Sweeney’s Buttermilk reel

Also known as Bláṫaċ Ṡuiḃne, Buttermilk Mary, Charlie Lennon’s, Charlie Lennon’s #2, Charlie’s Buttermilk Mary, Lennon’s, McGlinchey’s, Sweeney’s Buttermilk Mary, Sweeny’s Buttermilk.

There are 35 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Miss Shepherd (a few times), The Silver Spear (a few times), The Chicago (a few times), Farewell To Connaught (a few times) and Splendid Isolation (a few times).

Sweeney’s Buttermilk has been added to 18 tune sets.

Sweeney's Buttermilk has been added to 472 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: Sweeney's Buttermilk
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
FB B2 fB B2 |dcBc AE E2 |FB B2 ABce |afec Ba^ga |
f3 a fecf |ec c2 BAFE |FB B2 ABce |afec B2 BA :|
FBdc BF F2 |EAcB AE E2 |FBdB cefb |afec d3 c |
Bcde fB B2 |afec ABce |f2 bf afea |afec B2 BA :|
X: 2
T: Sweeney's Buttermilk
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
FB B2 fB B2 |dcBc AE E2 |FB B2 ABce |afec Ba^ga |
f2 ec f2 ec |BABc BAFE |FB B2 ABce |afec B2 BA :|
FBdc BF F2 |EAcB AE E2 |FBdc Bdfb |afec B3 c |
Bcde fB B2 |afec ABce |f3a bf f2 |afec B2 BA :|
# Added by JACKB .
X: 3
T: Sweeney's Buttermilk
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
FB B2 fB B2 |dcBc AE E2 |FB B2 ABce |afec Ba^ga |
f2 ec f2 ec |BABc BAFE |FB B2 ABce |afec B2 BA :|
FBdc BF F2 |EAcB AE E2 |FBdc Bdfb |afec B3 c |
Bcde fB B2 |afec ABce |f3a bf f2 |afec B2 BA :|
X: 4
T: Sweeney's Buttermilk
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:EA A2 eA A2 |cBAB GD D2 |EA A2 GABd |gedB Ag^fg |
e2 dB e2 dB |AGAB AGED |EA A2 GABd |gedB A2 AG :||
|:EAcB AE E2 |DGBA GD D2 |EAcB Acea |gedB A3 B |
ABcd eA A2 |gedB GABd |e3g ae e2 |gedB A2 AG :||
# Added by JACKB .

Twenty-one comments

Sweeny’s Buttermilk

This is in reply for the request for some McGlinchey tunes.
Splendid Isolation is here allready I think, plust the one that goes with it. Monsieur McGlinchey has written many tunes. Unfortunately I don’ know any more of them. As soon as I find them, I’ll try to post them. Forget the likes of Kevin Burke, McGlinchey is a genius.

Sweeny’s

Great tune, Barney. I first learned it off Kevin Burke’s Sweeny’s Dream recording back in the late 1970s or early 80s. By now this reel must have made it onto other recordings as well. Anyone know which ones?

P.S. I’ve also seen it spelled "Sweeney’s."

Posted .

Duh…I just typed in the alternate spelling and poof! it shows up on two recordings already in the archives. Is this site amazing or what?

Posted .

The only people I’ve heard play this are Kevin Burke and Brendan McGlinchey hiself. Apparently people played it to death in sessions some time ago. As you well know tunes go in and out of favour but this is a cracker of a tune which deserves playing.

Sweeney’s buttermilk

This tune was recorded by Scottish band "Silly Wizard" in 1979, on an LP called "So Many Partings" . They also followed it with 2 "McGlinchey’s Reels" in the same set, one of the few recordings of the 2nd tune of which I am aware.

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Is this not a Charlie Lennon tune??

Bootboy you might be thinking of "Buttermilk Mary" that’s a Charlie Lennon tune, the titles are often confused.

this tune appears on the first track of Kevin&Seamus Glackin’s ‘Northern Lights’ album (after Reavy’s).They don’t do the top f in the first bar,though.
I like this tune a lot and if you’re in the mood,you can go into Jenny’s Chickens after.

Sweeney’s buttermilk

Here are a few more recordings: This is on the album "Morning Dew" by Brendan Mulvihill and Donna Long, where it’s called "McGlinchey’s" on the cover. (Liner notes mention the title Sweeney’s Buttermilk.)

Joe Derrane has a recording of "Buttermilk Mary" on his album "The Tie that Binds." In his liner notes, he lists Sweeney’s Buttermilk as an alternate title. So are these the same tune or different?

One more recording I know of is on the album "The New Land" by Touchstone. The tune isn’t listed on the cover, but it follows the song Susanna Martin, and it is listed as Sweeney’s Buttermilk in the liner notes.

Whatever the title, it’s a great tune, and I’m glad to see it posted here.

Good story

I asked the folks at IrTrad-L if this was written by McGlinchly or Lennon. This was the response…

"Regarding Sweeney’s Buttermilk-

I was at Gaelic Roots in 1998, and Brendan McGlinchey taught fiddle
classes that year. On the first day, he asked all of us to play a tune for
him (to assess the class, I suppose). There were a few very talented young
fiddlers (teens) and Brendan looked at one of them with a bit of a twinkle
in his eye as the boy completed a reel. Brendan leaned forward and asked
the young man "Do you know the name of that chune?". The boy replied
"Sweeney’s Buttermilk". And then Brendan leaned in a little closer and
asked -"And do you know who wrote it?" The boy shook his head, and
Brendan said "I did". The look on the boy’s face was priceless!

Later that week, Brendan talked a little about writing the tune. He was
spending the weekend at a fleadh with a friend (last name of Sweeney) and
it turned out they both loved to drink buttermilk - hence the name."

This tune was published in Bulmer & Shapley’s "Charlie Lennon’s #2" this was because Charlie Lennon was/is very fond of the tune & played it quite a bit.

Happy Easter.
~b

Sweeney’s Buttermilk

Vinnie Kilduff plays it fabulously on whistle on his CD, "The Boys From The Blue Hill"!!!

This reel is also heard on track 5 of Boil the Breakfast Early (The Chieftains 9). The album notes (written by Ciaran Mac Mathuna) call the tune Charlie’s Buttermilk Mary, adding "The Charlie in question is the well known fiddler Charlie Lennon."

Brad, presumably by "Buttermilk Mary" you mean the jig in A. I don’t see how that can be by Charlie Lennon - it’s in O’Neill’s.

Charlie’s Buttermilk Mary

This tune appears as "Charlie’s Buttermilk Mary" on The Chieftains 9 "Boil the Breakfast Early." I forgot to include the tune title when I posted the recording. Sorry.

Another Version

X: 1
T: Charlie Lennon’s No2.
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Bmin
FB B2 fB B2 |dcBc AE E2 |FB B2 ABce |afec Ba^ga |
f2 ec f2 ec |BABc BAFE |FB B2 ABce |afec B2 BA :|
FBdc BF F2 |EAcB AE E2 |FBdc Bdfb |afec B3 c |
Bcde fB B2 |afec ABce |f3a bf f2 |afec B2 BA :|

Posted by .

Sweeeeeeeet Sweeny’s buttermilk!

A question about the key

This tune is mainly played in B, in Dorian mode (hence the bloody G#). Was it originally composed in Bdor or Ador ?

Re: Sweeny’s Buttermilk

X: 1
T: Sweeny’s Buttermilk
S: Vinnie Kilduff (Recorded at Cultúrlann na hÉireann, Dublin, 1990)
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
FBBB fBBB | dcBc AEEE | FBBB .a2ce | afec Ba^ga |
fffg fecA | BdcB BAFE | FBBB ABce | afec fBBA :|
FBdc BFFF | EAcB AEEE | Fzdc Bcdf | afec dBcA |
Bcde fBBa | afec ABce | fffa bfff | afec B3z :|
"variations"
FBdc BEFA | EAcB AEF^F | Fzdc Bcdf | afec dBcA |
Bcde fB Ba | afec ABce | fffa bfff | afec B3z :|

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msary0yleuA

Sweeny’s Buttermilk, X:4

Still sounds great in this key.

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