The Lilting Banshee jig

Also known as Ballinasloe Fair, The Banshee’s Lament, Bobby Casey’s, The Butcher’s March, Fallon’s, The Glanmire Miller, John Conroy’s, The Killaloe Boat, The Miller Of Glanmire, The Moyasta, Paddy In London, Rita Keane’s, Ryan’s, Ryan’s Favourite, The Sligo, The Wail Of The Banshee, The Wailing Banshee.

There are 79 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Out On The Ocean (lots of times), The Kesh (a few times), The Killavil (a few times), Sixpenny Money (a few times) and The Banks Of Lough Gowna (a few times).

The Lilting Banshee has been added to 65 tune sets.

The Lilting Banshee has been added to 1,703 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: The Lilting Banshee
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:EAA EAA|BAB G2A|Bee edB|def gfg|
eAA eAA|BAB G2A|Bee edB|dBA A3:|
eaa age|dBA G2A|Bee edB|def gfg|
eaa age|dBA G2A|Bee edB|dBA A3:|
X: 2
T: The Lilting Banshee
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: EAA EAA | BAB G2A | Bee edB | dBA GED |
EAA EAA | BAB G2A | Bee edB | dBA A3 :|
eaa age | dBA G2A | Bee edB | def gfg |
eaa age | dBA G2A | Bee edB | dBA A3 :|
X: 3
T: The Lilting Banshee
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
G|EAA EAA|BAB G2A|Bee B^cd|BAB GED|
EAA EAA|BAB G2A|Bee edB|dBA A2:|
X: 4
T: The Lilting Banshee
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
e>AA e>AA | B>GG B>GG | e>AA e>AA |def gdB |
e>AA e>AA | B>GG B>GG | def gdB | BAA A3 :|
e>aa e>aa | e>gg e>gg | e>aa e>aa | def gdB |
e>aa e>aa | e>gg e>gg | def gdB | BAA A3 :||
X: 5
T: The Lilting Banshee
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:EAA EAA|BAB G2A|Bee edB|dBA GED|
EAA EAA|BAB G2A|Bee edB|dBA A3:|
|:eaa age|dBA G2A|Bee edB|def gfg|
a3 age|dBA G2A|Bee edB|dBA A3:|
# Added by JACKB .
X: 6
T: The Lilting Banshee
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
G|EAA EAA|~B3 G2A|Bee edB|de^f gag|
eaa age|dBG G2A|Bee dBG|BAA A2:|
|:d|eaa age|dBG G2A|Bee edB|de^f gag|
eaa age|dBG G2A|Bee dBG|BAA A2:|
# Added by Moxhe .

Thirty-one comments

This is one of those nifty A minor jigs in the tradition of "The Rakes Of Kildare" and "Dusty Windowsills".

Halfway through the first part, the EAA EAA phrase from the start is repeated but this time, with a high E note. Well, you can create a feeling of suspense by playing it as a low E ‘till the second time ‘round.

Apart from that I don’t know what to say except choose some As and let the triplets fly.

Lilting banshee

This tune was taught by Mary Bergin at a workshop in Nethy Bridge in Scotland in November 2002. She called it "The Miller Of Glanmire", and it appears on "O’Neill’s 1001" under this name. The more common name nowadays is , I believe, "The Lilting Banshee". I first came across it on the "Music From The Coleman Country" LP in 1972(?) where it appears in a set with "The Butcher’s March" which is a completely different tune. I think it possible that someone , somewhere along the line has got the names of the 2 tunes mixed up.

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Lilting butcher

It’s very possible. It’s known as "Butchers March" in the circles where i play, but seems to be "Lilting Banshee" everywhere else. This will be in the much-awaited Murphy Roche second CD, which should come out any time now, but probably close to the end of February.

A variation: the second half of the A part goes down, instead of up:

X:2
T:Lilting Banshee, The
T:Butchers March
R:jig
S:Murphy Roche session at the Kerry Piper, 2002
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:Ador
|: EAA EAA | BAB G2A | Bee edB | dBA GED |
EAA EAA | BAB G2A | Bee edB | dBA A3 :|
eaa age | dBA G2A | Bee edB | def gfg |
eaa age | dBA G2A | Bee edB | dBA A3 :|

This is a popular tune with old Mayo and Sligo guys here in Chicago. At least one of them calls it "The Wailing Banshee".

The Lilting (or wailing) Banshee

I know this tune as the Moyasta Jig, Moyasta being an area near Kilrush in Co. Clare

Ballinasloe Fair

The Chieftains have recorded this tune under the title ‘Ballinasloe Fair’ followed by the jig Cailleach an Airgid

Ballinasloe Fair

I sometimes play the first part like this:

K: Ador
G|EAA EAA|BAB G2A|Bee B^cd|BAB GED|
EAA EAA|BAB G2A|Bee edB|dBA A2:|

I think I picked it up from Chieftans’ album, but virtually nobody plays like that. The version Glauber posted above is more common.

I much prefer the version posted above by slainte. That’s how I’ve always played it. It makes for a more interesting tune - a low A-section contrasting with a higher B-section.

Bobby Casey’s Jig

John Williams, on his Irish Concertina instructional video, gives this tune as "Bobby Casey’s Jig" with only slight variations from the musical notation posted here for "Lilting Banshee."

i play the beginning, "|EAA EAA|BAB G2A|BEE EDB|DBA GED|

my grandma taught me it and i like it much more. its very similar to the other one slainte posted.

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Paddy in london

hey
this was the second tunes i eva learnt…back in the day
anyway i was taught it as paddy in london

The Whistling Banshee

PJ Hernon plays ang gives detailed instructions about this tune on his B/C accordion video. He uses the name "The Whistling Banshee".

And it was on Michael Tubridy’s beautiful "Eagle’s Whistle" album that I found it under the name, "The Killaloe Boat".

Lilting Banshee in Bm

Here’s an interesting version of this old tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NppqWBsGRcw


Many musicians in Britain and Ireland would heard of Des Hurley from Leeds. As far as I know, he has only appeared on Brendan Power’s harmonica album so far, but he is still among the top Irish fiddlers from England. Dermot is his nephew.

I’ve heard Des play this tune in sessions a few times, but it was always in Ador. Not sure where the Bm version comes from.

I play this in a set with Road to Lisdoonvarna and Swallowtail.

Date

Does anyone know roughly how old the tune is? Would it have been around at the time of the first world war? Hope someone can help. Thanks.

How old…..?

See comments above. O’Neill’s pre-dates the 1st World War.

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I think that O’Neill’s "1001" was first published around 1900, so the tune would be definitely older than that.

The Lilting Banshee (an even older version)

Here is an even older version from the first half of the 19th century. It is tune 110 (unnamed) in the Petrie Collection of Irish Music. I’ve inserted the repeats in accordance with modern usage.
K:Adorian
e>AA e>AA | B>GG B>GG | e>AA e>AA |def gdB |
e>AA e>AA | B>GG B>GG | def gdB | BAA A3 :|
e>aa e>aa | e>gg e>gg | e>aa e>aa | def gdB |
e>aa e>aa | e>gg e>gg | def gdB | BAA A3 :||

That’s a different tune, Trevor. See comments of Tenpenny Bit.

We play Gaubers version on whistle and paddy-tuned G harmonica. the first version is possible on normal G as well but you need the paddy to get the E note in the EAA EAA bar. Th normal can only do eAA eAA. Our whistle player is from Mayo (ties in with Hanley’s comment)and calls it the Whistling Bansee.

There really isn’t much of a difference between Jeremy’s and Glauber’s. The only difference is the dBA GED on the fourth and fifthbar. I like to play that first, then the second time around with the eAA eAA instead of EAA EAA.

AKA Ryan’s

This tune is played as Ryan’s in the NYC area e.g. it is on the Dempsey’s session tunelist, as JIG SET: Ryan’s (Am) / Out on the Ocean (G) / Morrison’s (Em). It’s a fairly common session tune. When I was going through the tunelist I asked "Is "Ryan’s" the same as Sean Ryan’s jig?" and was told, "No,[it] is just Ryan’s, but is also know as The Lilting Banshee. There two that are known Sean Ryan’s jig, and they also have other names (The Castle and The Nightingale)."

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the lilting banshee

the tune isn’t in A minor ,it must be A dorian ,which is not Aminor ,or ? if it was in Aminor the F in the second part would be natural

Total Obsession.

This was the first tune I was ever REALLY obsessed over. I’ve only been playing about four years, but not very consistently. My dad is in a trad. Irish band, Four Leaf Peat, so I was kind of surrounded by the Irish style of music, but he was always talking about how he was completely obsessed wit a tune and would play until his hands bled. Now I know what he means.

The Lilting Banshee, X:6

Here is the version of this jig published in O’Neill’s Dance Music of Ireland - 1001 Gems (1907), p. 24, no. 48, as The Miller of Glanmire, An Muilleoir Ua Gleann-Magair.
About the tune, the Fiddler’s Companion says : “O’Neill had the tune from a seventeen year old fiddler named George West, who, though gifted musically, was somewhat indigent and did not own a fiddle. He had formed a symbiotic musical relationship of sorts with one O’Malley, who did own a fiddle and who eked out a meager living playing house parties despite the loss of a finger from his left hand. O’Malley, however, invariable could only make it to midnight before he got too drunk to bow, at which time West took over his fiddle and finished the night’s engagement.”
I like the story. One of my best friends is an Aussie named O’Malley. Knowing his love for Belgian beer, he must be something like a great-great-grand-son of this fiddler… (LOL)

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