The Old Wheel Of Fortune reel

Also known as Push About The Jorum, The Wheel Of Fortune.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

The Old Wheel Of Fortune has been added to 46 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Old Wheel Of Fortune
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
cA (3AAA fAec|Acec dcBc|Acec Acea|fdBc dfed|
cA (3AAA fAec|Acec dcBc|defd cdec|Bcde fdBd||
# Added by errik .
X: 2
T: The Old Wheel Of Fortune
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
dB |:AFEF DDEG | FDAD BdcB |AFEF DDEG |[1 FAEF DcdB :|[2 FAEF Dfed ||
K: Amaj
|: cAeA fAec | Aaec dcBc |[1 Acec Acea | fdBc dfed :|[2 d/d/d fd cdec | Bcde fd c/c/d |]
X: 3
T: The Old Wheel Of Fortune
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
fddc dfaf|eAAE Aceg|fddc dfaf|eABc dcdg|
fddc dfaf|eAAE Aceg|fdfa gfed|cABc d2d|

Twenty-four comments

Bars 1 and 5 of the B-Part can be played cAeA fAeA instead of the triplet.

Posted by .

"The Wheel of Fortune" / "The Old Wheel of Fortune"

This transcription is from the playing of James Byrne, Donegal fiddler…

"The Auld Wheel of Fortune" ~ reel & the highland fling/strathspey:

"The Old Wheel Of Fortune"
Key signature: D & A Major
Submitted on June 2nd 2007 by ceolachan.


So, you posted it yesterday, and forgot already?

Smart arse! ~ this is the reel, and like with a lot of ‘Scottish’ tunes, there is a companion strathspey (highland fling), so I’m just being ‘considerate’ and giving the links between the two tunes, for the posterity of this website, and for you entertainment pleasure… 😉

What fantastic posts. I love how they both link up now, and how the other one’s been reunited with its proper name. God love ya, ‘c’!

Yeah, these are nice. I like especially the strathspey. Makes me want to buy those collections.

"King Of Meenasillagh" ~ Yes!

Great catch Swiss, I had done a search but didn’t check all the bars, they are definitely of the same fabric… While there is some difference, I would call them one-and-the-same tune. Excellent! I like the variations between the two as well. I have most of the Altan recordings, but nothing post Kennedy, so I haven’t got "Another Sky". Do they give any notes as to where they sourced the tune and title?

I do not have this Altan CD either, I play it with my band on request of our fiddler. I have heard Altan’s version once or twice, it is better and faster than ours….

Meenasillagh is a townland of Glencolumbkille (Co. Donegal). If I remember correctely it’s a nice walk over the hill north of ‘downtown’ to another small harbour with a few inhabitants still.

My suspicion is that it might refer to a fiddler from the area…


King of Meenasillagh - I don’t think so

On The Brass Fiddle, James Byrne plays the Old Wheel of Fortune (this tune) and Ri Mhin na Salach (The King of Meenasillagh). They are not the same tune at all and on this basis the alternative title for this tune and are quite wrong.

The turn of King of Meenasillagh doesn’t go into A. If you want to hear it, go to

The name according to the LP liner notes refers to a local stepdance who frequently asked for the tune to dance to. (Not this tune!)


THIS is the King of Meenasillagh

Seeing as there is some confusion as to what tune is really the King of Meenasillagh, here is a rough-and-ready ABC of it. I originally learned it from "The Brass Fiddle". Of course, the flute can’t recreate all the great droning effects. That video of James Byrne from 1988 is marvellous stuff.
|:fddc dfaf|eAAE Aceg|fddc dfaf|eABc dcdg|
|fddc dfaf|eAAE Aceg|fdfa gfed|cABc d2d|