Gathering Sheep reel

Also known as The Bullock On The Bonnet, The Cow On The Bonnet.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

Gathering Sheep has been added to 1 tune set.

Gathering Sheep has been added to 42 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Gathering Sheep
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
ag|f2 df edBA|fAdf a3 g|f2 df edBA|(3 Bcd ed B3 g|
fAdf edBA|fAdf a3 g|fAdf edBA|(3 Bcd ed B3 A|
|:FBBA FADA|FBBA Bc d2|FBBA Bcde|1 fedf e2 dc:|2 fedf e4||
# Added by Kenny .
X: 2
T: Gathering Sheep
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FBBA FADA|FBBA BcdA|FBBA FADg|1 fedf e3E:|2 fedf e3g:|
|:fedf edBd|fedf a3g|fedf edBA|(3 Bcd ed B4:|

Twelve comments

Clonmel 1994

The last Fleadh I was at in Ireland was Clonmel in 1994. I recorded a ceili band playing this tune on the back of a lorry in the middle of the town. Anyone recognise it?

Posted by .

I learned this tune from NH box player Bob Abrams as The Cow in the Bonnet.


Interesting title. Do you know where he got that from? Pardon my Scottish ignorance, but what’s "NH"? New Hampshire, as a guess?

Posted by .

A google search gave me his album with a tune called The Cow *On* The Bonnet, with a possible alternative title of The Road To Cuil Aodha.

Link to recording

I’ve accepted the 2 names given by the lads above. I see that "The Road To Cuil Aodha" is coming up on a recording by Eoin Duignan. The track listing for that CD doesn’t have any traditional tunes that I recognise the names of, and none that have been posted on this site, so it’s possible, maybe even probable, that all the tunes on that recording, including this one, were composed by Eoin Duignan.

Posted by .

Of course, The Cow *on* the Bonnet wouldn’t make sense to a Statesider - it would have to be The Cow on the *Hood*. The Cow *in* the Bonnet, on the other hand, makes perfect sense - at least, it did in the days when cows wore bonnets.

Now, what days were those, exactly, David? *smirk*

This is a different tune from that on the Mulcahy Family CD. I have posted the Mulcahy Family version to day. THey say Seamus Creagh at a session in Ballymakerra 12 years ago (from year 2000)

Posted by .


This is on the 2nd Mulcahy family CD as "Gathering Sheep", composed by Peadar O’Riada.
It would be strange if it was on their 1st CD as well.
I’ve changed the title.

Posted by .

Another possibility…

I’ve always known this tune as ‘The Cow on the Bonnet’ though for some reason I play the second part first. It is a composition of Peadar O’Riada’s and he has a slightly different name. He should know I suppose seeing as he wrote it. On his website he calls it ‘The Bullock on the Bonnet’ and relates the story behind the name: