McCahill’s reel

Also known as Danny Meehan’s, Gowel, The Gowel, MaCahill’s, McCahill’s Reels.

There are 12 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

McCahill’s appears in 2 other tune collections.

McCahill’s has been added to 1 tune set.

McCahill's has been added to 42 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

1
X: 1
T: McCahill's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
d2 cd BdAF|EFGA BE E2|Adde fdAF|GBAG FDDA|
dDcD BDAF|EFGA BEEB|Adcd fdAF|GBAG FDDA|
BAGB AF F2|BAGA BcdB|BAGB AFDF|1 GEFD EFGA:|2 GEFD EFGB||
e2 ^ge bege|Be^ge fgaf|e2 ^ge bege|1 a2 ^ga fecf|2 a2 ^ga fece||
# Added by Kenny .
2
X: 2
T: McCahill's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
d2 cd BdAF|EFGA BE E2|Ad d2 fdAF|GBAG FDDA|
dDcD BDAF|EFGA BE E2|Adcd fdAF|GBAG FDDA||
BA^GB ADDA|BA^GA BcdA|BA^GB AFDF|1 GEFD EFGA:|2 GEFD EFGB||
e2 ^ge bege|Be^ge fgaf|e2 ^ge bege|aA^gA fecf|
e2 fe befe|e2 ag fgaf|e2 fe befe|fgag fedB|
e2 fe befe|e2 ag fgaf|e2 fe befe|fgag fe d2|
Bdcd B2 AF|GFGA BE E2|Bdcd B2 AF|GBAG FD D2|
BAFA A2 FA|BAFA Bd d2|BAFA ADFD|1 GEFD E2 E2:|2 GEFD E4||
# Added by Kenny .

Six comments

McCahill’s - 3 versions

This reel, which I believe is from Donegal, was recorded by Tommy Peoples on his “The High Part Of The Road” LP. It was popular with North of Ireland musicians around the time that particuar recording was released, and this version is as I remember Desi Wilkinson playing it. The G#s in th 3rd part shift the tune into E.

The following is a transcription of the version from Bulmer & Sharpley Vol.4, where they call it “Danny Meehan’s”, which would support the Donegal hypothesis. This has G#s in the 2nd part as well as the 3rd.

d2 cd BdAF | EFGA BE E2 | Ad d2 fdAF | GBAG FDDA |
dDcD BDAF | EFGA BE E2 | Adcd fdAF | GBAG FDDA |
BA^GB ADDA | BA^GA BcdA | BA^GB AFDF |1 GEFD EFGA :|2 GEFD EFGB |
e2 ^ge bege | Be^ge fgaf | e2 ^ge bege |1 aA^gA fecf |2 aA^gA fece |

I also found a version in “Ceol Rince na hEireann” Vol.1, called “The Gowel Reel”, but there is no information on its’ origin. No G#s, and the parts in a different order.

e2 fe befe | e2 ag fgaf | e2 fe befe | fgag fedB |
e2 fe befe | e2 ag fgaf | e2 fe befe | fgag fe d2 |
Bdcd B2 AF | GFGA BE E2 | Bdcd B2 AF | GBAG FD D2 :|
BAFA A2 FA | BAFA Bd d2 | BAFA ADFD |1 GEFD E2 E2 :|2 GEFD E4 |

This is in response to a request for “McCahill’s”, but Peoples recorded 2 reels by that name. I hope this is the one. The Bulmer/Sharpley version is probably closest to the Peoples version.

Posted by .

Gowel Ceol Rince i

Hi Kenny

e2 fe befe | e2 ag fgaf | e2 fe befe | fgag fedB |
e2 fe befe | e2 ag fgaf | e2 fe befe | fgag fe d2 |
Bdcd B2 AF | GFGA BE E2 | Bdcd B2 AF | GBAG FD D2 :|
BAFA A2 FA | BAFA Bd d2 | BAFA ADFD |1 GEFD E2 E2 :|2 GEFD E4 |

Your transcription is note for note as I’ve ever played it. Absolute ripper on the flute isn’t it?

When I played with Simon Knight (RIP) in Somerset we played the Roscommon before it for the Set Dancing; they go really well and there is that ‘lift’ when you hit the Gowel. Sorry, pardon the unintended pun! I believe ‘Gowel’ is a variation of the word ‘Gavel’ as used by auctioneers.

All the best

Brian x

Gabhal?

The Irish word ‘gabhal’ is often anglicised to ‘gowl’ where I’m from, so maybe ‘gowel’ is a variant. It means a fork in a road / river etc. but is also a rude term for ‘lady parts’ and can be used as an insult, as in “Yer wan over there is a right gowl, so she is”!!

“The Irish word ‘gabhal’ is often anglicised to ‘gowl’ where I’m from, so maybe ‘gowel’ is a variant. It means a fork in a road / river “

There’s a suggestion there that this would be a Germanic loan word. “Gabel”, “gaffel”, “gafala” etc - fork.

Re: McCahill’s/The Gowel/Gabhal/Gowl etc

Just chipping in very late to this discussion.

Namloc mentioned above some of the references of the word gowl in his neck of the woods. Where I grew up County Armagh, the word gowl referred to, hmm, how to put it? - “a loud vocalisation by a human or animal” (i.e. a shout, a bark, a screech…). I suspect it is derived from the English word “howl”. Hence, for example, “Yer man didn’t like the way I was lookin’ at him and he gave a quare gowl at me”. And also referenced in the phrase “hound’s gowl” as an approximate measure of distance (i.e. the distance over which the baying of a hound would carry). Thus, for example, “I know yer man well. Sure he doesn’t live more than a hound’s gowl from me.” (Incidentally The Hound’s Gowl is the title of a tune that I wrote a while back. See https://theirishmandolin.com/original-tunes-written-and-played-by-aidan-crossey/#hounds-gowl

I’m wondering - with absolutely no proof whatsoever, pure speculation - whether the title The Gowel might be a mishearing/bastardisation of McCahill’s (or vice versa…). Stranger things have happened…