The Banks Of Inverness polka

Also known as Asailín Ag Seáinín, The Banks Of Enverness, Salmon Tails Up The River, Salmon Tails Up The Water, The Siege Of Ennis, The Walls Of Limerick.

There are 17 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Banks Of Inverness appears in 1 other tune collection.

The Banks Of Inverness has been added to 5 tune sets.

The Banks Of Inverness has been added to 68 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Ten settings

X: 1
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
E>F EC|EF A>>B|ce B c/B/|AF dF|
E>F EC|EF A>>B|ce B c/B/|1 A2 AF:|2 A2 AB||
ce ec|df fe|ce B c/B/|AF FE|
ce ec|df f>>g|af ge|f2 fg|
af ge|f/g/f/e/ cB|ce B c/B/|AF dF|
E>F EC|EF A>>B|ce B c/B/|A2 AB|
|:ce ce|ce e2|fe ce|fe cB|ce ce|
[1 ce e>> e|fe cB|BA AB:|2 ce e> a/g|fe cB|BA AE||
|:Ac e>> =g|fe d>> f|ec A B/c/|BA FE|
Ac e>> =g|fe d>> f|ec AF|FE E2:|
X: 2
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:EE EC|EF AB|ce (3BcB|AF FA|
EE EC|EF AB|ce (3BcB|AA A z:|
ce ec|df fd|c2 B2|AF FA|
ce ec|df fg|af (3gfe|ff fg|
a2 g2|fe cB|c2 B2|AF FA|
EE EC|EF AB|ce (3BcB|AA A z|
|:ce ce|ce e2|fe ce|fe c2|
ce ce|ce e2|fe cB|BA A2:|
|:Ac ee|fe df|ec Ac|BA FE|
Ac ee|fe df|ec AF|A2 A2:|
X: 3
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:E>F EC|EF A>B|ce Bc/B/|AF dF|
E>F EC|EF A>B|ce Bc/B/|1 A2 AF:|2 A2||
AB|ce ec|df fe|ce Bc/B/|AF FE|
ce ec|df f>g|af ge|f2 fg|
af ge|f/g/f/e/ cB|ce Bc/B/|AF dF|
E>F EC|EF A>B|ce Bc/B/|A2||
AB|ce ce|ce e2|fe ce|fe cB|
ce ce|ce ea/g/|fe cB|BA AE|
Ac e>=g|fe d>f|ec AB/c/|BA FE|
Ac e>=g|fe d>f|ec AF|FE E2||
X: 4
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:GE|D>E DB,|DE G>A|Bd AB/A/|GEcE|
D>E DB,|DE G>A|Bd AB/A/|G2:|
|:GA|Bd dB|ce ed|Bd AB/A/|GE ED|
Bd dB|ce e>f|ge fd|e2 ef|
ge fd|e/f/e/d/ BA|Bd AB/A/|GE cE|
D>E DB,|DE G>A|Bd AB/A/|G2||
GA|Bd Bd|Bd d2|ed Bd|ed BA|
Bd Bd|Bd d>g/f|ed BA|BG GD|
GB d>=f|ed c>e|dB GA/B/|AG ED|
GB d>=f|ed c>e|dB GE|ED D2||
X: 5
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
E|:DB, DB,|DE GA|Bd/B/ AB/A/|GE E>G/|DB, DB,|DE GA|Bd/B/ AB/A/|G4:|
GA|Bd dB|ce ed|Bd/B/ AB/A/|GE E2|Bd dB|ce ed|Bd/B/ AB/A/|G3 A|
Bd dB|ce ed|Bd/B/ AB/A/|GE E2|DB, DB,|DE GA|Bd/B/ AB/A/|G4|
GA|:Bd Bd|Bd d2|ed cd|edc2|Bd Bd|Bd d2|ed Bd/B/|AG G2:|
|:GB dB/d/|ed c2|dB/A/ GA/B/|AG ED|GB dB/d/|ed c2|dB/A/ GA/B/|AG G2:|
X: 6
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
F|:EC EC|EF AB|ce/c/ Bc/B/|AF F>A/|EC EC|EF AB|ce/c/ Bc/B/|A4:|
AB|ce ec|df fe|ce/c/ Bc/B/|AF F2|ce ec|df fe|ce/c/ Bc/B/|A3 B|
ce ec|df fe|ce/c/ Bc/B/|AF F2|EC EC|EF AB|ce/c/ Bc/B/|A4|
AB|:ce ce|ce e2|fe de|fed2|ce ce|ce e2|fe ce/c/|BA A2:|
|:Ac ec/e/|fe d2|ec/B/ AB/c/|BA FE|Ac ec/e/|fe d2|ec/B/ AB/c/|BA A2:|
X: 7
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:E>F EC|EF A>B|ce Bc|AF FA|E>F EC|EF A>B|ce Bc|A2 A2:|
ce ec|df fe|ce Bc|AF FA|ce ec|df fg|a>a g/f/e|f2 f>g|
a>a g/f/e|f>e cA|ce Bc|AF FA|E>F EC|EF A>B|ce Bc|A2 A2|
|:ce ce|ce e/e/e/e/|fe ce/e/|fe cB|ce ce|ce e/e/e/e/|fe cB|A2 A2:|
|:Ac ee/e/|fe df|ec Ac|BA FE|Ac ee/e/|fe df|ec AF|FE EF:|
X: 8
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
F|:E>F EC|EF AB|ce Bc/B/|AF dF|
E>F EC|EF AB|ce Bc/B/|1 A2 A2:|2 A2 AB||
ce ec|df fd|ce Bc/B/|AF dF|
ce ec|df fg|af g/f/e|f2 f2|
af ge|ef/e/ cB|ce Bc/B/|AF dF|
E>F EC|EF AB|ce Bc/B/|A2 A2|
X: 9
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
E|:DD/E/ DB,|DE GG/A/|Bd AB/A/|GE E2|
DD/E/ DB,|DE G>A|Bd AB/A/|1 G2 G2:|2 G2 GG/A/||
Bd dc/B/|ce ed/c/|Bd BB/A/|GE EE/G/|
Bd dB|ce ee/f/|ge fd|e2 e>f|
ge fd|e/f/e/d/ BA|Bd AB/A/|GE E2|
DD/E/ DB,|DE G>A|Bd AB/A/|G2 GG/A/||
Bd Bd|Bd d2|ed Bd|ed d2|
Bd Bd|Bd d2|ed BG|AG G>A|
GB dB/d/|ed c>e|dB GA|BA AF|
GB dB/d/|ed c>e|dB GE|ED D2||
X: 10
T: The Banks Of Inverness
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D>E DB,|DE G>A|Bd AB/A/|GE cE|
D>E DB,|DE G>A|Bd AB/A/|1 G2 GE:|2 G2 GA||
Bd dB|ce ed|Bd AB/A/|GE cE|
Bd dB|ce ef|ge f/e/d|e2 e>f|
ge f/e/d|e/f/e/d/ BA|Bd AB/A/|GE cE|
D>E DB,|DE G>A|Bd AB/A/|G2 GE||

Twenty-five comments

The Irish R. M.

Sorry folks, I don’t know the name of this 4 part Polka, I only remember that I learned it from an episode of the TV programme, The Irish R. M.

It was an episode in which Frankie Gavin & friends were playing for a Ceili. I’m sure someone here will know the corret name.

I hope this isn’t in here already. I did search, & found no other 4 part Polkas.

On Album of same name?

I wonder if it’s on the album which came out at the time of the series. If you don’t have any luck in the next day or so, I’ll give the old vinyl a bit of a spin and see if it’s on there.

Salmon Tails

4-part version of “Salmon Tails Up The Water” I think. It is on the LP. Frankie G with Jacky Daly and Ringo McDonagh, were the ceili band. Surprised it isn’t here already. We’ll have that for Campbeltown next year, Dick.

Posted by .


Common to play this for “The Siege Of Ennis”, and I think it’s sometimes called that. There is a 3-part version in “G” , under that title, in the database already, but I think this should stand.

Posted by .

Aye Kenny, I see there are four two part versions of this already here, including that one of “Salmon Tails Up The Water”.

However this is a 4 part Polka & they aren’t that common, as you know, so I feel sure this version will be of interest to someone.

Incidentally, I was playing the 2 pt version of ‘Salmon Tails up the Water’ with two Northumbrian Pipers just last night, inthe ‘Bushmills Inn’, which is what reminded me of this tune.

Mind you their version of this tune is, shall we say, a little more ‘polite’ than the Kerry Polka version!

It’s one of my favourite Polkas & for me this Polka ‘kicks ass’ - big time!

I have heard this Polka called ‘The Walls of Limerick’. Does anyone know if they play Polkas for that dance?

this is really the same as the three parter ‘Seige of Ennis’, in ‘A’ but with part three turned into two parts thereby making it a four parter. I’m surprised that Jeremy hasn’t transfered the notes to that submission by now. I don’t think it should stand on its own but be an addition to that submission.

Posted by .

Hetty, I’ve had a look at the ‘Seige of Ennis’ tunes here, & I notice that they are all just two part tunes.

The ‘Salmon Tails up the Water’ tune appears to come closest to this tune, but again, it only has two parts.

This tune, on the other hand, is very definately a four part Polka, & as their aren’t many of those floating around, I think it should stand.

I know it’s a popular tune up here in the Northern sessions that I attend.

However, I’m naturally quite happy to leave the decision up to Jeremy.

Ptarmigan! a third part ABC was included in the comments with ’the Siege of Ennis. that is where I got the third part from and if you annalyse it you will realise my point. I won’t argue with you over this being retained as it allows for links to be kept. in some ways I suppose there is a case for not removing anything as people do not look back at past contributions anyway. It is up to us to impart as much knowledge as possible when submitting tunes, I feel, as so often tunes are submitted without any comment at all by the person contributing.

Posted by .

Asailín Ag Seáinín

You spend time transcribing a tune only to do a search in the Rev’s search engine and finding a match! Ach well, here is my transcription of Daimh’s version of this tune. They call it Asailín Ag Seáinín and the sleave notes say Gabe (McVarish), the fiddle player in the band, learned it from the playing of Seamus Begley. It is a version of a reel played for the dance, The Siege of Ennis.

T:Asailín Ag Seáinín
|: EE EC | EF AB | ce (3BcB | AF FA |
EE EC | EF AB | ce (3BcB | AA A z:|
| ce ec | df fd | c2 B2 | AF FA |
ce ec | df fg | af (3gfe | ff fg |
a2 g2 | fe cB | c2 B2 | AF FA |
EE EC | EF AB | ce (3BcB | AA A z |
|: ce ce | ce e2 | fe ce | fe c2 |
ce ce | ce e2 | fe cB | BA A2 :|
|: Ac ee | fe df | ec Ac | BA FE |
Ac ee | fe df | ec AF | A2 A2 :||

Always good to see another take on a thing… 😎

This shows up as a reel in Ryan’s Mammoth Collection though spelled “ Enverness”.

Siege of Ennis, X:5

I got this one from a recording made of my great grandfather, John “Jack” O’Sullivan, by the New York Irish Music Society sometime in 1949. The recording is noteworthy for its personal connection, but also for the many tune settings and the style of playing it presents. A pupil of “Blind Tom” Murphy, my great grandfather was by no means a great fiddler, but he loved to play as a self proclaimed connection to his family and friends in Ballydesmond, Co. Cork.
He gives no name to the polka, but it is no doubt a variation of the Scottish March “Banks of the Inverness”, which the Tulla Ceili Band played with different ornamentation, endings, and the roadmap: AABBCDCD. Knowing the love that Cork and Kerry men have for converting marches to polkas, I originally thought that this one might be a tune he picked up before he left Ireland in ’26. My current suspicion is that it was instead picked up from playing with others in New York for dancers, likely for the Siege of Ennis or Polka sets. He leans on the pickups, but my guess is that they would be stolen from the last bar of the previous section or sped up when playing for dancers themselves.

This one is great for boxplayers, the sixteenth notes bring out a very Jimmy Doyle-ish, old Cork/Kerry (before Sliabh Luachra was coined) style of playing. Just be careful when you bring this one out, as it’s likely to end up in many different places!

Gan Ainm

A guy I play with at a local session had this listed as “unnamed polka #1.” I tried finding it here, but I couldn’t find it, so I’m not sure if I’m playing a different setting of a tune already here, or maybe the tune just isn’t here. Either way, I wanted to make sure it’s written down in more than one guys folder. It’s a great tune. Some nice chords go with it too. I made a slight “adjustment” to the tune. One or two notes sounded out of place to my ears, or some parts of it seemed to have too many notes to be considered a fundamental part of the tune.

Please let me know if anyone finds the name of this, or someone else that plays it. I’m very curious.

Re: Unnamed Polka #1

The first two parts: setting of “Salmon Tails Up the Water”, but it quite old. Found as “The Banks of Inverness” in some old collections (possibly Aird’s Selection, but I’m working from memory).

The 3rd and 4th parts are a different tune.

Re: Unnamed Polka #1

I see that Ptarmigan posted the setting you post above as a four-parter, 12 years ago. If you had searched on the first bar ( | E>F EC | ) you might have found it.

Re: Unnamed Polka #1

The 4-part setting has been in Irish music for a while. Frankie Gavin, Jackie Daly and “Ringo” McDonagh played it on the TV series “The Irish R.M.”, and it’s on the soundtrack - track #11, I think.

Posted by .

Re: Unnamed Polka #1

Thank you Nigel and Kenny. Banks of Inverness sounds the same all right. I think I should delete this and then add this as a setting in The Banks of Inverness, or maybe there’s no need. Not too different.

The Banks Of Inverness, X:10

This is one of my favourite polkas. We’ve been playing it for many years, and honestly I don’t remember who came up with this lovely tune.

Re: The Banks Of Inverness

Think it should be The Banks of The River Ness which fits with the Salmon variants as you can watch the Salmon running up the river Ness from any of the road and footbridges across the river in the city centre.
Once saw a very pleased seal floating down on its back with a big salmon between its front flippers.

Re: The Banks Of Inverness


You will probably know that the “Inver” part refers to the mouth or estuary of the river. The town was so named because it was situated at the mouth of the River Ness.

The full name for Nairn is actually Invernairne as you will probably know too and many Scottish towns are named thus.

So, the tune could be referring to the banks at the mouth of the river? Or you could be right right with your title too, of course. 🙂