Frailach hornpipe

Also known as Fraillach, Frailock, Freilach, Freylach, Itzikel, Iúil, Little Isaac.

There are 11 recordings of this tune.

Frailach has been added to 5 tune sets.

Frailach has been added to 301 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

X: 1
T: Frailach
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
^D2|"Am"EAcA Acec|"Dm"d2dc dec2|"C"cege cege|"G7"d2dc "C"dec2|
"E7"cddc cBB_B|"Am"A4 Adc2|"E7"cddc cBB_B|"Am"A6:|
|:e2|"Am"a6 gf|e6 e2|aeae a2{ba}gf|e6 e2|
a6 g2|b6 a2|aeae "Dm"a2{ba}gf|"Am"e4 e2|
"C"cdef efef|efef "Dm"e2d2|"Dm"dAAd dAAd|dAAd "C"d2{ed}c2|
"E7"cddc cBB_B|"Am"A4 Adc2|"E7"cddc cBB_B|1 "Am"A2A2 c2:|2 "Am"A2z2 a2||
# Added by seara .
X: 2
T: Frailach
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|"Em"BEEB BEBE|"A,m"A2AG ABG2|"G,"GBdB GBdB|"D7"A2AG "G,"ABG2|
"B,7"GAAG GFF=F|"Em"E4 EAG2|"B,7"GAAG GFF=F|"Em"E6:|
|:B2|"Em"e6 dc|B6 B2|eBeB e2dc|B6 B2|
e6 d2|f6 g2|eBeB "A,m"e2dc|"Em"B4 B2|
"G,"BcBc BcBc|BcBc "A,m"B2A2|"A,m"AEEA AEEA|AGAB "G,"A2G2|
"B,7"GAAG GFF=F|"Em"E4 EAG2|"B,7"GAAG GFF=F|1 "Em"E2E2 G2:|2 "Em"E2z2 e2||
X: 3
T: Frailach
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:GB|e6 dc|B6 B2|eBeB e2dc|B6 B2|
e6 d/c/B|f6 g2|eBeB e2dc|B6BA|
X: 4
T: Frailach
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmin
^G,2|"Dm"A,DFD DFAF|"Gm"G2GF GAF2|"F"FAcA FAcA|"C7"G2GF "F"GAF2|
"A7"FGGF FEE_E|"Dm"D4 DGF2|"A7"FGGF FEE_E|"Dm"D6:|
|:A2|"Dm"d6 cB|A6 A2|dAdA d2{ed}cB|A6 A2|
d6 c2|e6 d2|dAdA "Gm"d2{ed}cB|"Dm"A4 A2|
"A7"FGGF FEE_E|"Dm"D4 DGF2|"A7"FGGF FEE_E|1 "Dm"D2D2 F2:|2 "Dm"D2z2 d2||

Twenty-four comments


Is not a Hornpipe -> Is a Freilach
Lunasa “Lunas” -> Track 7 -> Iuil

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What’s a Freilach?

Is is Irish? This tune has an ‘exotic’ feel to it….

Isnt it some kind of hungarian dance(?)

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Freilach(s) are Jewish.

oopps - totally wrong then😉

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Freilachs are wedding dances, but I thought they came more out of the Yiddish tradition, specifically in eastern european traditions (which would indeed allow for the hungarian flavor). I’m not sure though… ?

Hah HA!

I’ve been looking for this freylach a good while. Go raibh MILE maith agat!

It’s also named Itzikil on Burke’s In Concert collection



Someone played this on the fiddle at a session two or three weeks ago. He had learnt off someone else several years ago and didn’t know its name or anything about it except that it wasn’t Irish. A banjo player at the session thought it sounded Jewish. Anyway, thanks to TheSession it’s now tracked down and we can all sleep easy in our beds!

Farilachs are Klezmer Dance Tunes

Freilachs (Feailachs or Freylachs) is a general yiddish word meaning a “happy tune” and is one of the standard tune types from the klezmer (Eastern European Jewish instrumental) tradition. it is a 4/4 dance tune.
Klezmer dance tunes don’t usually have names. They are just known by their general (dance) types.
Names such as Itzikel were only probably given for the sake of convenience and differentiating tunes on recordings. This tune can be found along with many other freilachs in a book called “the Ultimate klezmer” first published/collected by Nat Kostakowsky in New York 1916 and re-released by Joshua Horowitz.

Many recordings exist- old & new


The version of this tune in the L

Klezmer - Romanian - and in the repertoire of various Gypsy groups…

Blech… I would love this tune if I weren’t for that little chromatic part.

Another key

X: 1
T: Frailach
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
|“Em”BEEB BEBE|“A,m”A2AG ABG2|“G,”GBdB GBdB|“D7”A2AG “G,”ABG2|
“B,7”GAAG GFF=F|“Em”E4 EAG2|“B,7”GAAG GFF=F|“Em”E6:|
|:B2 |“Em”e6 dc|B6 B2|eBeB e2dc|B6 B2|
e6 d2|f6 g2|eBeB “A,m”e2dc|“Em”B4 B2|
“G,”BcBc BcBc|BcBc “A,m”B2A2|“A,m”AEEA AEEA|AGAB “G,”A2G2|
“B,7”GAAG GFF=F|“Em”E4 EAG2|“B,7”GAAG GFF=F|1 “Em”E2E2 G2:|2 “Em”E2z2 e2||

from this version:

i can feel a waltz brimming just under the surface (tap _ tap, tap_tap every three crochets…) It wouldn’t take much would it?

Freilach as a waltz

Interesting comment birlibirdie. Maybe as a mazurka? I can think of one setting now but no time to jot it down.

Malcolm’s Mazurka

I’m glad I suggested a 3/4 arrangement, because your piano arrangement sounds absolutely wonderful, ‘GoPlayer’!
Well, or, er… at least the last two thirds of it only:
For there is a but: your first part doesn’t flow naturally at all (melodically) and betrays the dance step, I feel. (some of the cadences are short of being perfect either (you mustn’t stop until you get it perfect here, it’s too precious and you’re really close!)
Now, I wish I could contribute more positively/practically to your effort but I’m afraid I don’t have your talent. (The only suggestion I can make is that perhaps a ‘translator’s approach’ might be helpful here, where one moves away from the ‘letter’ of the text to get closer to the ‘spirit’ of it..) Perhaps you’ll post a reviewed version at some stage? That would be fantastic. In the meantime, could you make the left hand part of the piano score available on line as well? That would be great. Many thanks.

It isn’t a freilach, it’s a klezmer listening piece (dobriden or dobranotsh). Can’t recall if it’s got a name but it it’s pretty widely played in the klezmer scene (and VERY much better than that dull expressionless mess Lunasa make of it).

Oy Avrom

I believe this was a Yiddish theatre song called Oy, Avrom… or Hey Abraham in English. It is a love song by an older woman to her husband Abraham. It is quite a touching set of lyrics. To hear the song sung in its tradition, here is an early recording by Isa Kremer.

A more modern interpretation is here.

From these you can quickly infer what Lunasa did to the tune. I am not saying what they play is wrong, just a very Irish interpretation.

Re: Frailach

I want more of this kind of thing, where can I find it?

Re: Frailach

Donals, this is a straight-up klezmer tune and as someone who (sort of) plays both Irish folk and some klezmer, I absolutely love that I discovered this one via Lúnasa (not a “dull expressionless mess” at all, by me, just a perfectly reasonable interpretation, plus it’s fun to re-klezmerise it having learned it this way). Exactly as it should be. Anyway, for more of this kind of thing specifically, the best way is to seek out your local klezmer session, should there be one, and there may well be - the klezmer revival has been going for at least half a century now, slowly but surely.

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