The Blackberry Blossom reel

Also known as Merry Harriers, O’Mealy’s Blackberry Blossom, Vesey’s Harriers.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

The Blackberry Blossom has been added to 12 tunebooks.

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Three settings

1
X: 1
T: The Blackberry Blossom
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
ea~a2 afge|dBAc BGGA|B2BA Bdge|dBAc BG~G2|
~a3g abge|dBAc BGGA|BdBA B2ge|dBAc BGG2||
|:ea~a2 agba|g2dg gaba|gfgb ~a3b|gaba gedg:|
2
X: 2
T: The Blackberry Blossom
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:ea~a2 abge | dBAc BGGA | ~B3A B2eB | dBAc BGG2 :|
|:ea ~a2 abef | ~g3f gbaf | ~g3b ~a2ga | bgaf ged2 :|
3
X: 3
T: The Blackberry Blossom
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
eaaa a2 ge | dBAc BGGA | B2 BA Bdge | dBAc BG G2 |
a2 gb a2 ge | dBAc BGGA | B2 BA Bdge | dBAc BG G2 ||
|:eaaa a2 ba | g2 dg gaba | g3 b a3 b | gaba gedg :|

Eleven comments

O’Mealy’s Blackberry Blossom (reel)

I hope Jeremy won’t delete this post. This is a very distinct version of the well-known reel, and my transcription is based on Harry Bradley’s version on his latest solo album. "O’Mealy" refers to pipes maker and piper Richard Lewis O’Mealy (1873-1947), and Harry found the version in O’Mealy’s manuscript stored in NPU’s archive. He also write Connemara box and melodeon player Johnny O’Halloran plays a similar setting.

Looks highly sus to me, like someone’s misheard it in a session. I don’t like it.

You could call this a monster with its tail on the head, but I still like it as much as the standard one.

Is there supposed to be a |: bar at the beginning of the 3rd line? If so, it makes a lot more sense that way.

An alien from outer space did some mischief. Cheers, Dow.

Re-ra-re-ra-re-ra-re-ra-re-ra ~

No, I’d never have thought of the Japanese as ‘aliens’ or ‘out in space’, or ‘mischievious’ ~ never… 😎

There might be one exception… 😉

t’s not me!

Vesey’s Harriers

This was the 2nd tune on the first track of John Vesey’s Shanachie LP The First Month of Summer; on that disc it was called the Merry Harriers, which of course is the title of another reel. For the CD reissue Two Sligo Masters the title was changed to the Blackberry Blossom, which is yet another tune distinct from this one - it does bear some resemblance to Vesey’s reel, ala the Star of the Munster and the Stone in the Field, the latter of which sounds like the former played with the start on its 2nd bar.

I’ve come up with this new title for Vesey’s tune in the same spirit as the jig Gillan’s Apples, which O’Neill collected from a musician who called the tune Apples in Winter; as O’Neill had already collected another jig with that name he rechristened Gillan’s tune in his honor.

The Blackberry Blossom, X:3

This is the setting Harry Bradley plays on The Night Rambler’s Companion. It is pretty much the standard tune offset one measure.

Re: The Blackberry Blossom

Johnny O’Halloran’s version is super! I’m learning it now. If anyone has the dots, that would be great. Its very different than the settings written here.

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