The Blackbird hornpipe

Also known as An Lon Dubh, An Londubh.

There are 12 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Blackbird (a few times).

The Blackbird has been added to 4 tune sets.

The Blackbird has been added to 73 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: The Blackbird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
|:dc|B2BG A2(3AB^c|dcAF G2FG|AFDE FAGF|DEFG Aedc|
B2BG A2(3AB^c|dcAF G2FG|AFDE FAGF|D2D^C D2:|
|:FG|Add^c d2(3efg|fded cAGB|Add^c dfag|f2d2 d2(3gfe|
dcAF G2(3AB^c|d2AG F2DE|FGAF GBAG|F2D2 D2:|
X: 2
T: The Blackbird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:GA|~B3d A2Bc|d2AG F2D2|FGAF GBAG|F2D2 D2:|
FG|Addc d2 (3efg|fded cAGB|Addc dfag|f2d2 d2 (3gfe|
dcAF G2(3ABc|d2AG F2D2|FGAF GBAG|F2D2 D2:|
X: 3
T: The Blackbird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
B3d A2 A/B/c|d2 AG (3FGF D2|FGAF GBAG|(3FGF D2 DFGA|
~B3d A2 Bc|d2 AG (3FGF D2|FGAF GBAG|(3FGF D2 DEFG||
Addc dfeg|fded cAGB|Addc deag|(3fgf d2 d2 fe|
dcAF G2 A/B/c|d2 AG (3FGF D2|FGAF GBAG|1 (3FGF D2 DEFG :|2 (3FGF D2 DFGA||
# Added .
X: 4
T: The Blackbird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
GA|B2cB A2Bc|d2AG F2DE|FGAF GcAG|F2D2 D2:|
|:(3EFG|Add^c d2eg|fded cAGc|Add^c dfag|f2d2 d2fe|
dcAF G2Ad|~d2AG F2DE|FGAF GcAG|F2D2 D2:|
X: 5
T: The Blackbird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:B3 d A2 A/B/c|dcAG F3 E|D/E/F AF GBAG|1 FDDE DFGA:|2 FDDE DEFG||
|:Addc d2 ed| efed c3 B| Addc d2 ed|efec defe|
dcAd B3 c|dcAG F3 E|D/E/F AF GBAG|1 FDDE DEFG:|2 FDDE DFGA|]

Seventeen comments

The Blackbird

A beautiful tune from Angelina Carberry and Martin Quinn’s beautiful duet playing. I’ve been waiting for someone to post it, but ended up learning it by myself. There are several tunes known as "The Blackbird," or "An Londubh," but this is interestingly different from other settings. Bothy Band actually recorded three different settings of the tune in a set: this is the last one and played as a reel.

A slightly simpler version is on another beautiful album, Mick O’Brien and Kevin O’Reilly’s "Kitty Lie Over."

Hornpipe or reel

Why is it listed as a hornpipe if you say this is a reel version? I’m puzzled.

I think what slainte means is that the Bothy Band played this version of the Blackbird as a reel, but his source for the version is the Carberry/Quinn recording, on which it is played as a hornpipe.

Parts mixed up ?

If this is what Carberry and Quinn are playing, then I reckon that they, or whoever they learned it from, has mixed up the parts from 2 different tunes. “The Bothy Band” never played the first part of this tune as posted, but the 2nd part is correct. The first part is played as an un-named hornpipe by Mairtin O’Connor on his recording “The Connaughtman’s Rambles”, but with a different 2nd part.

Posted by .

Two tunes mixed up? We need to thank Angelina and Martin for their creative mistake! My transcription might not be perfect, but this is almost what they recorded on their duet album.

You can find the Bothey Band version of this tune in Norbeck’s tune collection. It’s listed as set dance #6. Don’t ask me why it’s not posted as a reel!

Quite different from the Blackbird I know! I’ll try and post it.

An Londubh (hornpipe)

I might misremember, but Mick O’Brien and Kevin O’Reilly recorded this setting of the hornpipe like this:

K: D
FG|~A3B A2Bc|d2AG F2D2|FGAF GBAG|F2D2 D2:|
FG|Addc d2eg|fdec dcAB|Addc dfag|f2d2 d2fe|
dcAF G2(3ABc|d2AG F2D2|FGAF GBAG|F2D2 D2:|

Here’s another hornpipe setting: https://thesession.org/tunes/4101

Another take on Mick O’Brien and Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh’s setting

Kick and Kevin recorded this on "Kitty Lie Over" in Bb. Here’s my transposition into D. A little different from Slainte’s transcription.

X: 1
T: Londubh
T: Blackbird, The
S: Mick O’Brien and Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh, Kitty Lie Over
N: Recorded in Bb; transposed here to D “as played”
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K:D
B3d A2 A/B/c|d2 AG (3FGF D2|FGAF GBAG|(3FGF D2 DFGA|
~B3d A2 Bc|d2 AG (3FGF D2|FGAF GBAG|(3FGF D2 DEFG||
Addc dfeg|fded cAGB|Addc deag|(3fgf d2 d2 fe|
dcAF G2 A/B/c|d2 AG (3FGF D2|FGAF GBAG|1 (3FGF D2 DEFG :|2 (3FGF D2 DFGA||

Posted .

"Kick?" Yikes. Stop me before I type again!

That’s Mick O’Brien.

Posted .

From the playing of Tommy Peoples:

X: 1
T: Blackbird, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: played as a reel
D: Tommy Peoples (Bothy Band OOTWITS)
K: Dmix
GA|B2cB A2Bc|d2AG F2DE|FGAF GcAG|F2D2 D2:|
|:(3EFG|Add^c d2eg|fded cAGc|Add^c dfag|f2d2 d2fe|
dcAF G2Ad|~d2AG F2DE|FGAF GcAG|F2D2 D2:|

Oops, I meant Kevin Burke.

This is the version I posted, without realising the tune was already here:

X: 1
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Dmaj
B4 A2 (3ABc | dBAG FEDE | FGAF GBAG |1 F2 D2 D2 dc :||2 F2 D2 D2 dB || Addc d2 (3efg | fdec dcBc | Addc dfag | f2 d2 d2 fe | dBAF G2 (3ABc | dBAG FEDE | FGAF GBAG |1 F2 D2 D2 dB :||2 F2 D2 D2 dc ||

I picked it up in sessions in Manhattan, NY, in January ‘09. Awesome sessions, awesome tunes!

7 years later…

I agree with Kenny about the Carberry/Quinn tune as posted being mixed with the A-part of another tune. I found it here in the database as The Stranger https://thesession.org/tunes/4578, as played by Martin O’Connor on the album Kenny mentioned, Elizabeth Crotty on Concertina Music from West Clare, and Tim Britton on Traditional Irish Music in America: The East Coast.

Sorry for having posted a weird version first. I edited the version #2 as I play the tune now.