The Mountain Lark reel

Also known as Brendan McMahon’s.

There are 5 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Mountain Lark has been added to 5 tune sets.

The Mountain Lark has been added to 58 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Mountain Lark
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
FE~E2 FEDE|FE~E2 FABA|FE~E2 FEDB,|D2DE FABA:|
Be~e2 fded|Be~e2 d2cd|Be~e2 fdec|Bdce d2cd|
Be~e2 feed|egfe d3e|fd~d2 edcd|BABc dBAF||
X: 2
T: The Mountain Lark
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
F~E3 FEDE|F~E3 FBBA|F~E3 FEDE|1 D3E FBBA:|2 D3E FAA2||
B~e3 fded|BeeB dBAB|B~e3 fded|B2Bc dBAF|
B~e3 fded|fgfe d4|fdec dBAF|B3c dBAG||
# Added .
X: 3
T: The Mountain Lark
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
AG~G2 AGFD|AG~G2 Addc|AG~G2 AGFD|~F3G Addc:|
dg~g2 ag~g2|dg~g2 fdcA|dg~g2 ag~g2|dcde fdcA|
dg~g2 ag~g2|abag ~f3g|afge fdec|dfeg fdcA||

Twenty-five comments

Does anyone have the name for this tune? It is the tune which comes after "For the Sake of Old Decency" in the reel set played by Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh and Danny O’Mahoney on Comhaltas Live: http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_227_4_micheal_o_raghallaigh_and_danny_omahoney

Andrew McNamara and Padraic Mac Donnchadha also play this on "Maiden Voyage," pairing it with "For the Sake of Old Decency." It’s obviously related to a fairly common reel, The Steampacket.

I think the set might go back to a recording made in the 70’s, not sure, but it is very familiar… I also remember playing it in sessions in Dublin back then. I’ll see if I can dig anything useful out, like a name and sources. My own resources at hand though are limited… Thanks for the memory, it at least raised a smile… :-)

This tune is on track 8 of Skylark’s eponymous album https://thesession.org/recordings/display/456 under the name of Brendan McMahon’s (Although the title appears highlighted in the database, the link is to another tune of the same name). It is the middle tune in a set of 3, but not the same set as the one in the video clip.

Slainte - I have added this as an alternate title, but you might like to make this the main title, seeing as we don’t have any other name so far for this tune.

Dave and "c", thanks for replies. This reel is actually listed as "Brendan McMahon’s" on "Maiden Voyage" too, but I’ll wait for someone to provide a more imaginative title for a while. If nothing comes up, I’ll add BM’s as the main title.

"c", I also thought the set of reels were invented a long time ago, perhaps when you were reasonably young!

As opposed to unreasonably old?
;-)

Posted .

Aka The Mountain Lark?

The web site for the Sainak ceili band in Osaka, Japan, has this tune under the name The Mountain Lark (which I know as a different Edor reel). Their posted version is as follows (not the Bm (sic) key sig):

X: 16
T: Mountain Lark, the
C: Trad.
R: Reel
N: The Repertoires of SAINAK ceili band.
M: 4/4
I: speed 450
L: 1/8
K: Bm
F~E3 FEDE|F~E3 FBBA|F~E3 FEDE|1 D3E FBBA:|2 D3E FAA2||
B~e3 fded|BeeB dBAB|B~e3 fded|B2Bc dBAF|
B~e3 fded|fgfe d4|fdec dBAF|B3c dBAG||

Posted .

Will, aren’t you as old as "c"?

As far as I know, "The Mountain Lark" is a less common name for "The Steampacket," which is closely related to this Edor reel. I’m a bit reluctant to add it as an alternative title unless it turns out a few other groups of musicians also call it that way.

Anyway, who is Brendan McMahon?

Nope, I’m not as old as the sea, but I am as old as dirt…..

Mr. McMahon is a flute maker and player in Ennis. He’s older than either "c" or myself.

Posted .

Yeah, I would NOT add "Mountain Lark" to the "other names" list. My guess is that’s just a misidentification.

I like calling this one Brendan McMahon’s. I know at least two other reels by that name, and one of those is also called Tommy Peoples’.

Posted .

Eileen O briens reel

anybody have any backround info on eileen o briens reel?

Brendan McMahon

Brendan was a real gentleman musician and flute maker (I think he also made harps as well) who lived in Ennis and unfortunately passed away last May. His brother Michael (better known as Michael Mahoney) lives in Miltown Malbay and is also a flute player and a fine singer.

Bannerman, I’m sorry to hear Mr. McMahon is no longer with us.

Posted .

It seems the first tune of the set also comes from the Tulla C.B.

LOL! You know what I mean, David. :o)

Re: Mountain Lark—it would make sense that a ceili band in Osaka might get the tune name from a ceili band in Ireland, eh?

Posted .

"The Mountain Lark" is too good a name to not use it for more than one tune. I like it!

Posted .

Title

I just have a look on the Tulla Ceili Band and the name is :
The Mountain Lake…. not Lark !

Title

I have seen many clips of Martin Hayes playing this tune and he calls it the Mountain Lark…

I have copied 2 other versions from another page on this site: https://thesession.org/tunes/884

Mcsherry´s version
X: 16
T: Mountain Lark, the
C: Trad.
R: Reel
N: John McSherry "Six days in Down"
Z: M. Novo
M: 4/4
I: speed 450
L: 1/8
K: Bm
F~E3 FEDE|F~E3 FABA|F~E3 FEDc| D3E FABA|
F~E3 FEDE|F~E3 ~B3A|F~E3 FEDc| D3E F~A3||
~B3e f2ed|Beed BAFA|BBeB fBed|~B3c dAFA|
~B3e f2eg|f2ec dcde|f2ed dcBA|(3Bcd ec dcBA||

# Posted by Manu Novo 3 years ago.
Tulla Ceili Band version
Hi,

Here is the ABC of the TCB version :
X: 1
T: The Mountain Lark
I: Tulla Ceili Band version
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
F~E3 FEDE|F~E3 FABA|F~E3 FEDA| D3E FABA|
F~E3 FEDE|F~E3 ~B3A|F~E3 FEDA| D3E F~A3||
~B3e f2ed|Beed BAFA|BBeB fBed|~B3c dAFA|
~B3e f2eg|f2ec dcde|f2ed dcBA|(3Bcd ec dcBA|
Beee f2ed|BBBc dBAd|Beee f2ed|BBBc d4|
Beee f2ed|egfe d3d|fdec dcBA|B3c dcBA||

# Posted by Yilmaz one year ago.

Brendan McMahon’s, X:3

This setting comes from Pat Mitchell’s book "The Dance Music of Willie Clancy" (1976) and is titled there as "The Mountain Lark". Clearly it’s a major setting of the same tune, previously posted in dorian/minor settings. I think this gives more weight to the tune title being "The Mountain Lark" on this page.

Yes, you’re right. It is The Steampacket. It’s interesting though if you take the notes from from the first two settings here and move them all up one line on the stave (transpose up 3 semitones, but don’t change the key signature) you’ll also end up with The Steampacket. Perhaps they’re all settings of The Steampacket? :)

Yes, this tune and the Steampacket have a lot in common. Obviously, The Steampacket is much more popular with solo pipers.