Martin Riley’s reel

Also known as The Dawn, Martin Reilly’s, Martin Rilly’s, Michael Reilly’s, Twilight In Portroe.

There are 9 recordings of this tune.

Martin Riley’s has been added to 5 tune sets.

Martin Riley's has been added to 41 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Five settings

X: 1
T: Martin Riley's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:B2dB eBdB|GABG ABGE|DGBd GBdg|edef gedc|
X: 2
T: Martin Riley's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B,2 DB, CEGE|DFAF GBdB|ce e2 dBGB|1 AcBA BG G2:|2 AcBA BGGA||
B2 dB eBdB|GB B2 AFGE|DG,B,D EGAB|cdef gfgd|
B2 dB eBdB|GB B2 AFGE|DG,B,D EGAB|cedc BG G2:|
# Added by Kenny .
X: 3
T: Martin Riley's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:ABdB eBdB|~G3B ABGE|EDB,D GBdB|ceef gfed|
ABdB eBdB|~G3B ABGE|EDB,D GBdB|1 cedc BGGA:|2 cedc BGG2||
X: 4
T: Martin Riley's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GBdB cEGE|DFAF G3z|cdeg dBGB|A2GA BGG2:|
|:B3d egdB|G2BG AGEF|G2DG B2GB|cdef gedc|
B3d egdB|G2BG AEE2|GBDG BGBc|dBAc BGG2:|
X: 5
T: Martin Riley's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:A,2CE D2FA|E2GB ABcA|df ~f2 edcA|B2 cB {/c}BAFE|
A,2CE D2FA|E2GB ABcA|df ~f2 edcA|1 B2 AB cA A2:|2 B2 AB cA AB||
|:c2 ec fcec|Acec BAFA|~E3F ABcA|defg afed|
c2 ec fcec|Acec BAFA|~E3F ABcA|1 dfed cAAB:|2 dfed cAAz||

Twenty-two comments

Martin Riley’s

Basically this is a flute version of “The Dawn”, this setting comes from John Skelton. Don’t be mislead that this is a just another flute tune because It’s a killer tune one any instrument. It’s also a lot more social than it’s partypiece cousin.

Michael Reilly’s

This “G” version of “The Dawn” I’ve always known as “Michael Reilly’s”. I was intending to post it soon as it’s the only tune missing from the database from the recording I recently posted for the “Music From The Coleman Country” LP. The first bar is different from what is posted, probably John Skelton changed it to go on to the flute, since it goes down on to the bottom string on the fiddle. I’ll post the setting I know later.

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I think if only a few notes are an octave lower & the tune has the same name than Jeremy would like the ABC’s posted under the comments section as a setting.

Michael Reilly’s

The version I know:

G,B,DB, CEGE | DFAF GBdB | ce e2 dBGB | cABG AGED |
B,2 DB, CEGE | DFAF GBdB | ce e2 dBGB |1 AcBA BG G2 :| 2 AcBA BGGA ||
B2 dB eBdB | GB B2 AFGE | DG,B,D EGAB | cdef gfgd |
B2 dB eBdB | GB B2 AFGE | DG,B,D EGAB | cedc BG G2 :||

Incidentally, I see from the recordings that John Skelton has also has it as “Michael”, not “Martin”.

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But then………….

This gets very silly. I have it as “Michael Reilly”, Brad has it as “Martin Riley”, and John & Kieran’s CD has it as “Michael Rilly” !!

Posted by .

I ment to submit it as Martin Rilly’s. John Skelton said that he either met Martin Rilly or a relative of his - I don’t remember all the details. But he had the correct name before Double-barrelled went to the press. The names of tunes named after obscure musicians get transmuted quicker than a bunny in a viagra factory.

Martin O’Reilly was a Galway piper who died over a hundred years ago. The only surviving recording of him is a reel called the O’Connor Donn, this is on the Piper’s Broken Finger by the Boys of the Lough. In the liner notes Cathal McConnell is said to be only taking a guess at what O’Reilly played - the recording is very badly damaged, you only hear O’Reilly intermittently!
Don’t know if this is the same man referred to here.

Doesn’t matter if it’s Martin or Michael anyway cuz it’s Twilight In Portroe.

What Dow means is this the Sean Ryan composition “Twilight in Portroe”, transposed to G and mangled a bit.

Seems like the G setting is usually called “Michael Reilly’s” in Sligo, certainly three of the current (as I write this) seven recordings listed here use that name for their version of “Twilight in Portroe”.

And of course, it’s misidentified as “The Dawn” on Contentment is Wealth, probably because the first two bars are based on the same musical idea. Not sure if it would be a good idea to add that name to the list here or not…

What strong down beats you have grand ma!
to hit you better with!

michael reilly’s

This is a tune that was worked out by longford town fiddler Michael father of Mary and Michael Reilly both fiddlers living in New York City. My father used to work on his farm in the 50’s and remembers distinctly that he referred to it as the dawn, but that he would always play it as if it was a tune he wasn’t familiar with. His children are Phenominal musicians. Michael used to drive the bus in the city. Haven’t seen him in ages. I was always glad to hear him play.

Interesting story, seamusin

What do you mean by “worked out”? Are you disputing that Sean Ryan composed it/wrote it/made it up or is it just meant as a nice little story? Tell us more, just to clear things up.

Sean’s tune and the one called ‘The Dawn’ (a much older tune, appearing in Ryan’s, 1883) are often confused.

i do not doubt

I do not doubt(although i cant say i know) that Sean Ryan wrote the tune. All i am saying is that the reason this setting is called Michael Reilly’s is because a man named Michael Reilly from Longford town made it famous. This story was later confirmed to me by Peter Horan who knew Michael. i am sure he just transposed the original tune by Sean Ryan,. I wasn’t giving Michael the credit for writing the tune. I was just saying that there is a reason it is referred to as such. To be honest its one of the few tune stories i have. I was just excited to share it.

re i do not doubt

Whoops. Looks like i am using my wife’s account right now. Tha’ts why the user name is different

Thanks seamusin for clearing that up

and thanks for your story!


from Phillip Duffy

I learned this version from the CD “The Mountain Road” which is a collection of Sligo musicians playing tunes from their home region. I like the way this version uses the available range without being entirely predictable.

Martin Riley’s, X:4

From Matt Molloy & John Carty’s “Out of the Ashes” recording.
Transcription for flutes that don’t have the low C/C# foot keys

Re: Martin Riley’s

De Dannan call it The Dawn as well.

Re: Martin Riley’s

Michael Reilly’s daughter recorded a CD of tunes her father played - “The Anvil” :
She has this to say about track #11 - “The Cedars Of Lebanon / Michael Reilly’s” reels :
“These two tunes were composed by Sean Ryan of County Tipperary. He often gave his newly-composed tunes for naming to Fr. John Quinn, who was studying for the priesthood in Maynooth at the time. The Cedars of Lebanon are mentioned in the bible as offering the best wood available for the construction of temples. Fr. Quinn also named the second tune “Twilight In Portroe” , the first part having reminded him of another reel called “The Dawn”, and Portroe being the birthplace of Sean Ryan himself. This reel was a favourite of Michael Reilly, so much so thatit has become known as “Michael Reilly’s Reel”. In fact it has been published under this title in three music collections - Bulmer & Sharpley’s Music From Ireland, Bernard Flaherty’s Trip To Sligo and the Coleman Heritage Centre’s Mountain Road”.

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