Hold The Reins reel

Also known as The Boys Of Dublin, The Donnybrook Maid, The Dublin Lads, Hould The Reins, Thornton’s.

There are 17 recordings of a tune by this name.

Hold The Reins has been added to 3 tune sets.

Hold The Reins has been added to 42 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Hold The Reins
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
g3 d BG G2 | ABcA defd | g2 dc BG G2 | AdcA GABd |
gedc BG G2 | ABcA defd | g2 dc BG G2 | AdcA G4 :|
df f2 dg g2 | df f2 edcA | df f2 dg g2 | fdcA GABc |
df f2 dg g2 | dffd edcA | g2 ga bgag | fdcA G4 :|
# Added by Kenny .
X: 2
T: Hold The Reins
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
g2dc BG~G2|ABcA defd|g2dc BG~G2|1 BdcA GABd:|2 BdcA G2Bc||
df~f2 dg~g2|defd edBA|df~f2 dg~g2|fdcA G2Bc|
df~f2 dg~g2|defd edBc|dg~g2 bgag|fdcA GABd||
X: 3
T: Hold The Reins
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
de f2 dg g2 | (de)fg (fd)cA | df f2 dg g2 | fdcA A(G G2) |
de f2 dg g2 | (de)fg (fd)cA | (de)fg ((3agf) ge | fdcA A(G G2) :|
g2 dc (BG)GB | (Ac)=fc (AB)cA | g2 dc (BG)GB | (Ac)=fc A(G G2) |
g2 dc (BG)GB | (Ac)=fc (AB)cA | ((3dcB) cA (BG)(Ag)| (fd)cA A(G G2) :|

Fifteen comments

Hold The Reins

From a very early and obscure recording of Mary Bergin. I’d forgotten about this tune until it came up a few times in Miltown Malbay.
It then turns up on the new Catherine/John McEvoy CD, [ "The Boys Of Dublin"], and has also been recorded by "The Bowhouse Quintet" [ "Thornton’s ]and Seamus Egan. A great reel for flutes and whistles.

Posted by .

This tune appears on Jimmy Noonan’s recording "The Maple Leaf." He calls it Upstairs in a Tent, but I know at least two other tunes by that name. Whatever the name, his version is terrific - the set starts with the Humours of Castlefin and ends with Sporting Nell and the West Wind.

Hold the Reins

This is in Geraldine Cotter’s book as the Kilfenora Reel. I play The Boys of Ballinahinch into this one as a set. Thanks a lot for the name - that’s another question mark removed.

The Dublin Lads

I didn’t know this tune is already in the database with the correct title "Hold the Reins." It appears on two recent flute and fiddle duet albums: Catherine and John McEvoy’s "The Kilmore Fancy" as Kenny pointed out, and Maeve Donnelly and Peader O’Loughlin’s "The Thing Itself." Both are among the best recordings of the last year. As for the alternative title, Pat Mitchell, the author of The Dance Music of Willie Clancy, writes: "I named The Dublin Lads. After recording Willie Clancy playing it I asked him for the title: ‘I don’t know what it’s called, I got it from the Dublin lads.’"

Here’s the version on the two great recordings mentioned above:

K: Gmaj
g2dc BG~G2|ABcA defd|g2dc BG~G2|1 BdcA GABd:|2 BdcA G2Bc||
df~f2 dg~g2|defd edBA|df~f2 dg~g2|fdcA G2Bc|
df~f2 dg~g2|defd edBc|dg~g2 bgag|fdcA GABd||

This tune really sounded familiar to me, and I felt obliged to learn it. Now I see why. I once tried to learn it from John Williams’ first solo recording around a year ago.

Kenny, I much prefer this as a single. It gets a bit repetitive as a double.

Kilfenora Reel

There is a lot of Kilfenora Reels. This happens to be another as a chap I know got this tune from his teacher as "The Kilfenora Reel".

3 part version

Dave Sheridan on "Faoi Bhláth", and Tommy Keane on "The Piper’s Apron", play a 3 part version of this tune which is close to the way Willie Clancy played the tune.

Hold the reins

This appears as ‘Three Drops of Brandy’ on a 78 RPM by piper Pat Fitzpatrick. One note on the bass reg to emphasise the end of the parts. Each time.

Posted .

Three Drops of Brandy

Fitzpatrick had a deluxe set with four regulators, making his mono mania all the more amusing. In his defense he did play the odd chord on his other records. I heard those pipes once - quite lovely, actually. Had the beejeezus rushed out of them I think.

He was also one of those old timers who’d throw in an extra beat or bar here or there for some reason. Think I’ll compile a set of those someday, it’s quite odd. It also seems to be a formula in French Canadian or eastern US trad music - take UK tune, add beat/bar, voila, you have Quebequois music.

Posted by .

Great tune

It’s on ‘Back Home to the Cliffs of Mohir’ as "Thornton’s"; the liner notes state, "The first reel was named after Jimmy Thornton, Chicago".

This is the tune that appears on the Flying Pig album by Slide, which they named "Callan Lasses". They’re playing on F whistle and mandola (I think), so they’re playing it in B flat.

It doesn’t appear to be anything like the other tunes named Callan Lasses (and Callan Lassies), but I added the name to this tune, so that people looking the tune off of Slide’s album can find this one.

Hold The Reins, X:3

This tune entitled ‘The Donnybrook Maid’ is transcribed from the Francis Reynolds MS3 of Gaigue, Ballinamuck, Co. Longford - c1880s. Strange how it’s not found in any of the major printed collection of the 19th or 20th centuries.