Sporting Molly reel

Also known as The Jackdaw’s Nest, Maud Millar, Maud Miller, Maud Miller’s, Maude Millar’s, Maude Miller’s, Old Maud Miller’s, Sporting Mall, Sporting Moll.

There are 21 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

Sporting Molly appears in 4 other tune collections.

Sporting Molly has been added to 17 tune sets.

Sporting Molly has been added to 225 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: Sporting Molly
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
|:dcAG FADA|E2 cE dEcE|dcAG FADF|Add^c dfec:|
fdcd efge|afge afge|fdcd efge|afge fd d2|
fdef efge|afge a2 fg|afge fdec|Addc dfec|
X: 2
T: Sporting Molly
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
dcAG FADF|E2 cE dEcE|dcAG FDDF|Adde fde^c|
dcAG FADF|E2 cE dEcE|dcAG FDDF|Add^c d2de||
f2df efge|afge afge|f2df efge|afge fdde|
f2df efge|afge afge|afge fded|Add^c d2de||
X: 3
T: Sporting Molly
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:dcAG FADF|E2 =cE dE=cE|d^cAG FADF|Addc dfed|
dcAG FD D2|E2 =cE dE=cE|d^cAG FADF|1 Addc dfed:|2 Addc d3e||
|:f2df efge|afge afge|fdcd efge|afge fd d2|
fdcd efge|afge a2 fg|afge fdec|1 Addc d3e|2 Addc dfed||
# Added by JACKB .

Twenty-three comments

This tune can be played as a galloping, fast reel, but I feel that it then loses a lot of its beauty. I prefer to play it a steady pace, emphasising the first note of every bar.

For variation in the first part, try lengthening the first note, and play a triplet on the low E.

Maud Millar

This is quite a different Maud Millar to the girl I know. It has echoes of The Boy in The Gap and
the Jenny Picking Cockles/Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie family.

The one I know is in G/Em with quite a different feel to it. I’ll post it soon

This is certainly not the Maud Millar one can find on the Matt Molloy album, so be careful when putting it in your tunebooks thinking that it is..

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Maud Millar

I find it interesting how the actual contour formed by the notes of this tune is similar to the one in G, particularly in the A part. Does anyone know anything about the 2 tunes? Is it likely they are both derived from the same song or something?

This is slightly twisted

The tune submitted under the name "Maud Millar" is actually "Sporting Molly." Here’s a setting I heard fiddler Pat O’Connor play:

T:Sporting Molly
D:Pat O’Conner
Z:Jack Gilder
dcAG FADF|E2 cE dEcE|dcAG FDDF|Adde fde^c|!
dcAG FADF|E2 cE dEcE|dcAG FDDF|Add^c d2de||!
f2df efge|afge afge|f2df efge|afge fdde|!
f2df efge|afge afge|afge fded|Add^c d2de||

Here’s a setting of the well known tune, Maud Millar that appears many places including the "Music at Matt Malloy’s" CD:

T:Maud Millar
Z:Jack Gilder
gf||edBA GEDE|~G2BG dGBd|~e2dB ~A2GA|1 Beed e2gf:|2 Beed e2ge||!
dega bg~g2|agef gage|dega bg~g2|ageg dg~g2|!
dega bg~g2|agef ~g3a|bgaf gfed|Beed e2||!

More than one name

Jack, is it so hard for you to believe that a tune can have more than one name?

The other, more common, Maud Millar can be found here:

You might want to brace yourself for a shock if you go searching for *the* tune called The Ballydesmond or *the* tune called Toss The Feathers 😉

Two for the price of none!

i’m glad i checked out the comments section because i now get to put not one but TWO names to a tune i play that was previously a gan ainm for me.
it’s on the famous session tape as propogated by danny.
i like to follow it by leslie’s reel.
thanks to jeremy and jack

Tune names

Of course I realize that tunes have different names, Jeremy, but to list a tune by an uncommon name, when that particular name is common for a different tune, IMHO seems to be a bit of a confusion factor for a tune data base. As Jan points out in this thread, you have to be careful when adding it to your tunebook. I’m not suggesting that the uncommon name isn’t valid — but wouldn’t it be a good idea to move the common name to the front?

Brendan Bulger plays this as Maud Millar, and says it’s commonly known by this name in Boston.

This tune is in O’Neills’ Dance Music of Ireland as ‘Maude Miller’ (no. 480)


Sporting Molly

That is the title James Keane gives the tune on his "With Friends Like These" album but "Maude Miller" is the title on Harry B’s CD. I’ll call it Sporting Molly myself to avoid confusion. This was probably an older title and someone confused them when giving it to O’Neill. Maybe I’m wrong but it’s a possibility nonetheless until someone can come up with another explanation.


You’d better to call this tune "Maude Miller" to avoid confusion simply because there’s another tune called Sporing Molly. Paddy, it seems you don’t know the most common title of this reel is "Maude Miller." I’ve never heard someone call it otherwise.

Well, a couple of well-known musicians seems to have recorded it as Sporting Molly, as written above. But a majority of people call it "Maude Miller" so why not call it that way? It’s a well-known fact that there’s two tunes which have the title, so there’d be no confusion.

Yeah, right. Still, having said that, I learned the tune firstly as Sporting Molly.

According to the Fiddler’s Companion, it’s also known as "Dunnigan’s Reel," "Farewell to Leitrim," "Fiddler’s Frolic," "Hawthorne’s Reel," "Kennaw’s Reel," "Lawson’s Favorite," "Molloy’s Favourite," "Reidy Johnson’s," "Roll Her in the Haystack," and "Take Her Out and Air Her." I like the last one.

Fiddler’s Companion Titles

Yes, the tune seems to appear as Lawson’s Favourite on Micheal O’Raghallaigh’s Inside Out Album.

A different version of the tune appears on Dervish’s Boys of Sligo album under the title "Return from Camdentown". This version is similiar to the tune on Joe Burke’s Galways Own album, a tune which he calls Farewell to Leitrim.

So maybe Shane Mitchell got the tune from Joe Burke’s recording (or wherever Joe Burke has his source for the tune). I don’t know how the Camdentown title would have come attached to it though.

and the mary bergin version?

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Maude Millar

NicGaviskey call this "Old Maud Miller’s", possibly because of the confusion outlined above.

A version I play, I love the pulse of this tune.

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One more title

Josephine Keegan calls this tune The Jackdaw’s Nest in her 2004 tunebook "A Drop in the Ocean". Hmm, she seems to have a different title from everyone else for most of the tunes she includes in this book. Good settings, though…

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Re: Maude Miller

"Old Maud Miller" might be best since the provenance goes back to the O’Neill collection.

Re: Sporting Molly

The tune I know as "Sporting Molly" is nothing like this tune. I would post it but I don’t know ABC notation. I’m sorry I don’t now.