The Countess Cathleen slip jig

Also known as Countess Kathleen, Countless Cathleen, Women Of Ireland.

There are 9 recordings of this tune.

The Countess Cathleen has been added to 6 tune sets.

The Countess Cathleen has been added to 233 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The Countess Cathleen
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
D|:EBB BAG ADD|FGd dcB AGd|fgf dcB ABc|1 dDc DBD AGF:|2 dGe Gdc fga||
b2b bag fga|b2d cdg dga|b2b bag fga|b2d cdg dgb|
d'2d' c'ba bag|afd gec fBd|ecd BcA BGA|F/G/dG AGF G2||
X: 2
T: The Countess Cathleen
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
d2 d' c'ba gfg|aa/b/a gfe fdB|A2 A def gab|(e3e)ef (3gagfe:|
=c2 =c' bga ega|dda add bbd|=c2 =c' bga ega|dda add bbd|
d2 d' c'ba gfg|aa/b/s gfe fdB|A2 a def gab|(e3e)=cd efg|
(d3d)de fga|(e3e)ef ga=c'|(b6b3)|bb/c'/b a^gf efg|
(B6B3)|BB/c/B A^GF EFG|(B,6B,3)|B,B,E EBB eeb|

Nine comments

I love this tune!!!!!

I heard it played whilst the dancers danced at the St Pat’s festival and have wanted to learn it ever since!!!

Great River Dance Tune

Gotta love RiverDance Tunes.

Posted by .

Anything Bill Whelan

I love Bill Whelan stuff - this is the first I’ve seen of his stuff on here but hope there is more - even though I own the music folio, CD, VHS of various productions, etc!

Anything Davey Spillane too -

Ornamentation ?

I’ve only been learning flute for a few weeks , I don’t really know were I could put any ornaments into this piece , or , does it need ornamentation ? just wonderig .

2nd part…

If you listen to the recording of this song…there’s another part to it before it goes into Women of the Sidhe. Does anyone know where to find this?

I love these bits:
fga|b2d c
& gec fBd|ecd B

Countess Cathleen

Like others I had assumed this to be a Bill Whelan composition. I am now informed that it is not. It seems likely that he added the ‘fill’ after the second part, necessitating a 6/8 bar at the end. The major key third part I think is Whelan’s. Can anyone confirm this? I want to use it for a dance arrangement and don’t want to get into trouble with copyright.

Re: The Countess Cathleen

I’d also like to know more about the origin of this tune. I couldn’t find any recordings online that weren’t post-Riverdance. Can anyone point to a recording of this in traditional style?

The Countess Cathleen, X:2

The middle section of Countess Cathleen before it transitions to Women of the Sidhe- on the official Riverdance recording, the original Countess Cathleen setting is played through twice before the tune modulates to D maj and this setting is played once. Then the original setting is played through a third and final time.