Ballinasloe Fair reel

Also known as The Fair At Ballinasloe, The Fair Of Ballinasloe, The Rocks Of Muff.

There are 29 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Lord McDonald’s (lots of times), Lord MacDonald (a few times), Paddy On The Turnpike (a few times) and The Lady Of The House (a few times).

Ballinasloe Fair has been added to 6 tune sets.

Ballinasloe Fair has been added to 138 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Ballinasloe Fair
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
A2{B}AB cBcA | GFGA GECE | A2{B}AB cBca | gedB cAA2 |
A2{B}AB cBcA | GFGA GECE | A2{B}AB cBca | gedB cdef ||
gc (3ccc gcac | gc (3ccc Bcde | gc (3ccc ac (3ccc | agab gede |
gc (3ccc gcac | gc (3ccc B2 (3dcB | AGAB cBca | gedB cAA2 ||
"Variation" g~g2f gbaf | gcBc dcde | gc (3ccc ac (3ccc | agab gede |
gc (3ccc gcac | gc (3ccc B2 (3dcB | AGAB cBca | gedB cAA2 ||
X: 2
T: Ballinasloe Fair
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: AGAB c2Bc | ABAG EFGB | AGAB cdef | gagf ecc2 :|
gcc2 gcac | gcc2 Bcde | gcc2 gcac | gagf ecc2 |
gcec gcac | gcc2 Bcde | gage d2cA | GAcd edcB ||

Five comments

This is the second tune for the Lord McDonald’s set, those quater note "A’s" leave a lot of room for double stops both with the E in the root & the "unison" double stop. The A’s also are OK if tripleted. I play it three parts with the variation as the third part but I’ve heard it played as two parts varying between the two high parts.
I like to follow it with "The House on the Hill" but that’s just me…

This is a great tune. Although there is a third part to the versions I’ve heard. I havn’t fully learnt the tune yet so I can’t post it. It’s one of Joe Burke’s favourite and on the album with him and Sean McGuire, they play this after Paddy Ryan’s Dream which makes a nice change of mood.

It also goes nicely after Lad O’Byrne’s Favourite.

The Rocks of Muff

This setting of the tune is transcribed from a manuscript written by John Masterson (c.1840-c.1925) a fiddle player from Moyne, Dromard, Co. Longford. His parish is situated in the border region of north Longford, south Leitrim and west Cavan. There are places in Donegal and Cavan called ‘Muff’ so perhaps his setting originated from either of these counties.

This tune is essentially the same as ‘The Leitrim Thrush’ and should be merged together on the one page IMO:

https://thesession.org/tunes/822

Is there jig by this name too?

I learned a jig a while but I don’t have a name for it. I was listening to Pandora and the Culann’s Hounds came on and the second jig they played was titled "Ballinasloe Fair" (https://thesession.org/recordings/2945). It’s on track 7. I’m not able to find a recording of this track anywhere that’s easily accessible.