The Raven’s Wing reel

Also known as Yr Hen Ril Gwyddelig.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

The Raven’s Wing appears in 1 other tune collection.

The Raven’s Wing has been added to 1 tune set.

The Raven's Wing has been added to 74 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The Raven's Wing
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
ABcd eA ~A2|eAfd eBcB|ABcd eAce|dBGB dcBG|
ABcd eA ~A2|eAfd edcd|e2 ae gece|1 dcBG A4:|2 dcBG ABcd||
|:e2 ~a2 agea|gede dBAB|G2 (3ABc dGec|gceg aged|
e2 ae gede|ae~e2 edcd|e2 ae gece|1 dcBG ABcd:|2 dcBG A3 f||
X: 2
T: The Raven's Wing
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
ABcd eA (3AAA|efdf eAcA|GABc dBGB|(3ddd ce dcBG|
ABcd eaag|aged (3efe cd|eAce dG (3Bcd|cAGB A3:|
aged (3efe ab|c'bag ed (3efg|agab c'e'd'b|c'bag a3 b|
aeed ecAc|ec (3dcB cBAc|eAce dG (3Bcd|cAGB A3:|
ABcd eA ~A2|eAfd eBcB|ABcd eAce|dBGB dcBG|
ABcd eA ~A2|eAfd edcd|e2 ae gece|1 dcBG A4:|2 dcBG ABcd||
|:e2 ~a2 agea|gede dBAB|G2 (3ABc dGec|gceg aged|
e2 ae gede|ae~e2 edcd|e2 ae gece|1 dcBG ABcd:|2 dcBG A3 f||

Twenty comments

Raven’s Wing

That is in fact a very powerful >slow< reel, that becomes sort of “ordinary” when speeded up. Couldn’t find any recordings apart from Paul Dooley’s, still. Maybe the tune has some alternative titles?

Waiting for (guess whom?) Someone Who Gets Drunk on Music…))
Need I send you the record straight away, ceolachan?;)


I agree, this tune is really nice and powerful when it’s played slowly, but for the first time I heard it, it was played by Brian Finnegan, Ian Stephenson and Peter Houlahan, it was really fast and really cool 🙂
I’m so happy I’ve found it on the Paul Dooley CD and now here on the session 🙂

Ow! That hurt, you didn’t have to punch me…

So, ol’ mate, how’s the Russian Jaleyka coming along? 😉

Hey, a gift? You have a record for me? Sorry for the neglect Bregolas but I’ve been caught up in computer woes and other unpleasant distractions. I am sorely missing a stock of good Russian vodka right now. We’re fond of Moskovskaja but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere near…

Hey Bregolas, you keep forgetting the nose ‘-’ on your winking happy face, I hope that isn’t telling…

DUPLICATION ~ but more than just a different key…

Yes, another evolutionary step in that gentleman’s fine tune… Mind you, it has enough differences that I can see it standing on its own…but it isn’t as good as the original, or any of those that are nearer to that origin… You’re right about tempo, Paddy also played it relaxed and unhuried…a lovely man and a great tune…

I also like the grumble of the e minor better than the a…but I’ll give both takes a swing through in a minor to see if it settles in. The B-part for this particular rehash, probably failing memoryon the part of this particular musician, is quite different, though the hints to the O’Brien tune are still there… 😏


1) Unluckily, worse than the Cello
2) Beware the fake stuff. Remember, it may be bottled straight down there in your town’s sewers. Any chance to check? Original Vodka will make your fingers slide away from your flute’s holes. That’s it, but you won’t play Drowsie Maggie on whistle any better than after drinking a fair bottle of True Vodka. Well, once I’ve asked some whistler around here to show me how his playing skills on poor Meg. He burnt some reels and just after that told me not to mind the rhythmo, just ‘cause he’d drunk 2 bottles of Vodka five minutes ago…)
3) I prefer to use lips while smiling, not nose. Hope you’ll show me some day how to use both.

And yet apart from that flood) Thanks for the link, still there’s something more than a simplification in Raven’s Wing as far as I see. It may be more straightforward, yet Dooley plays it in a way it sounds… quite touching. And the second part seems to be quite more than variation. I wish Dooley was abit more sociable via mail, duh :\
Good to see ya, Music-Drunkard! 🙂

“Ho! Ho! Ho!”

I see you found your nose… I’m happy it is intact… 🙂

I stay away from the conterfeit stuff liquor wise, and I’ve only once gotten so slidey that my whole body was overcome, sliding down to the floor of senselessness, gargling songs and lilting arhythmicly…

I believe you, that Dooley does a touching take on this version of the air. Yup, the B-part is decidedly ‘other’… “more than variation” ~ but the relationship to the earlier source and the suggestions of it are still there… However, I’ll put a challenge to you, learn the ‘original’ in the lower key, and then come back, when that’s familiar, and we’ll see if it is just because you heard this that you favour it over the root… It works well on whistle, flute, fiddle, whatever ~ …

I’m very worried about your ‘friend’ and the two bottles of vodka in 5 minutes. The last time I knew anyone to do that they ended up dead… Poke him and make sure he’s still breathing, or gurgling…

On ‘smiling’, it seems that takes over my whole body… “Ho, Ho, Ho!!! ~ That’s me practicing for Christmas… 😉

Not “Poor But Happy at 53”

I disagree, ceol… it’s a different tune. It’s similar, and starts the same, but not close enough to my ears to be the same tune.

Memory Gaps and Age Concerns ~

Damn, you get around, posting the same concept in stereo. You can catch how I responded to this in the comments for “Poor But Happy at 53”, linked to above. I think I’ve sort of confirmed that it is in a state of its own, “Raven’s Wing”, the B-part straying the furthest from the earlier tune. I still think it is a half remembered version of O’Brien’s work, which is reflected in the way it was performed, at ease, more a listening piece. The close reflection of the A-part is obvious, and a key change doesn’t cover that up, the B-part is the result of what happens to a lot of us with ‘half remembered tunes’ ~ sometimes we just feel the need to finish it even if we can’t quite remember what used to follow the A-part…

I don’t have a problem with mutation and evolution, that’s how a lot of new tunes come about. A good A-part has often lead to several tunes with the same start but with something altogether different following afterwards ~ and vice-versa…

The best way to see the similarities and differences ~

K: a minor ~ “Poor But Happy at 53”
|: E |
ABcd eA (3AAA | efdf eAcA | GABc dBGB | (3ddd ce dcBG |
ABcd eaag | aged (3efe cd | eAce dG (3Bcd | cAGB A3 :|
|: e |
aged (3efe ab | c’bag ed (3efg | agab c’e’d’b | c’bag a3 b |
aeed ecAc | ec (3dcB cBAc | eAce dG (3Bcd | cAGB A3 :|

“The Raven’s Wing”
ABcd eA ~A2 | eAfd eBcB | ABcd eAce | dBGB dcBG |
ABcd eA ~A2 | eAfd edcd | e2 ae gece |1 dcBG A4 :|2 dcBG ABcd ||
|:e2 ~a2 agea | gede dBAB | G2 (3ABc dGec | gceg aged |
e2 ae gede | ae~e2 edcd | e2 ae gece |1 dcBG ABcd :|2 dcBG A3 f ||

Yep, the first part is obviously the descendant of “Poor But Happy at 53”. But the second MIGHT be completely other-source. You remember supposition about “The Butterfly”s history? (old parts B/C combined with new-composed A). That may be the case. You see the relation quite well and call original tune better surely because you learned it first) But well that’s just no sense talking when we can PLAY, yep? 😉 You’ve just given damn good idea - play these tunes in a set - sounds pretty nice, like two “Toss the Feathers” on Burke’s album 😛

& a key change too ~ so which would you put first?

Hey, you know me, I don’t let first impressions dissuade me from appreciating later experiences, mutations and evolutionary changes, or revolutions… So I’m not going to let the first tune I played interfere with everything afterwards am I? Hell, the first vodka I ever drank was shight ~ probably made from old tyres. Then a friend showed me the light, and it was Russian, but I’ve also got a taste for some of the Polish stuff too. Maybe it was the Poteen that really got me started?

OK, Doc.

I beleive your bloody huge experience 🙂

Receive then PM at last *hehheh* :=)

Well what a pity I’ve never drunk Vodka… but even so I can tell you that we’ve even more “folk” drink than that. It is called Samogone and is prepared manually with special Samogonny Apparat of various sorts. It used to be illegal, but the tradition never failed and now you may find a real Samogone-makers among Grandmas in not-so-distinct parts of our country. Well that’s a hell of drink, even stronger than Vodka. Think you’d like it!

That’s one I’ve never tried, but if you want we should keep to fruit teas, tisanes, well, that’s alright too… 😉

Re: The Raven’s Wing

My rendition of this awesome tune. I’ve only heard it slow so I wanted to try it more medium fast. I would love feedback as I’m still learning!

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