The Bird In The Bush reel

Also known as Billy Hanafin’s, Billy Hanafin’s Little Bird In The Tree, The Bird In The Bushes, The Bird In The Tree, The Bird On The Bush, The Bird On The Tree, Birds In The Tree.

There are 96 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Silver Spear (lots of times), The Bag Of Spuds (lots of times), The Sally Gardens (a few times), The Sligo Maid (a few times) and Tom Ward’s Downfall (a few times).

The Bird In The Bush has been added to 30 tune sets.

The Bird In The Bush has been added to 632 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

X: 1
T: The Bird In The Bush
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d2eB dB~B2 | dBAB GAAG | EGAd BG~G2 | BGBd g2ge |
d2eB dB~B2 | dBAB ~G2GE | DEGA B2eB | dBAd BG~G2 :|
|: Bdef g2fg | afdf gfed | Bdef g~g2b | agab g~g2a |
bg~g2 agef | ~g2fe dBGE | DEGA B2eB | dBAd BG~G2 :|
X: 2
T: The Bird In The Bush
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d2eB dB~B2|dBAB G2AG|EA~A2 BGGA|BG (3Bde g2ge|
d2eB dB~B2|dBAB ~G3E|DEGA B2Bc|dBAc BG~G2:|
|:(3Bcd ef g2fg|afdf gfed|Bdef ~g3b|agab ~g3a|
bg~g2 agef|~g3e dB~B2|DEGA B2Bc|dBAc BG~G2:|
X: 3
T: The Bird In The Bush
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d2 eB dB B2|cBAB G2AG|EA A2 BG G2|(3BAG Bd g3e|
d2 eB dB B2|cBAB G3E|DEGA B3c|dBAc BG G2:|
|:(3Bcd ef g2fg|afdf gfed|(3Bcd ef g3a|agab g3a|
bg g2 agef|g3e dBAB|DEGA B3c|dBAc BG G2:|
# Added by JACKB .
X: 4
T: The Bird In The Bush
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d2eB dB~B2 | dBAB GAAG | EG~G2 BG~G2 | BGBd eage |
d2eB dB~B2 | dBAB ~G2GE | DEGA B2eB | dBAc BG~G2 :|
|: (3Bcd ef g2fg | af~f2 gfed | Bdef ~g3b | agab g3a |
bg~g2 agef | ~g3e dBGE | DEGA B2eB | dBAc BGG2 :|

Fifteen comments

The Bird In The Bush

What a shame nobody has bothered to comment on this classic tune - a standard in all Irish sessions I’m sure. This is one of the first reels I learnt when I first started playing Irish music. Some people I know call it the Bird In The *Tree*. In bar 3 I’ve always played |EA~A2 BG~G2| or |EAAc BG~G2| but I quite like Josh’s version |EGAd BG~G2|.

Here’s an alternative that carries the feel of Dow’s third bar rolls and also makes use of the C natural giving a different tonal feel in the passing notes (I think this is pretty much what’s played on the Conhaltas Foinn Seisiun CD, although not everyone is playing exactly the same thing)

X: 1
T: Bird In The Bush, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
|: d2eB dB~B2|dBAB G2AG|EA~A2 BGGA|BG (3Bde g2ge|
d2eB dB~B2|dBAB ~G3E|DEGA B2Bc|dBAc BG~G2:|
|:(3Bcd ef g2fg|afdf gfed|Bdef ~g3b|agab ~g3a|
bg~g2 agef|~g3e dB~B2|DEGA B2Bc|dBAc BG~G2:|

;)

set?

Is this one of Marcus Hearnon’s tunes?

Bird

He plays it, I’m sure, but didn’t compose it.

Posted by .

The Bird in the Bush..

..can mean many things these days… 11th C ago, it could take on this form:
Int én bec
ro léc feit
do rinn guip
glanbuidi

fo-ceird faíd
ós Loch Laíg,
lon do chraíb
charnbuidi

which means something like:

Blackbird sings;
Quick liquid trills from the waterside whin;
yellow-bill in yellow!

that’s my take on it, anyhow. And sorry, I meant: ‘11 centuries’ ago…

…but the theme has proved popular with poets since, not just musicians.
e.g; Augustus Young’s

Tree

I’m a beech
an elm or an oak
The sky is beyond reach
My top branch broke

When a blackbird
threw his voice to the sun
with such ease it was heard
by everyone.

and if you know the name of the poet who wrote that short one, please let me know. J. E. would be his initials (I think it was a he) and the rhyme was culled from an anthology, if I remember well.

Any Bird

The bird in the branches
sings and sings and rain
drops fall from the shaken spray.

The only song he sings
-the only way.

The Bird in the Tree

and if that wasn’t good or cool enough for you, hear this here one from my hero:

Birds

A bird flies and has wings
And it certainly sings

A bird when it sings is always certain.
It sings and sings about certain things,
Like flying and having wings
Or being only a bird in a tree
And free.

Free is when you are being certain
And wanting to sing certainly
About certain things.

A bird is free and certainly sings.
It sings and sings about flying and having wings
Or being always a certain thing
When it is only a bird in a tree
Singing certainly
And free.

Ray Fabrizzio

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by .

By the way, I love this tune!

Tommy Peoples

plays an incredible version of this on The Quiet Glen.

Posted by .