaf gecd|1 eddc d2 Ad:|2 eddc d4||
# Added by Kenny .
X: 2
T: The Street Player
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DFAd f3e|dcde fdAF|G2FG E3F|GBAG EDCE|
FD~D2 FA=cA|BG~G2 Bcde|faaf geAc|eddc dAFE|
DFAd f3e|dcde fdAF|G2FG E3F|GEED EDCE|
FD~D2 FA=cA|BG~G2 Bcde|faaf gecd|eddc d3e||
f2dc dfaf|gfed cdeg|afaf gfed|c2BG ABAG|
F3D FAB=c|BG~G2 Bcde|faaf geAc|eddc d3e|
f2dc dfaf|gfed cdeg|afaf gfed|c2BG ABAG|
FD~D2 FA=cA|BG~G2 Bcde|faaf gecd|eddc d3e||
X: 3
T: The Street Player
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
D>FA>d (3fgf e>c|d>cd>e f>dA>F|G2 (3FED C2 (3DEF|G>BA>F E>A,C>E|
F>DA,>D F>G (3AB=c|B>GD>G (3B^cd e>g|f2 (3agf e>dc>d|(3efe d>c d2-:|
(3faf d>c (3dfd A>f|g>Be>d c>de>g|f>ga>f g2 (3fed|c2. B2. A2. G2.|
F>D (3FGA d>AF>A|G>D (3GAB e>dc>B|A>df>a (3gfe c>d|(3efe d2 d2-:|
X: 4
T: The Street Player
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
FE|:DFAd (3fef ec|dcde fdAF|GFED CDEF|GBAG EA,CE|
FDA,E FGA=c|BGBG ^cdeg|fagf edcd|(3efe d2 d2:|
eg|:(3fgf dc dfaf|gbed cdeg|fg (3agf gfed|(3cBA (3BA^G A=GFE|
FDFA dAFA|GFGB edcB|Adfa gecd|(3efe d2 d2:|
X: 5
T: The Street Player
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DFAd f3e|dcde fdAF|G2 FG E3F|GBAF EFGE|
FD D2 FAGA|BG G2 Bcdg|fgaf gecd|1 eddc dBAF:|2 eddc d2 Ad||
|:fddc dfaf|gfed cdeg|f3a gfed|cAAG A2 EG|
FD D2 FA A2|BG G2 Bcdg|fgaf gecd|1 eddc d2 Ad:|2 eddc d4||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 6
T: The Street Player
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DFAd ~f2ef|d3e fdAF|G2FG E3F|G2FG EFGE|
FAAF DFA2|B2BA Bcde|faaf gece|eddc d3f:|
|:fddc dfaf|gfed cdeg|~f3a gfed|cAAG A3G|
FAAF DFA2|B2BA Bcde|faaf gece|eddc d3f:|
# Added by Ralex .
X: 7
T: The Street Player
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DFAd effe|dcde fdAF|GDFG ~E3F|GDFG EFGE|
FDAG FGA=c|~B3B B=cde|f~a3 geAc|1 eddc dBAF:|2 e~d3 d3e||
|:fddc dfaf|gfed cdeg|~f3f gfed|cABG ABAG
FDAG FGA=c|~B3B B=cde|f~a3 geAc|1 e~d3 d3e:|2 eddc dBAF||

Fifty-seven comments

The Street Player

Ed Reavy composed this as a hornpipe, but I’ve only ever heard it played as a reel.

Posted by .

The Street Player - Reel or Hornpipe?

I’ve only ever heard it as a reel, too.

The Street Player

Thanks for posting this Kenny - I’ve been meaning to learn this for months but never got round to it. Perhaps I will now.

Cronin’s Reel - The Street Player

I got this reel fairly recently too - pretty similar to what’s posted though I have a flute setting -

I looked up about it - here is some of what I found, (from Fiddler’s Companion and elsewhere on the web):

The Street Player (the hornpipe of this) was composed in honor of Tom and Jim McCafferty, two street musicians in Counties Cavan and Monaghan during the early 1900’s. It is called “Cronin’s Reel” in the Armagh Piper’s Club’s book.

Its also on these recordings not listed on the tune page:

Seamus Tansey Easter Snow (as Ed Reavy’s Favourite)
Shanachie SHA 34008, Andy McGann & Paddy Reynolds (appears as part of “Reavy’s Medley,” played as a reel).

I haven’t heard that last one, Andy McGann and Paddy Reynolds, would love to.

Posted by .

Not Cronin’s

lesl - thanks for that information, but since you’ve added “Cronin’s” as an alternative tune title, the supposed number of recordings with this tune on it has shot up to 19. Now as I’m pretty certain that most of the “Cronin’s” on these 19 are “Cronin’s Hornpipe” and not this reel, I’d like your permission to remove “Cronin’s” from the alternative titles. This is a rare occasion where we have the actual title of a tune as given it by the composer. I see no need to add to it. Ed Reavy titled his composition “The Street Player”. I think it insults his memory to give it any other name. How many names does a tune need? I won’t remove it if you feel strongly about it,but you can see the chaos it causes in the recordings listings. Please let me know your opinions, and thanks again.

Posted by .

Street Player

I agree strongly with Kenny on this one after checking out some of the recordings - in nearly all cases Cronin’s is paired with another hornpipe (both Brian Rooney and Paddy Glackin & Paddy Keenan pair it with the Plains of Boyle while Joe Ryan on “an Buachail Dreoite” pairs it with the Tailor’s Twist). My guess is that they are referring to the “BA|GABd dBde|gage dega, etc” tune. Leaving Cronin’s as an alternative title will therefore only cause confusion.


See also From my own experience, this tune also known as “Speed the Plough” would be more likely to be referred to as Cronin’s Reel.

Not Cronins

uh oh Too many Cronins’!

My apologies to all ..

I learned this as Cronin’s - then later discovered it started as The Streetplayer hornpipe and was composed, no less an Ed Reavey tune!

Thanks for the courtesy of asking me permission to remove. Granted 100x. I’d remove it myself but don’t quite know how. But, I won’t stop playing it..

Anyone know who first turned it into a reel, btw.

Posted by .

It’s Cronin’s too!

The Streetplayer is in 50 Reels, the great book of the Armagh Pipers Club. Lots of people know it by one name, the other or both. I get dirty looks from our local pipers if I try and tell them it has a ‘real’ name, and they know full well its a Reavy tune.

They know it’s The Streetplayer too, but they got it as Cronin’s, and that’s important to them. Too many Cronin’s? Try sorting out the Paddy Fahy tunes!!

It’s a beautiful tune, and I don’t think it dishonours Reavy to let it be known by other names any more than it dishonours him to play it as a reel.

This is all just a part of the madhouse we call the tradition.

Call it what you will, the honour to Reavy is in the playing of it.

I just wish that website would allow posting the composer in the abc.

T:The Street Player
S:Erne by Jim McGrath, Cathal Hayden, Gerry O‘Donnell, Tommy O’Sullivan
DFAd f3e|dcde fdAF|G2FG E3F|GBAG EDCE|
FD~D2 FA=cA|BG~G2 Bcde|faaf geAc|eddc dAFE|
DFAd f3e|dcde fdAF|G2FG E3F|GEED EDCE|
FD~D2 FA=cA|BG~G2 Bcde|faaf gecd|eddc d3e||
f2dc dfaf|gfed cdeg|afaf gfed|c2BG ABAG|
F3D FAB=c|BG~G2 Bcde|faaf geAc|eddc d3e|
f2dc dfaf|gfed cdeg|afaf gfed|c2BG ABAG|
FD~D2 FA=cA|BG~G2 Bcde|faaf gecd|eddc d3e||

I thought I had this tune until someone played the original Ed Reavy setting in a session last night, with all the low notes and triplets and accidentals. It was really nice, but now I’ve got to learn it all over again.

The hornpipe

I like it as a hornpipe -- the way Reavy intended it. We had a very good visiting box player from Ireland here one night and I started the tune as a hornpipe. Before long it had morphed into a reel and I found it extremely awkward to play. This happened a couple of times since. No one else around here knows it so I usually can have my way with it under normal circumstances.

I hope you taught the visiting box player the proper way to play it did you Buttonman? Those Irish - they don’t even know how to play their own tunes 🙂

Come on Dow, Reavy was ‘Irish-American’, you know that, and it’s one of his compositions. But, as they say, once the children fly the coup ~ what becomes of them elsewhere is a matter of free choice ~ though a lot of people do try to snap the whip of tyranny to support their own conceptions of the ‘truth’ and the ‘way’… What has me puzzled, following you two guys in endless interaction ~ I’d come to believe that Button played all hornpipes as if they were reels anyway?

I was wondering about that too.

It’s past your bedtime Dow. What are you doing up this late anyway, being ill and all and coping out of the session before midnight?

Um, it’s 6.30pm. I don’t think it’s going to be a hardcore late night, ‘c’. That’s if I can get this mp3 converter thing to work. Did you get my e-mail, or did that fail too?

“The Street Player” ~ putting the bounce back in, and some variations

Yup, but, as always, here’s something to satisfy the pookah-pusher’s need for that hornpipey thang, heh, heh, heh 😉

K: D Major
|: (3GFE |
D>FA>d (3fgf e>c | d>cd>e f>dA>F | G2 (3FED C2 (3DEF | G>BA>F E>A,C>E |
F>DA,>D F>G (3AB=c | B>GD>G (3B^cd e>g | f2 (3agf e>dc>d | (3efe d>c d2- :|
|: d>g |
(3faf d>c (3dfd A>f | g>Be>d c>de>g | f>ga>f g2 (3fed | c2. B2. A2. G2. |
F>D (3FGA d>AF>A | G>D (3GAB e>dc>B | A>df>a (3gfe c>d | (3efe d2 d2- :|

“Dedicated to Tom and Jim McCafferty, the great street players who played in towns of Cavan and nearby Monaghan in the early years of this (20th) century.” ~ Joe Reavy

What are the arrow signs there for? You don’t actually play it like that, do you?

Only kidding 🙂

Those are like street signs, so people don’t get stuck on the one note and know to move on to the next one, or move back and start all over again…

Part B, Measure 4 ~ alternate takes for | c2. B2. A2. G2. |

| (3cdc (3BcB (3ABA (3GAG | F2. ~

| (3cBc (3BAB (3A^GA (3=GFG |

| (3cBA (3BA^G (3A=GF (3GFE |

| (3cBA B>^G A2- A>E |

| (3cBA (3BA^G A>=GF>E |

| c>AA>^G A2- A>G |

| c2 (3BA^G A2 =G>E |

| c>aB>g A>gf>e |

| c>dB>c A2- A>G |


Making the music all hurky-jerky doesn’t make it a hornpipe… unless you’r somewhere other than Ireland I suppose. But I thought this site was about Irish music and not, uh… Northumbrian music..

I’m not interested in how much you jerk, Jack, but I *am* interested to know how you make your hornpipes sound different from your reels.

Puh-thump, puh-thump, puh-thump ~ damned turntable…

That was quite civil don’t you think? Were you lurking and just waiting to pounce or were one of your minions keeping track and reporting back to you on any mention, slur or slag? You reminded me of the Swiss cook on The Muppets Show ~ “Hurky-Jerky, an now we make uh hampipe sammich…”

I wonder, Northumbrian or Irish ham? ~ though I understand you can get some damned fine peanut fed ham down on the waterfront in San Fran, and how about that lovely sourdough bread too, mmm, mmm… And no shortage on good brews there either… Let’s just have a picnic, get p*ssed and try out different levels of swing… There’s swings in the park, and I wonder if that old rope is still there hanging over the pond? Now there’s some wild swinging to do…

Swiss ?

Shame on you, “ceolachan” - the Muppet chef was SWEDISH !!!

Posted by .

Damn, you’re right. Sorry…

Hey Kenny, are you up to a good ham sandwich on San Francisco sourdough bread and some swinging?

The point is, Dow and all, I’m taking my cues for how an Irish hornpipe sounds from the way it’s played in Ireland and not Northumberland or anywhere else. If I was on a website about Northumbrian music and was seeking to play that style, then I’d be listening to the way they play it. I do hear varying amounts of swing among Irish players of hornpipes, but they are usually very subtle and sound nothing like the dotted rhythm you guys insist on posting. I think it’s best to leave it up to the player’s interpretation rather than exaggerating it in the ABCs.

Don’t you play any James Hill hornpipes, Jack?

Whoa pa! Damn that smarted and a big red welt is rising on the back of my palm… I won’t be able to play anything for at least a week. Jeez, get a sense of humour why don’t yuh…so damned serious no wonder everything is flat out… Actually, I’ve heard you play and you’re a damn fine player with a nice swing to your hornpipes…even if you can’t hear it… But fine playing like that isn’t ‘everything’…

I don’t play hornpipes “flat-out” and I do use a pinch of swing. My point is simply that we don’t need to include it in the ABCs because it’s too interpretive. Let the player determine it and whether they choose to use it at all.

Then couldn’t you say that flattening it out is too interpretive also?

No, because you’re choosing to either add it or leave it be. I also use a subtle swing in some of the reels I play… some more than others… some not at all… but I get to decide. It’s better, I think, to reference music that doesn’t force it in. Allow the player the discretion.

I’m having a really hard time understanding your hugely contradictory comments, Jack. You say that one shouldn’t transcribe music a certain way because it “doesn’t allow the player to determine how to play it”, and yet, you yourself determine how you want to play a tune regardless of what you see transcribed. Doesn’t this imply that you are the only Irish musician with the intelligence to be able to interpret abc/sheetmusic, and that it’s self-evident that all others blindly follow transcriptions and don’t have the ability to “determine” for themselves how to play it in the way that you can?

Button, you are just as able to make the choice either way, as is anyone else. You’ve been playing so long and have accomplished a lot and no amount of swung notation is going to pollute that. Allow the same right you demand for yourself to others. I choose to notate the swing, and most of the older collections I’ve seen do the same thing. There is no tyranny in it either way. I have also seen loads of early American collections, some do and others don’t. Neither is confusing to me, nor to most folk. Besides, it is our ears that make the major decisions for us.

I’m not sure what your measuring stick is, but most of the older Irish musicians I’ve had time with definitely swung the music, and those that read the music never found the notation of swing a problem. Actually, it’s absence was more confusing. Things aren’t always clearly marked as hornpipe or any of the many other fine forms that take swing, but if the notation shows it, well, it’s just damned clear ~ but of course, the level of swing is up to the ears and the player.

I’ve heard tell that things are different in North America, and some say that difference grows with distance as one moves West, in the dance and in the music… I don’t hold much to that, I’ve heard some damned fine playing from musicians over on that shelf you’re occupying, yourself included. I pray it never slips into the sea, that would be an awful loss of fine musicians and music making…

As they say, you can’t please everyone, and I was trying to wind you up by notating Reavy’s hornpipe with swing. Hey, come to think of it, I haven’t his two books on hand here, they are in a friends care ~ but I’m pretty damned sure that all the hornpipes and related forms, including barndances ~ are notated with the swing… So, I’m not deviating from Reavy’s norm, and it is his tune…or was… I also prefer it as a hornpipe, but wouldn’t stop someone from taking it the way they know it and have grown to love it…

So I take it were one less for the picnic, too bad…

Damn Dow, you must be psychic…

“No, because you’re choosing to either add it [swing] or leave it be”

What if a musician views the “flattening” of hornpipes as an unwelcome addition, and that “leaving it be” is “leaving it with the swing in it”?

That would assume that the swing is the norm. Why are the hornpipes notated with swing (according to you) but the reels aren’t even though they also use it? Should we start notating reels with swing too then?

Damn staccato ~

Why do somethings get switched around, the dots should be before the note, that’s a bit like my having to check that I don’t write ntoe instead of note, or swign instead of swing… So, just as an example,
Part B, Measure 4 should have read | .c2 .B2 .A2 .G2 |

What, you two still at it?

Yeah, I know what you mean ephereal plunger, O’Neil and Breathnach and all those others going way back just didn’t have a clue what they were doing, or that you’d come along and be upset with their take on things swung…

Why is it okay to assume flat is the norm, but not okay to assume swing is the norm, when you yourself admit to swinging your hornpipes? Seriously, Jack, you’re not making much sense.

“Should we start notating reels with swing too then”

It doesn’t matter. It’s an aural tradition. If I e-mailed you a reel with swing signs in it I’m sure you’d be able to interpret it and play it however you would normally play a reel.

If you look through the hornpipe section in O’Neill’s you’ll find that roughly half are written with a dotted rhythm. Are we to assume that those tunes are played with swing and the others aren’t? I think it would be better to simplify the notation and leave the gobble-ti-goop out and let each players decide how to interpret it for themselves.

I actually did start running through my mind the endless list of collections and collectors that notate with a swing those things that normally swing, but I can see it wouldn’t really count for much. When one is so adamantly convinced they are right, well, no length of list of any kind is going to make much difference. When you put together your massive collection you can choose to not notate it that way. You can continue to harangue about it, and I will continue to follow the general practice of those I respect, some of whom I have even had the pleasure of knowing… Each to his own. I can see that in your eyes I’m wrong in following that crowd and going with their norm… And the disagreement does not colour my appreciation of your music making, as I’ve said several times…

Oh yeah, which O’Neill’s ~ “Waifs and Strays” has all those notated swung that would swing…

That’s from memory ~ but here are some points for you, just so you know I do have some awareness of the other side ~ the last couple of editions of Ceol Rince, 4 & 5, me missing the first three, again with a friend, the hornpipes are notated without the swing given in the notation. The original notes for the earlier editions, loaned to me by Breandan, had them notated with the swing, but as I’ve said, I don’t have the end product in hand to check. He may have decided to do them all without the darker and denser notation of swing.

Cyril Maguire, in “Hidden Fermanagh” notates it both ways, with and without, including hornpipes and flings. Eddie Duffy and Mick Hoy definitely put a lilt into their playing… The collection “A Dossen of Heather” is mixed, goes both ways.

David Taylor’s collections are given straight, as are Sully’s three, while the Ossian colours notate with swing. The Sean Ryan, Vincent Broderick and Paddy O‘Brien collections are all straight. Terry Moylan’s book on Johnny O’Leary ~ straight…

Most recent issues of Treoir, the magazine of Comhaltas, also straight.

Peter Kennedy ~ striaght…

Hey, you’re batting a high average. The Cape Breton and Scottish collections tend to give things with swing, as do a number of the oldies. I guess I’m an oldie and you’re the new wave… 😉 At least I try to be fair…and see the other side.

I’m not saying you can’t swing hornpipes, and I’m not saying you can’t notate them thusly. I am suggesting that it clutters up the manuscripts and might be unnecessary since there seems to be a discrepancy as to how to notate them and which ones do or don’t have it. The reels don’t have it, but they are sometimes played with a slight swing… so why add the confusion into the hornpipes?

Heck… sometimes I like to play jigs slowly and with a slight swing. Should I notate them that way? Sometimes I play the same jig fast and more straight. What do I do with the notation then, should I post it both ways?

Yeah, some jigs I know call for a bit of that, as some reels do too. Mostly I try to notate things as I find them or know them. I did try notating some things straight that weren’t, but it didn’t sound or feel right, to me. I’ve also done a couple fully transcribed with all the embellishments, but that didn’t seem right either, for the reasons you gave for not notating swing, too crowded and prescriptive, but then I place a lot of importance on rhythm. I try to give things as I know them, or an approximation. I also know that nobody has to follow that and they can choose to take it as they will. I do my damnedest to give it mostly bare bones, but I do notate swing when that’s the way I’ve been given it or the way I know it… So, if some source was to swing a jig, or that’s the way I take it or have learned it, that’s how I’ll try to notate it. Evidence of that is present on site here. I’ve even done the rare two for one with you in mind.

I guess, if it really does wind you up that much, just avoid the things with my name on them, or see if someone’s given it to you straight in the comments. I really don’t do it to wind you up, but I can see it is something you really do take quite seriously. I won’t poke at the wound anymore, but I will continue to notate swing when it seems right to do so…under my history of influences and appreciations. I believe in that doing for others as you would have them do for you, so it isn’t about winding you up, never has been, it is about doing what I think is right ~ for me…

~ and for my sources…

Another one for you in closing ~ Bulmer & Sharpley, all straight…

I never said anything about being wound up, you’re the one who mentioned it. As I said, it’s not that big a deal to me, but I just think it makes for a clearer transcription and leaves the interpretation up to the player if the ABCs don’t include all of those “>” dinxters.

Fairly said ~ but personally if all the > and < went la-la, polkas, marches, flings, and a hell of a lot of other things would look less interesting to me, and the notations I made would be less true to my sources and ears… But I do understand.

I have always disliked dense notation, like that black mess 2/4 creates, as used in early notations for marches, as an example. I refuse to follow suite there, and I make the change to the easier to read and more open 4/4. Some of the marches and other tunes given the 2/4 treatment even have 1/32 notes in them. Now that is hell.

Having been involved in print design, including small press publications, promotions, etc., I have a great appreciation for ‘space’, or ‘white space’, as I also have for the pauses and little silences that accent this music we both share a love of. I also used to know and use Laban dance notation, talk about finicky and complex and dense ~ my inclination there was to go light too, but I did notate any skips, hesitation or cheat steps ~ or tried to, tried to do justice to the basics and not worry so much about what they did with their pinky or the exact angle of a shuffle step. Besides, I was interested in communicating in a way that the general public might find useful, and there weren’t a lot of folk reading Laban notation on the loo…or using it to bring dance to the music… That little ability has greatly been neglected.

So, I do appreciate what you’re saying, even if it isn’t in me to comply. I still try to make the submissions, in origin or in comments, as basic as possible, leaving as much as I can up to the techniques and preferences of the person who picks the tune up and gives it a go. As I don’t find it difficult to read blind, meaning not seeing the hash marks < & >, I don’t see it as a problem. I can easily move between swing and straight and in between. It seems more a concern that so many things written out straight, that weren’t played that way originally, are tending to be played straight, and I mean flat out. So while it seems easy to make the decision one way or the other on a swung tune, it seems less the case with tunes transcribed straight. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems straight notation establishes more of a norm and a tyranny than swung. Go figure? That at least is my experience, what ever its limitations. So, I’ll continue to notate the > and the < of it, in part and in whole, here and there in a polka or march, more often elsewhere. But probably like you, my main ear training is basically Irish, and we all know that the 3-to-1 suggestion given by the dots isn’t the actual case. It’s just suggestive and it’s just easier than notating everything in jig time… There’s the word ~ ‘suggestive’ ~ not prescriptive. Why flat notation is more often taken in the latter fashion, I’m not sure. And maybe ‘flat out’ is the way of the future? I hope not…

I’d still like your company at the picnic, otherwise Dow will eat and drink himself silly… He’s already asked for your sandwiches…

I do understand now that your concern is not for yourself but for others coming to the notation…

The Street Player, X:7

This is Brenda McCann’s setting of the tune, opening her fine album Inishkeeragh. She has some C naturals in both turns that I think work well in the tune.