Has been recorded by many including Matt Molloy on his 1981 album of the same title and also by accordion player Dermot Byrne on his self titled 1995 solo album.
This tune is most often heard with a slightly different ending, with the last four bars played:
g2 gf gbag|fdde fgaf|defg abag|fdcA BGGF||
Only the last-but-one bar is different from the setting you gave.
However, this ending is used in a number of tunes, including The Pretty Girls of Mayo, and others that I can’t think of just now. I really like this ending, remembered (possibly wrongly) from a recording by the great Sligo fiddler Paddy Killoran. The last two bars are different:
g2 gf gbag|fdde fgaf|gbag fagf |edcA (3Bcd AF||
Try it, I think you’ll like it!
On the subject of the name, it’s very poetic, but it’s probably a corruption of "The Heathery Braes" (hillsides).
This reel has a quebecois version called Gigue à Ti-Mé (not to be confused with Reel à Ti-Mé).
It’s been popularized by the great accordionist Philippe Bruneau. As for many other reels and jigs, few people in Quebec know it’s of Irish origins.
Version from Caoimhin O’raghallaigh
I got this version off a concert with Caoimhin and Mick. I think it’s the same one.
T: Heather Breeze
|:DGBG dBGB|FGAB cBAF|DGBG dBGB|1 BdcA BGAF:|2 BdcA BGG2|
|dggf gbag|fd3 fagf|dggfgbag|fdcA BGG2| dggf gbag|fd3 fagf|g3a bgag|fdcA BGAF||
Great tune before Pigeon on the Gate.
Here’s how I heard Andrew MacNamara play it:
T: Heather Breeze
S: Andrew MacNamara
DGBG dGBG|DFAB cBAF|DGBG dGBG|B/c/dcA BGG2:|
~g3f gbag|fdde fgaf|~g3f gbag|fdcA BGG2|
~g3f gbag|fdde fgaf|defg ~a3g|fdcA BGG2||
I learnt this from an elderly Kilkenny boxplayer who plays this as an ordinary reel rather than a single reel. Second part ended first time as
g2 gf g2ag|fdde fga2|defg abag|fdcA BGGF
and second time around as
g2 gf g2ag|fdde fga2|bgaf gbag|fdcA BGGF
"On the subject of the name, it’s very poetic, but it’s probably a corruption of "The Heathery Braes" (hillsides)."
I just noticed this comment; absolutely nothing wrong with the idea of "braes" as another word for hills, but far from being poetic, believe me, when you stand on a moorland, hillside or mountain in Ireland, Scotland, England or Wale,s you can smell the nectar emanating from the heather when it is in bloom. It is almost intoxicating.
I really feel that the title alludes to the scent on the breeze.
All the best
X:7 from Paddy Killoran’s 78. I noted where in the first part he’d drone a note behind the melody. It sounds like he pulses two half notes in each bar - G4 G4 etc.
I discover while checking for the repeats in that tune that O’Neill had a third part to it. See that part in setting no 8.
Probably a variation to the first one … ?
Kilfenora Ceilli Band Play it as Third Reel in set here
The Heather Breeze, X:10
Transcripted from the record "Rain na Feirste - Ceol agus amhráin" (first released as an LP in 1973 et now available on CD), track "Drowsy Maggie" (n° 16 on the CD, n°8 side 2 on the LP) played by Séamus & Dónal Ó Baoighill on fiddles. It’s the 2nd reel of the set which is: Drowsy Maggie / Heather Breathe / Swallow’s Tail.
The pitch is about one tone lower.
I’ve transcript the 3 turns of the tune which are played differently for part A, with variation with an F natural on some phrases .
I’ve also transcript the whole set, see Drowsy Maggie (https://thesession.org/tunes/27), with another 3rd part in Bm, and Swallow’s Tail (https://thesession.org/tunes/105).
Re: The Heather Breeze
Donegal fiddler Néillidh Boyle played this as a highland, with more of a mixolydian feel in the first part. Love it!
The Heather Breeze, X:11
Néillidh Boyle’s excellent setting as a highland, taken off his "A Feeling in the Blood" album.