The Watchmaker reel

Also known as Neil Gow’s Highland, Neil Gow’s Second Wife, Neil Gowe’s Wife, Neils Gowan’s Second Wife, Niel Gow’s Wife, Watchmaker’s, The Watchmaker’s Fling, The Watchmaker’s Highland Fling, The Watchmaker’s Highland, The Watchmaker’s, Watchmakers, Watchmakers’, The Watchmakers’, The Watchmakers, The Wooden Shuttle.

There are 28 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Captain Keeler (a few times), The High (a few times), The Milliner’s Daughter (a few times) and The Thrush In The Storm (a few times).

The Watchmaker has been added to 16 tune sets.

The Watchmaker has been added to 117 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Nine settings

X: 1
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
cAAc BGGB|cA A2 (3Bcd ed|cAAc BGGB|cABG EAAB:|
c3 e gece|G2 BG dGBG|c3 e gedg|eaag eaaf|
g2 eg f2 df|ec c2 dB B2|ABcd e=fed|cABG DAAB|
X: 2
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|cAAc BGGB|cAAB cded|cAAc BGGB|c/B/A BG EAAB:||
|c2 ec gcec|G2 BG dGBG|c2 ec gcec|eaag eaab|
|geeg fdd=f|ecce dBGB|ABcd e=fed|c/B/A BG EAAB||
# Added .
X: 3
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
cAAc BGGB|cAAB cded|cAAc BGGB|cABG EAAB|
cAAc BGGB|cAAB cded|cAAc BGGB|cABG EAA2||
(3(B^cd) ed fded|BGdG eGdG|(3(B^cd) ed fded|ea~a2 ea~a2|
agfa gfeg|edgd BG~G2|(3(EFG) AB cdef|gedB cAA2||
X: 4
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
B | BcAc BAGB | EAAB cded | BcAc BAGB | (3cBA BG EA (3AAA|
cBAc BGGB | cAA2 cded | BcAc BAGB | (3cBA BG EA (3AAA|
| c2ec gcec | G2 (3BAG dG (3BAG | c2ec gcec | eaag a3b
geeg fedf |edce dBGB | ABcd e=fed | (3cBA BG EA (3AAA |
X: 5
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
B | BcAc BAGB | EAAB cded | BcAc BAGB | (3cBA BG EA (3AAA|
cBAc BGGB | cAA2 cded | BcAc BAGB | (3cBA BG EA (3AAA|
| c2ec gcec | G2 (3BAG dG (3BAG | c2ec gcec | eaag a3b
geeg fedf |edce dBGB | ABcd e=fed | (3cBA BG EA (3AAA |
X: 6
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|cAAc BGGB|cAAB cded|cAAc BGGB|cABG EAAB|
cAAc BGGB|cAAB cded|cAAc BGGB|c/B/A BG EA A2||
|c3e g3e|G3B dGBG|cBce g3d|eaag a3g|
|geeg fdd=f|ecce dBGB|ABcd e=fed|cABG EAAB||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 7
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
cded cAAc | ~B3 d BGGB | cded cAAG | EDEG ~A3 B |
cded cAAc | ~B3 d BGGB | BABG AGED | EDEG ~A3 B :|
|: cdef f ~g3 | aged BAAB | cdef fged | eaag ~a3 g |
cdef f ~g3 | aged BAAB | cded cAAG | EDEG ~A3 B :|
X: 8
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:cded cAAc | B3 d BGGB | cded cAAG | EDEG A3 B |
cded cAAc | B3 d BGGB | cABG AGED | EDEG A3 B :||
|: cdef f g3 | aged cAAB | cdef fged | eaag a3 g |
(3Bcd ef f g3 | aged cAAB | cded cAAG | EDEG A3 B :||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 9
T: The Watchmaker
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
cEAc BEGB|c~A3 cd ed|c2Ac BEGB|cedB A3B|
c2Ac BEGB|c~A3 cd ed|c2AG ~B3G|cedB A3B|
c2 ec ggeA|G3A D~G3|c2ec gedg|eaag aaaf|
gaag Tf4|eAce dBG2|ABcd ~e3d|c2BG Aded|

Seventeen comments

I got this tune out of Karen Tweed’s book…I usually like to play The Old Bush after it.

The watchmaker

this is the second tune of three highlands played on the Patrick Street, Irish Times album

The version I play is a bit different, most notably that the first f is sharp, followed by a few choice f nats. So I think of this as being in A dorian, with the f nats as accidentals. I think this is closer to the Altan version (Horse with a Heart) as well. As follows:

X: 1
T: Watchmaker, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: A dorian
|cAAc BGGB|cAAB cded|cAAc BGGB|c/B/A BG EAAB:||
|c2 ec gcec|G2 BG dGBG|c2 ec gcec|eaag eaab|
|geeg fdd=f|ecce dBGB|ABcd e=fed|c/B/A BG EAAB||

Posted .

This tune is in the Gunn Book (Fermanagh 1865) as ‘Neils Gowan’s Second Wife’ (sic). It was also called by that name by Derrygonnelly flute-player Eddie Duffy

Different title

This tune appears under "Neil gow’s highland" title in Altan album

It is called the watchmaker on O’neill’s 1001

The watchmaker is easily converted (back?) into a Scottish pipe tune.

Tin-whistle: Try to do C natural triplets in the 2nd part if you dare!

A related tune

Josephine Keegan includes a very similar reel titled The Wooden Shuttle in her 2004 book A Drop in the Ocean.

Posted by .

The Wooden Shuttle appears as Reel # 43 in Keegan’s book, but she also includes a version of The Watchmaker as reel #233. This tune is related to a strathspey appearing in Ryan’s 1050 as Neal Gow’s Wife (key of B flat).

Posted by .

The Watchmaker, X:3 - ‘Neil Gow’s Second Wife’

This is how Mick O’Brien, Emer Mayock and Aoife Ní Bhriain play this reel on ‘Tunes From The Goodman Manuscripts.’ The first part is identical to other versions of The Watchmaker, but the second part is really quite different.

Neil Gow’s Wife / The Watchmaker

If you’ve come to this page looking for the tune that Calum Stewart plays on his Hunter’s Moon CD, then you probably need to go to this instead: https://thesession.org/tunes/749

The Skibbereen

A reel I heard at a Fleadh Cheoil a couple of years ago - named here for the origin of the flautist who played it that day. Couldn’t find it notated anywhere, so here you are. Here’s one I made earlier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTj5DC4ExMY

Thanks Kenny, how do I delete this?

Hi fluther - if you send Jeremy, the webmaster, a private message, he’ll sort it when he has time.

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