Colonel Rodgers’ Favourite reel

Also known as Coirnéal Mhac Ruaidhrí, Col. Rodger’s Favourite, Colonel McRory’s, Colonel Rodger’s, Colonel Rodger’s Favourite, Colonel Rodgers, Colonel Roger’s, Colonel Roger’s Favourite, Colonel Rogers, John McKenna’s, Master Rogers, McKenna’s, McKenna’s #1, Sean McKenna’s, Sean McKenna’s No 1, Sean McKenna’s No. 1, Welcome To The Country, Colonel Rodgers’ Favorite.

There are 34 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

Colonel Rodgers’ Favourite appears in 1 other tune collection.

Colonel Rodgers’ Favourite has been added to 17 tune sets.

Colonel Rodgers’ Favourite has been added to 138 tunebooks.

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Fifteen comments


This tune floats around many a session, not always with the name attached. I first heard the name with it at a session in Vancouver B.C., Canada, played lightly, not too fast, and with great lift by a pair of fiddlers and a banjo.

Posted .

…. For a different feel altogether, listen to Willie Clancy’s recording (played on whistle) on The Pipering ong Willie Clancy, Vol. 2.

There are 3 reels in this set! McKenna’s #1 & McKenna’s #2

The reel “McKenna’s #1” is followed by another reel of John McKenna, “McKenna’s #2” also known as “The Happy Days Of Youth” or “Thos Byrne’s”.
Here it is:

X: 3
T: McKenna’s #2
T: Happy Days of Youth, The
T: Thos Byrne’s
R: reel
M: C|
K: Emin
~e3d ~B3A|GABG AGED|G2AG de~e2|dBAd BG~G2|!
gfed edBA|~G2BG AGED|G2AG de~e2|dBAd BG~G2||!
fgag fedB|eBfa ~g3f|eB~B2 gfed|BAGA BA~A2|!
f2ag fedB|eBfa ~g3a|bgaf gfed|(3efg af ~g3f||!
“Version 2:”
|:e2ed ~B3A|GABG AE~E2|G2GE dBeB|dBAd BG~G2:|!
faaf gfed|(3Bcd ef gafg|eB~B2 gedB|BAB^c dcde|!
faaf gfed|(3Bcd ef ~g3f|g2af geed|eaaf ~g3f||!

Liam O’Flynn probably plays version 2 on his record.


I’d been wondering about the various “colonel” titles I’d seen for this tune so did a google search. I discovered that the Gaelic title is “Coirnéal Mhac Ruaidhrí”, and that this gets anglicised to “McRory”, which in turn has historically been changed to “Rodgers”.

Colonel Rodger’s

… is the most common title of the tune, as pointed out above. And here’s the link to “The Happy Days of Youth,” the one which almost always follow:

Actually, Slainte, I find that most people in sessions just refer to it as McKenna’s.

I believe that’s just in OZ.

I don’t believe so.

Aye, it’s really funny that Seamus Tansey recoreded this as “Sean McKenna’s.” But, I believe it’s better to call this tune by a proper name rather than McKenna’s #1 to avoid confusion with the other one.

Yes, I agree 🙂

Liam O’Flynn’s Version

X: 1
T: McKenna’s
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
|:D | G2 dB cAFD|GABc dBcA|G2 dB cAFD|GBAF G3D|
|G2 dB cAFD|GABc defg|afge fdcA|1GBAF G2 (3DEF:|2 GBAF G2 ag||
|:fdde fdcA|dggf g2 ag|fdde fdcA|GBAF G2 ag|
|fdde fdcA|dggf g2 ag|fdde fdcA|1 GBAF G2 ag:|2 GBAF G2 (3DEF||

This tune was recorded in New York by Longford fiddlers Frank Quinn (b.1893) and Jim Clark in November, 1934 with their ensemble the ‘Smiles and Tears of Erin" Orchestra as the first tune in a set of reels entitled ’Master Rogers - Reel Medley‘. ’Master Rogers‘ refers to the fiddle master Bernie Rogers (1856-1907) of Oghill, Killoe, Co. Longford a local national school master who taught Quinn the fiddle and most likely taught Clark too. Rogers also taught Larry Smyth (1866-1930) of Abbeylara and this tune appears in a manuscript written by Smyth in the 192os as ’Welcome to the Country‘. I have compared versions between Smyth’s manuscript to Quinn and Clark’s recording and they are practically the same. Enter John McKenna…..he recorded this tune the very same time as Quinn and Clark - November 1934. Given the evidence I think that McKenna modified the title ’Master Rogers‘ to ’Colonel Roger’s Favourite’ either intentionally or unintentionally.