Mrs Carolan’s reel

Also known as Mrs. Carolan’s.

There are 3 recordings of this tune.

Mrs Carolan’s has been added to 34 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Mrs Carolan's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ddor
|:Adde dcAG|Add^c d2d=c|Adde dcAG|ABcA G2EG:|

Seven comments

Mrs. Carolan’s (reel)

This haunting tune comes from the fiddle playing of East Galway flute player Sean Moloney. He learned it from Co. Meath concertina player Jim McArdle, who in turn got it from Co. Louth concertina player Margaret Carolan.

This is yet another Irish tune which derived from Scots reel “Sleepy Maggie” and related to some of very common reels such as:

Within a Mile of Dublin:
The Pigeon on the Gate:

Anybody knows anything about Jim McArdle and Margaret Carolan?

Isn’t Margaret Carolan related to Nicolas carolan (Irish Trad Archive)? I think he mentioned it on one of the “Come West Along the Road” episodes.

Cheers, Paddy. I actually can’t find any info about her though I found a musician called Jim McArdle who plays guitar on a recording.


was born in 1902 in the townland of Tenure, near the town of Drogheda, Co Lough, and at the time of the recording she and her husband Nicholas were working their farm at Hill o’ Rath, near Drogheda. Her father, Pat Usher, had a large repository of songs which he sang constantly in the house and while working on the farm. He was considered in his community to be a fine exponent on the concertina and he played with energy and dash right up to his death in 1965 at the age of 94. He passed on much of his music, both dance tunes and songs, to his children and nephews. Mary Ann Carolan played the concertina after her father’s model and she had a repertory of about sixty songs. After not having played or sung for several years, she began making music again in the mid-1960s.

From the Topic recording “Voice of the People Vol 20”