This popular reel can be found in O’Neill’s (number 728), and is a popular session tune. I like to play this one together with "The Mountain Road".
In this setting of the tune I’ve included a tie between the A’s at the end of one bar and the A’s at the beginning of the next, so it becomes one longer note instead of two separate shorter notes. If it’s played this way, the tune has nice, almost American "swing" to it. Try this out, and if you don’t like it, then just ignore the ties.
Apart from that, try rolling the D at the very start of the tune, or the A and F at the start of the second part.
We names our band after this Reel. It’s one of my favorite tunes.
named, not names.
My “Wrong” Version
I finally learned this popular session tune by myself yesterday. Actually, I was trying to reconstruct the version I heard and played along with others in sessions from the memory, and hit upon the nice one on flute. It’s interestingly different from any version available on the net. Here it is:
d3 A BAFB|A2 dA BAFB|ABde fded|Beed egfe|
d3 A BAFB|A2 dA BAFB|ABde fedB|1 AFEF D3 z:|2 AFEF D3 e||
faag ~f3 e|d2 fd efdB|ABde fded|Beed egfg|
~a3 g ~f3 e|d2 fd efdB|ABde fedB|1 AFEF D3 e:|2 AFEF D3 z||
I’m not sure whether it’s a truly original version of mine or just the corruption of the local session version. I need to try playing it in the session.
I played this tune with others last night and found my version is different from what they play. I really love the version posted above, but it seems more sensible to learn the "correct" one.
I’ve just notice some phrases in my version come from the version of Boys of the Lough I learned in Co. Clare some months ago.
This works very, very good as a hornpipe.
It does work as a hornpipe. But it’s such a lovely reel. You might have difficulty getting others to play it with you as a reel if they begin playing it as a hornpipe. I did.
The Michael Coleman version of this is here:
The Merry Blacksmith
Here it is played by Liam O’Flynn and Paddy Glackin, the second tune.
bogman isn’t that second tune in the clip Speed the Plough (Cronin’s Fancy)?
You’re absolutely right, sorry, that was careless of me.
No relative to handel’s The Harmonious Blacksmith then?
i play guitar and have no idea how to look up for the chords. Help!!
“The Merry Blacksmith”
T: Merry Blacksmith, The
|: A |\
d2 dA BAFG | ABdA BAFA | ABde f2 ed | B/c/d e^d egfe |
d/e/d dA BAFG | ABdA BAFA | ABde fdec | dBAF D3 :|
|: f |\
a2 ag f2 fe | d2 dA BAFG | ABde f2 ed | Beed e/f/g fg |
abag fgfe | dcdA BAFA | ABde f2 ec | dBAF D3 :|
The Boys Of The Lake
Source: Joyce, Patrick Weston: Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (Dublin, 1909)
Another twist ..
The version of this popular tune I just posted is worth a try through because of its nice turn at the end of each part of the tune. I got it from the excellent mandolin playing of Brendan Malone of Dundalk. Some other differences might be mine. I usually play the "turn" on the b tune for first time around only, just to vary it.
This was the first reel I ever learned. Good memories.
The Merry Blacksmith, X:7
Setting as played at the Golden Guinea pub session, Bristol, UK.
The Merry Blacksmith, X:8
Source: Seamus Ennis
Transcription: gian marco pietrasanta
Re: The Merry Blacksmith
One must not forget the forceful recording of this tune by Joe Derrane. It is on his first album recorded in the late 40s or early 50s.
The Merry Blacksmith
The Merry Blacksmith, X:9
From the playing of Beltaine.