The Green Hills Of Tyrol
Just to keep up the dag (as some members would have it),content of the site,here’s another "Green Hills Of Tyrol"
This is a fairly common march from the Highland bagpipe repetoire, usually written in 2 sharps.
I presume you can play it as a waltz as well? I like the irregular length of the second half - gives the tune a lot of character.
The Green Hills Of Tyrol
It is a waltz.
It is actually a transcription of an operatic piece by Giocomo Rossini - if you play it at a good lick it becomes tyroleann (hence the English words?)
It goes like this
Had to learn this for my band, The accordion player lilted it over the phone because I couldn’t find good sheet music or ABC online.
T: Green Hills Of Tyrol, The
|:E AB |\
c3 A cd | e3 f cf | ed B3f | ec AE AB |
c2 cA cd | e2 ef cf | ed BA cB |1 A3 :|2 A2 A2 de ||
f2 a2 gf | fe e2 ef | ed d2 de | dc c2 de |
f2 a2 gf | fe e2 ef | ed dA cB | A3 |
Green Hills of Tyrol
I have in my possession the sheet music for "A Scottish Soldier" as recorded by Andy Stewart (NOT the lovely Andy M. of Silly Wizard!) on Top Rank Records JAR 512.
I have made it available as a pdf at
The copyright (so, am I in trouble here?!) is 1960 for James S. Kerr, of Glasgow.
No mention of Rossini, only an Arranger (Iain MacFadyen) for this version.
I had been surprised to see the time signature as 3/4 (waltz) on postings here, as I have always played it (on the accordion, so the left hand becomes influential) in what I would describe as 3/2. It then becomes, in style, the retreat/march of the GHB repertoire. A bit like a bar and a half of reel/march.
I have previously transcribed other retreat/marches as 3/2 but now I have been alerted I have found other published tunes given as 3/4; e.g. "Lochanside" (PM Angus MacDonald) Ceol na fidhle vol 1 , "The Bloody Fields of Flanders" (PM J. MacLennan) Ceol na fidhle vol2 and "The Kilworth Hills" (PM G.S.McLennan) First Ceilidh Collection (all published by Taigh na teud),
I would play all of these in the same way.
If I wrote them out for my band (or other fellow musicians) I would use 3/2 (shock, horror!) - to demonstrate how they would be played.
The piano accompaniment given in this sheet music is "rum-tummy-tum-tum-tum-tum", i.e. a strong "on" beat (quaver) with two semi-quavers for the first "off" beat, then weaker quavers for the following "on" "off" "on" "off".
This gives the marching man three steps to the bar (which is the same as used by English Dancers for Playford style 3/2 dances).
This also ties in with my "interpretation".
So I seem to be wrong about the time signature in this case but perhaps correct in interpretation (or will somebody please disabuse me).
FYI - I have also found Green Hills of Tyrol, descibed as a Retreat March" in Ceol Sean "The Brigade Book of Irish Pipe Music" at
at least this states "after Rossini"!
History has never been one my strong points (assuming I have any, that is)…
When does the retreat/march (i.e. a march in three-time) appear?
There is also a 9/8 retreat/march - a bar and a half of jig, if you like - e.g. Battle of the Somme (https://thesession.org/tunes/2923) or Heights of Dargai (J. Wallace) - did this appear at the same time?
Just as an aside, I cannot see playing any of these 3/4 tunes as a waltz, i.e. one strong down beat followed by two, weaker, up beats. Perhaps I will give it a go, sometime.
Please forgive me if I have taken up (wasted) too much of your time.
All the best
Green Hills - link fails
The system doesn’t like the space in my link. It works for me if I type spaceHills.pdf after the bit (ending with the word Green) in the browser.
I will try to remember this if I post a link with a space in it again (or try not to use a file name with a space in it!).
All the best
The Green Hills Of Tyrol, X:3
Great pipe tune. Hear it a lot. Always love hearing it. Seems every pipe band plays this. There are many sites to find the sheet music for pipes on the internet and YouTube has many videos of pipe bands playing and marching to this. Here’s some sheet music and a video.
Re: The Green Hills Of Tyrol
It’s actually a 3/4 "retreat march", i.e. a return from the line or back to barracks tune. When I was in the local Seaforth Highlanders Association band we did actually occasionally play this as a waltz when doing a turn at an association dance, although we did play it slightly differently " swung" ( I hate that term but can’t think of a better one at the moment ) to the march.