The Sailor’s Bonnet reel

Also known as Bairéad An Mháirnéalaigh, Caiḋp An Ṁairnéalaċ, The Sailor’s Bonn, The Sailors Bonnet, The Seller’s Bonnet.

There are 86 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

The Sailor’s Bonnet appears in 4 other tune collections.

The Sailor’s Bonnet has been added to 353 tune sets.

The Sailor’s Bonnet has been added to 1,099 tunebooks.

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Five settings

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Thirteen comments

The last of the tree reels in the “Tarbolon Set” this is both an easy & hard reel at the same time. Not much to it but since it’s got lots of repeated figures it’s a little tough to get the phrasing memorized. this is a great reel on it’s own as well.

It’s in B minor

it’s in B minor

It’s in D major

it’s in D major

Posted .

you could call this kind o tune a ‘marching reel’. There are a few of those around, like The Cocktail, The Blackbird frae Clough, etc

Does anyone else play the first part four times, so that the first and second parts end up the same length? I found myself doing that at a session the other day, much to the confusion of some other musicians. I only realised afterwards that most people play the first part half the length of the second…

On an Arlo Guthrie Recording

iTunes has it credited to an Guthrie recording “Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys” 1973. Purely guessing by ear the fiddler’s Kevin Burke.

Arlo Guthrie’s Sailor’s Bonnet

After watching the subject video posted above, it seems a bit of misplaced credit to refer to the tune as Arlo’s. Especially since he seems to be playing a rather distracting old-time version of “Cripple Creek” against Kevin Burke fiddling the actual tune. I’ve always enjoyed playing the SB as part of the Tarbolton set, but the first time I heard this version, I was awestruck:

Martin Hayes, one of the truly great artists of our time.

The Sailor’s Bonnet, X:3

Taken from ‘A Fine Selection of Over 200 Irish Traditional Tunes for Sessions’, compiled by David Speers with a Forward by Matt Cranitch. I notice the debate (let’s call it that!) above about it being in D or Bm … another one of THOSE tunes, starts in one key or mode and seems modulate to another. I think it’s the hovering around B’s - especially in the second part - that makes it feel like it’s in B minor. Whatever it is, another great tune and finishes off the ‘Coleman’ set in good style.