The Walls Of Limerick reel

Also known as The Eight And Forty Sisters.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

The Walls Of Limerick appears in 2 other tune collections.

The Walls Of Limerick has been added to 5 tune sets.

The Walls Of Limerick has been added to 41 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Walls Of Limerick
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
d=c|:BE~E2 GBAF|DFA=c BGAF|GFEF GAB^c|1 d^cdf efd=c:|2 d^cdf ~e3f||
|:gfef gbag|fddc dfaf|1 gfef gbaf|gefd Beef:|2 bgaf gfed|Bcdf ef||
X: 2
T: The Walls Of Limerick
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
ef|:gfef gbag|fddc dfaf|1 gfef gbaf|
gfed Beef:|2 bgaf gfed|Bcdf e2||
X: 3
T: The Walls Of Limerick
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
|:a2 fd fafd|fafd e2 ef|gfef gbag|fedc defg|
a2 fd fafd|fafd e2 ef|gfef gbag|fedc dcdB:|

Nine comments

From Henrik Norbeck’s collection.

Named after the famous Irish ice-cream and sausage manufacturer, this tune (according to Henrik Norbeck’s notes) was recorded by Frankie Gavin on ‘Frankie Goes to Town’. I am posting it it response to a request by Brian (bribanjo) for a tune for the dance, The Walls of Limerick. Apparently, the dance follows a 32-bar cycle, so perhaps this tune is not ideal, but the parts can always be doubled.

As mentioned in Henrik Norbecks transcription notes, it is a variant of Tie the Ribbons,

Couldn’t we have just got this direct from HN’s, or indeed JC’s?

I posted this tune because it was relevant to a particular discussion thread. It was not in my repertoire (although I intend to add it) but I knew it existed in some collection somewhere, so I sought it out. Yes, you could have found it in Henrik Norbeck’s site, had you chosen to - so could Bribanjo, but for whatever reason, he didn’t.

Some users of this site, unlike myself, have neither the time nor the inclination to browse endlessly through abc collections (Good for them - they live in the real world), but are happy top check for new tunes on this site from time to time. Surely I am doing no harm in bringing this tune - a nice one, at that - to their attention.

Rest assured, I would not paste someone else’s transcription of a tune onto this site without a specific reason. If this were not the case, I might just as well paste a tune a day and have the entire Norbeck collection transferred hither in 2.5 years. Furthermore, I would never post another person’s transcription without an explicit reference to them.

Oh No It Isn’t!

It is my opinion that this tune has never been known as The Walls of Limerick. Most common Irish ceili dances do share their title with a tune, but to my knowledge there is no reel called The Walls of Limerick. If anyone knows otherwise then put me straight.

As pointed out above, the dance works on a 32 bar structure, so a 16 bar tune is not really well suited.

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The Walls Of Limerick

See for other versions of this tune. This tune appears in Roche twice; once as The Walls of Limerick and again as The Eight and Forty Sisters. I prefer the Roche version to those found in The Session.

The Walls Of Limerick, X:3

This setting from Book One of THE IRISH FOLK DANCE BOOK (1934). This is top line of piano version arr. by J Michael Diack. The book has neat diagrams of the dance steps opposite the tunes. Fairly easy to play!