McSweeney’s reel

Also known as McSweeney’s Reels, Sweeney’s Favourite.

There are 6 recordings of this tune.

McSweeney’s has been added to 41 tunebooks.

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Two settings

Sheet Music
Sheet Music
Sheet Music
Sheet Music
Sheet Music12
Sheet Music
Sheet Music12

Fourteen comments


Don’t know anything about McSweeney, I’m afraid. From “Altan’s” “Horse With A Heart” recording, so presumably a Donegal fiddle tune.

It’s a major version of Ed Reavy’s “Glen Reel”, is it not?

Incidentally, I think Reavy must have been influenced by The Pretty Girls Of Mayo The tunes are too similar for it to be a coincidence, especially this major version. In fact, if the 2 tunes had the same name, I’m sure people would just class them as different settings of the same tune, but since a well-respected composer has supposedly “composed” it, it’ll be a different story.

We all make mistakes…

Well respected or not…

I don’t think it’s a mistake even… if you have that many tunes floating around in your head it’s unavoidable really.

Since so many of the tunes that are unattributable to any author are versions of one another, why is it any different if one *with* a named author is a version of another tune?

Feeding the Birds

The composer of this tune is the great Mike Rafferty and the name that he gave it is “Feeding the Birds”. If you look at the notes on his CD “The Dangerous Reel”, he says that he composed the tune with “the help of Mary and the birds outside.” It would be great if title of this tune in The Session could be changed from McSweeney’s to its correct title.

John Doherty tells a story of his father playing this reel - possibly in the 1930s. So how did Mike Rafferty come to compose it?

Tweet tweet….

X: 1
T:Feeding the Birds
C:Mike Rafferty
G3F \
|: DGGA B2ag | efdc AGGF | DGGA B2AG | AdcA G3F :|
|: DGGA B2ag | efdc AGGF | DGGA B2AG |1 AdcA G3F :|2 AdcA G4 ||
|: fgag fdde | ~f3d cAG2 | fgag fdd2 | dgfa ~g3a |
b2af gfde | ~f3d cAGF | DGGA B2AG |1 AdcA G4 :|2 AdcA G3F|]

Not the same tune.

The McSweeney in question is possibly Turlough McSweeney, an Piobaire Mór. A few generations up the Doherty family tree.

Posted .

Polka version…

…and a song rolled up in one:
this reel (and his sisters) is no other than a version of Muirsheen Durkin!
(here in D as opp. to G but you can work it out for yourselves)

Re: McSweeney’s

A similar tune appears in Bernard Flaherty’s book Trip to Sligo, transcribed from the playing of James Murray and called Packie Sweeney’s Reel.