This is a very popular slide with a sprightly feel to it.
For variation on the fiddle, you could play the opening notes by droning the open A and E strings. That climactic high G near the end of the second part could be turned into a nice triplet or even a roll.
Because this tune doesn’t go any lower than a G, it’s the perfect opportunity to try a Sliabh Luachra technique called "Playing The Bass". This is when two or more fiddlers are playing a tune and one one of them plays the melody an octave lower.
Isn’t that done more often in Donegal?
I learned this tune from an old Chieftains recording. Very simple, but still very nice, in my opinion. I have heard it played in two different keys. Paul McNevin and the Cottars play it in the key as posted, but everyone else I’ve heard plays it in Em. Both are easy to play on the whistle. Does anyone know the origins of this tune?
This one shows up in CRE2 (#86, if you’re counting) as a nameless waif or stray (not sure how you tell the difference). The notes say it was gathered from a whistle player named Art O’Keefe in 1970, which might account for the name. Bohola calls the same tune "Dan O’Keefe’s" on their first recording.
T: Gan Ainm
|: E2B B2A FEF A2B | E2B B2A F2D DEF |
E2B B2A FEF A2B | FEF B2F F2E E2D :|
|: B2e e2f e2d B2A | B2e e2f e2d B2c |
d2e dcB ABA FED | FEF B2F F2E E2D :|
“O’Keefe’s Slide” ~ the previous rescued duplication
Key signature: E Dorian
Submitted on March 31st 2008 by Sean MacOda Criobhan.
Dont know much about it…picked it up at a session recently. I was able to get it by ear because it reminds me of a couple other tunes I know. I was given a book of sheet music from that same session and this is in it, but I dont have that handy and I’m sure my setting is different. I’ll have to refer back to it.
Duplication! ~ Thanks DOW… AHHH! The key. I didnt even look at another key, it seemed so perfect on the fiddle in E.
# Posted on March 31st 2008 by Sean MacOda Criobhan
You forgot your notes!!! 😉
X: 4 “Padraig O’Keefe’s Slides No. 1”
S: “Jimmy Doyle & Dan O’Leary: Traditional Music From The Kingdom Of Kerry”
https://thesession.org/recordings/1247 ~ track 12 (side B, track 5), the 2nd slide of two.
Q: 135 bpm (1 beat = three quavers/eigth notes)
I have also learned this one direct as well from other living sources and situations where the average tempos varied from 130 to 150 bpm (1 beat = three quavers/eighth notes)…
Oops! ~ the ‘1st’ slide of two… 😏
A tin whistle version here
This is one of two slides that were given to Julia Clifford and Denis Murphy by "Danny Ab" O’Keefe (note the single "f"). O’Keefe was a farmer in the most general sense of the word: he lived there, but neither Julia Clifford nor her sister Bridie seem to remember him actually doing any farming. As the story goes, he walked in one day while Denis was working in the fields and yelled for him to put the kettle on, and he’d give them some tunes. Denis put the kettle on, and the result was this slide and another before it: https://thesession.org/tunes/3577
They turn the set over at the beginning of the Listowel Fleadh broadcast in ‘73 with some help from Johnny O’Leary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB8njg6i_6Y
My guess is the reference to this being Padraig’s is the product of a poor assumption. Perhaps he knew the tunes, likely from the Cliffords themselves, but I guess there was some confusion and it was assumed that he was the only O’Keefe worth his salt in the district. Poor Maurice and Art O’Keefe have tunes that seem to have the same fate.
Transcribed from "Pádraig O’Keeffe Manuscripts. Book Two. Fiddle" (page 10). His version of this slide has an interesting variation in bar 4. The MSS is online via the ITMA at