The Fly In The Porter jig

By Paddy O’Brien

Also known as The Fly In The Pint.

There are 20 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Fly In The Porter has been added to 23 tune sets.

The Fly In The Porter has been added to 140 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: The Fly In The Porter
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
AFA d2A|dfa gfe|f2d efd|cAG EFG|
AFA d2A|dfa gfe|f2d cAG|Ad^c d3:|
~A3 GFG|A2D FED|~E3 cBc|GEG cAG|
~A3 GFG|GBd efg|fed cAG|Ad^c d3:|
f2D EFG|AdB cAG|f2d efg|age d3|
FAF ~G3|AdB cde|fed cAG|Ad^c d3:|
X: 2
T: The Fly In The Porter
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:AFA d2A|dfa gfe|fdd e2d|=cAG EFG|
AFA d2A|dfa gfe|fed =cAG|Adc d3:|
|:ABA GFG|A2D FED|E2=c cBc|GEG =cAG|
ABA GFG|Add efg|fed =cAG|Adc d3:|
|:f2d efg|AdB =cAG|fdd efg|age d2e|
faf gfg|AdB =cde|fed =cAG|Adc d3:|
X: 3
T: The Fly In The Porter
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
B|:AFA d2A|dfa gfe|fed efd|cAG EFG|
AFA d2A|dfa gfe|fed cAG|Ad^c d2B:|
|:~A3 GFG|A2D FED|EDE cBc|~G3 cAG|
~A3 GFG|AGA efg|fed cAG|1 Ad^c d2B]:|2 Ad^c d2e||
|:fdf gfg|AdA cde|fed efg|agf d3|
fdf gfg|AdA cde|fed cAG|Ad^c d3:|
X: 4
T: The Fly In The Porter
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:AFA d2A|dfa gfe|fed e=fd|cAG EFG|
AFA d2A|dfa gfe|fed cAG|Ad^c d3:|
ABA GFG|Add efg|fed cAG|Ad^c d3:|
|:fed efg|a2B ^cde|fed efg|age d2e|
f2f g2g|AdB c2e|fed cAG|Ad^c d3:|

Twelve comments

Source: Justin Murphy ( Woodenflute Obsession vol.2 disc 2 )
Transcription: gmp

i have this as a paddy o’brien tune. did he write it?

Posted by .

Paddy O’Brien

If you look at “recordings of a tune by this name” at the bottom of the “details” page, you’ll see it’s listed on a recording entitled “The Compositions Of Paddy O’Brien”, by Paddy’s daughter Eileen and Willie Fogarty. That should answer your question.

Posted by .

on the Calua album it is marked as traditional

Paddy O’Brien

gian marco - on that particular CD, ALL the tunes which were not written by members of “Calua” are listed as “Traditional”. That includes compositions by Finbar Dwyer, Paddy Fahy, Paddy O’Brien [ this jig ], John Brady, and Ed Reavy. Not one of these composers will see a penny in royalty payments for the use of their music on this recording.
“The Fly In The Porter” is on Page 14 of the book, “The Compositions Of Paddy O’Brien”.

Posted by .

Royalty payments

I wonder if any of the major touring and recording groups like Altan and the Chieftains are paying royalties to composers. Most ITM artists aren’t enjoying the kind of distribution that would create enough profit to be considered, but surely the major labels that support the big touring acts would.

Royalty payments

Oh dear - I’ve just come across this in my browsings.

I, for my sins, was the guitar / bouzouki player on that recording. I can’t speak for the others involved, and it’s a few years back, but as far as I’m concerned, this oversight was due to naivete (or laziness or ignorance - call it what you will). It certainly was not a deliberate effort on our part to deny anybody their rightful recognition or royalties; it was especially not an attempt to claim either as our own. I, for one, was mainly concerned with making sure that our own tunes were “registered” as ours. I kind of figured that IMRO would somehow sort out the rest. Don’t laugh - I just hadn’t a bloody clue.

As regards royalties, suffice it to say that the recording was not exactly a big seller and could never be said to have dominated the airwaves at the time of its release.

That said, the principle of the thing remains violated: individuals far more talented than ourselves went uncredited by us. That is not something that I’m proud of (nor, for that matter, is the recording in general). It is not a mistake I would make again.

The recording is long out of print, and shall remain so as long as I have any say in the matter.

These days I just do my day’s work and enjoy the odd session. I have long viewed the issue of royalties in ITM as a quagmire that I’d rather not get involved with unless absolutely necessary. This reinforces my opinion. However, I am curious as to how one would go about setting such matters straight. Any advice on this would be appreciated.

Apologies to all who were wronged or offended.


I really don’t think anyone is going to be that concerned about royalties unless the tune is published or used in a movie where big profits result. I also think that even though they would prefer proper credit, they don’t expect everyone to be a scholar about where the tunes come from. So many mistakes have been made on recordings by major artists that it’s a moot point. Having said that – it’s still a good idea to research tunes you intend to record on your independent recordings – just to get the credits and names right.

significant errors in the abc as posted
Here it is as Paddy wrote it:

T: Fly In The Porter, The
|: AFA d2A | dfa gfe | fdd e2d | =cAG EFG | AFA d2A | dfa gfe | fed =cAG | Adc d3 :|: ABA GFG | \
A2D FED | E2=c cBc | GEG =cAG | ABA GFG | Add efg | fed =cAG | Adc d3 :|: f2d efg | \
AdB =cAG | fdd efg | age d2e | faf gfg | AdB =cde | fed =cAG | Adc d3 :| \

A great tune which is featured on Willie Fogarty’s latest Comhaltaslive ( programme as a tutorial played by concertina player, Dymphna O’Sullivan and fiddle player, Joan Hanrahan (both from the Banner county!).

Liz and Yvonne Kane’s version

The version of this tune that appears on Liz and Yvonne Kane’s album “Well Tempered Bow” is almost exactly the same as the corrected version posted by Davy Rogers. They play it last in a set that starts with Trip to Galway and Crabs in the Skillet.