The Blockers reel

By Sean Ryan

Also known as Sean Ryan’s.

There are 14 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Blockers has been added to 13 tune sets.

The Blockers has been added to 114 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: The Blockers
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FGAG FD (3DDD|=CA,G,A, =CDEG|Ad (3ddd cded||cAG=F E=C (3=CCC|
FGAG FD (3DDD|=CA,G,A, =CDEG|Ad (3ddd cded|1 cAGE D2 DE:|2 cAGE DEFA||
# Added .
X: 2
T: The Blockers
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmix
A2|:Bcdc BG (3GAG|=FDCD FG Ac|dg (3gfg fgag|fdc^A =A=F (3FEF|
Bcdc BG (3GAG|=FDCD FG Ac|dg (3gfg fgag|1 fdcA G2 A2:|2 fdcA GABd||
|:g2 dg BgdB|cBcd cAFA|DG (3GFG FGAc|Bcde fdef|
g2 dg BgdB|cBcd cA F2|DG (3GFG FGAc|1 BGAF GABd:|2 BGAF G2 A2||
X: 3
T: The Blockers
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:Bcdc BG ~G2|=FEDE FGAc|dg ~g2 fgag|fdcB A=F F2|
Bcdc BG ~G2|=FEDE FGAc|dg ~g2 fgag|1 fdcA G3 z:|2 fdcA GABd||
g2 dg GdBd|c2 cd cAGE|DG ~G2 FGAc|Bcde fdef|
g2 dg GdBd|c2 cd cAGE|DG ~G2 FGAc|BGAF G3 z||
g2 dg GdBd|c2 cd cAGE|DG ~G2 FGAc|Bcde fdef|
g2 (3g{a}fg gdBd|c2 cd cAGE|DG ~G2 FGAc|Bz Az G4||
X: 4
T: The Blockers
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
A2|Bcdc BGG2|=FDCD FGAc|dg~g2 fgag|fdc_B A=FF2|
Bcdc BGG2|=FDCD FGAc|dg~g2 fgag|fdcA G2:|
g2dg BgdB|cBcd cAFA|DG~G2 FGAc|Bcde fdef|
[1 g2dg BGdB|cBcd cAF2|DG~G2 FGAc|BGAF G2:|
[2 g2 (3agf gBdB|cBcd cAF2|DG~G2 FGAc|BGAF G2:|
X: 5
T: The Blockers
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:Bcdc BG ~G2|=FDCD FGAc|dg ~g2 fage|fdcB A=FFA|
Bcdc BGGA|=FDCD FGAc|dg ~g2 fage|fdcA [1BGGA:|2 BGBd||
|:(3gag ga gdBd|(3cdc cd cAFA|DG ~G2 FGAc|Bcde fdef|
(3gag fa gdBd|(3c/d/c/BdB cAFA|DG ~G2 FGAc|BGAF [1DGBd:|2 DGG2||

Twelve comments

Sean Ryan’s

Ohhh, I love this tune. It’s not the easiest thing to pull off on a fiddle, but Frankie Gavin makes it sing and swing on DeDannan’s "Mist Covered Mountain cd. The A Part is pretty straightforward once your ear learns to like those c and f naturals. The B Part, however, throws that jumpy string crossing at us in the first measure (you can play the notes as in measure 5 if measure 1 is just too tricky). And then the fingering gets a little tight going from measure 3 to 4 (and again from measure 6 to 7). I’ve tried jumping from the E to A, with my index finger, or holding the E and A, at the same time, and the latter seems to work a little better for me.

So, this Sean Ryan fellow was quite a fiddler from County Tipperary, a key figure of the IRTRAD revival during the 1950s and 1960s. The Companion to Irish Traditional Music says he wrote more than 250 tunes, including Glen of Aherlow, now a popular session tune. Maybe we could just submit Sean Ryan tunes for a week…. 😉


Posted .

Sean Ryan plays this tune in G mix

Hey Will, I love this tune, I don’t know why Frankie put it in D, but it’s great in the original key.

“Ther Blockers”

Sean Ryan named it “The Blockers”.

Sean Ryan’s “The Blockers”

and here it is:-

T:“The Blockers”
z6 A2 |: Bc dc BG (3GAG | =FD CD FG Ac | dg (3gfg fg ag | fd c^A =A=F (3FEF | Bc dc BG (3GAG | \
=FD CD FG Ac | dg (3gfg fg ag |1 fd cA G2 A2 :|2 fd cA GA Bd |: g2 dg Bg dB | cB cd cA FA | \
DG (3GFG FG Ac | Bc de fd ef | g2 dg Bg dB | cB cd cA F2 | DG (3GFG FG Ac |1 BG AF GA Bd :|2 BG AF G2 A2 | \
BG AF G4 | \

Re: The Blockers

Does anyone know what ‘blockers’ refers to? Is this a sportsball reference?

The Blockers, X:4

Picked the setting in “The Hidden Ireland: First Selection of Irish Traditional Compositions of Sean Ryan”, 1985
compiled by Brian Ryan.

Re: The Blockers

I suppose this is the original version, but I just noticed the indicated key was D major which of course doesn’t make much sense, I changed it to GM.

Re: The Blockers

In his tune collection (vol. one) Paddy O’Brien (from Co. Offaly) calls this tune
“The Banshee’s Lament for the Mangle Pit” and says that he learned it from Sean Ryan
who told Paddy that it was composed on Halloween night (Samhain).

But is a jig with (almost) the same name.
It is a version of the jig “Young Tom Ennis” (that appears in O’Neill’s) but the story given
in the comments is that Paddy O’Brien (Tipperary) named the jig for Martin Hayes.

I’m told that Paddy O’Brien (Tipperary) and Sean Ryan were cousins.
It could be that Sean Ryan decided to rename his tune to “The Blockers” so his cousin Paddy
knew that the name “The Banshee’s Wail …” was free to be reused. ??

Re: The Blockers

Good tune. Not great on the flute!

Re: The Blockers

……actually, version 3 by Aidriano is better for the flute. The run down without the b flat is not so good but at least it is more playable.