The Emyvale reel

There are 7 recordings of this tune.

The Emyvale has been added to 59 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Emyvale
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
eA A/A/A edBc|dBgB aBgB|eA A/A/A edBc|dBgB BAAf|
eA A/A/A edBc|dBgB aBgB|e/f/e df edBc|dBgB BAAf|
edef ~g2fg|edef gdBd|edef ~g2fg|edgd BAAf|
edef ~g2 e/f/g|ageg a2ga|bgaf gfed|B/c/d gd BAAf||
X: 2
T: The Emyvale
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
AGAB c2 A/B/c|dcAc d2 cd|ecdB cBAG|E/F/G cG EDD||
X: 3
T: The Emyvale
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:g|eA A/A/A edBc|dBgB aBgB|eA c/B/A e2 Bc|dBgB A3:|
f|edef g2 fg|ed d/e/f gdBd|e2 ef g2 e/f/g|edgd BA A2|
edef g2 e/f/g|ageg a2 ga|b2 af gfed|B/c/d gd BAA||

Twenty-four comments

The Emyvale

I know this one goes by other names but I couldn’t find the tune already posted. So Here it is… my favorite Irish reel of course by Altan.


Im surprised that it wasnt already posted here on the session… Its so classic of whats great bout Irish music… This tune slowed down also makes a very scottish sounding march… since its a Donegal tune I wouldnt be surprised if it came from a Scottish March. There are fife and fiddle tunes in the US that are in the same tune “family” that I play so it has a very familiar melody to me. ANyway its about time I posted a “real” irish tune!

By the way

Now Im getting “Dowish” in my multiple comments… the chieftans recorded a very similar reel to this… anyone know what they called it ? Its on the BEst of the CHieftans CD.

Thanks Dow!

That is indeed the tune. Very similar… I enjoy your posts and find the info about Northumberland music very interesting.

11 tune books

I see this has only been added to 11 tune books! It deserves more than that!

Uh oh, he’s got the score keeping bug… Don’t fret Maryland, some folks don’t check the box even though they might print out the music or learn the tune…

11 in just a few days is a damned good score…

“The Repeal of the Union” / “The Emyvale Reel” - in D Mixolydian

Submitted on February 13th 2002 by Josh Kane.

Yeah, I know, Dow already noted this, but it is also relevant to the previous comments. 11 for a score is damned good considering that basically it’s a duplication and is already here though in a different key. BUT ~ what amazes me more is that Dow / Mark didn’t comment on the key signature ~ this version is not A Dorian as given. It is A Mixolydian, Mixolydian just as its parent and reflection “Repeal of the Union” is. In other words those would be c# (= ^c) for this version, not naturals…

I know your mind is elsewhere Dow, but you’ve got me worried, it’s not like you to not stand in defense of the measly under represented cult of Mixolydians…brothers in arms… 😉

“The Emyvale Reel” ~ K: D Mixolydian ~ for comparison

|: c |
|: B |
AGAB c2 Bc | AGAB cGEG | AGAB c2 Bc | AGcG EDDB |
AGAB c2 (3ABc | dcAc d2 cd | ecdB cBAG | (3EFG cG EDD ||

“Repeal of the Union” ~ B-part:

Adde fdec | ABcA dBcB | Adde fdcA | GEcE EDD2 |
Adde fdec | ABcd eg~g2 | afge fdcA | GEcE EDD2 ||

Sorry, a mistake, there is no repeat for the B-part… But as I’m having to make that correction, here’s Josh Kane’s transcript of the A-part for “Repeal of the Union” for further comparison:

|: ADED A2 AG | E2 cE dEcB | ADED A2 AG | E2 cE ED D2 :|

Thanks for the support

11’s not bad. Are you saying my c’s should be sharped?

Im not sure Altan sharped the c’s… although Ive experimented with playing the c’s sharped… so many tunes can go that way….

It works either way and I like it both ways, c natural or c#. I haven’t listened to the Altan version in awhile but will give it an ear. I’ve heard “Repeal” probably more frequently and the Mixolydian mode in general has been in discussion lately, and probably clouding out any impartiality on my part… 😉

I think I’m starting to favour this version and B-part though, but in the lower key…

The b part

The B part is pretty in this setting can really drive the tune forward…

Dow 1 — Ceolachan 0

Ha I just read this today and checked the Altan recording. They play it dorian, with C nats. You often find Ador tunes being transposed down into Dmix and vice versa. Check out Dervish’s Dmix version of Scotch Mary for an example. You also often find tunes that have been transposed up to the higher fiddle strings have to change their high B-parts to make them manageable. This version of Repeal The Union is a good example of this. Another example is the B-part of Matt Molloy’s First Month Of Spring versus the First Month Of Summer

Humility ~

You are too humble Dow, hey you used ‘Dow’, not ‘Nox’ ~ anyway, as I was about to continue ~ I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times you’ve flushed me out… 🙂

I love the mutability of keys, as you well know, that you can answer your moods with a simple slip up or down and suddenly your in another mode / mood… It is all in the magic, great shtuff. I did say I liked it both ways ~ but I do favour it more with the c nats, probably the Northern blood in me… 😉 I had been listening to the Altan take on it just yesterday too, and had forgotten all about the discussion here…

Can ceolachan squirm his way out by the “distraction technique”?

“what amazes me more is that Dow / Mark didn’t comment on the key signature…I know your mind is elsewhere Dow, but you’ve got me worried, it’s not like you…”

C’mon, I have you in a headlock. What are you going to do about it?

Hey, I’m bald, if I wasn’t enjoying it I’d just duck out… :-X

Emyvale Reel

This tune is actually a Monaghan Tune. Emyvale is a small village in the North of County Monaghan. Mairead would have learned it from a fiddle player called Jimmy Doherty, who lived in Sheskin, Scotstown. Was put out on a radio programme by RTE on a traditional singer called Peter Mc Kenna, also from the Scotstown area.

Check out the website of the Scotstown Festival - ‘Scoil Cheoil na Botha’ -

Re: The Emyvale

It’s worth noting that the version played by Donal McCague and Darren Breslin on the album “Our Dear Dark Mountain With The Sky Over It” has no C’s at all in the first part, rendering the mode ambiguous. I think I prefer “The Emyvale” to “The Repeal”, at least most versions of it, but that may be because I just like it in the higher key.