The Countess Cathleen slip jig

By Bill Whelan

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

There are 10 recordings of this tune.

The Countess Cathleen has been added to 6 tune sets.

The Countess Cathleen has been added to 237 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.

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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.