The Virginia reel

Also known as The Virginian.

There are 42 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Callaghan’s (a few times), The Chattering Magpie (a few times), The Gatehouse Maid (a few times), George White’s Favorite (a few times) and The Lady On The Island (a few times).

The Virginia has been added to 34 tune sets.

The Virginia has been added to 612 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: The Virginia
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DBBA ~B3A | BAdB AFEF | DF~F2 ~A3B | AFBF AFEF |
DBBA ~B3A | BAdB ABde | ~f3e defe | dBAF BE~E2 :|
|:defe d3A | BAFA dAFA | dffe defg | afbf afeg |
~f3d efdB | AF~F2 ABcd | ~f3e defe | dBAF BE~E2 :|
X: 2
T: The Virginia
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DBBA ~B3A | BAdB AFEF | DF~F2 ~A3B | AFdB AFEF |
DBBA ~B3A | BAdB ABde | ~f3e defe | dBAF BE~E2 :|
|:defe d3A | BAFA BAFA | defe defg | afbf afeg |
fgfe dedB | AF~F2 ABde | ~f3e defe | dBAF BE~E2 :|
X: 3
T: The Virginia
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:"G"DBBA B/B/B BA|BAdB "A"AFEF|"D"DF F/F/F / A2 AB|AFBF AFEF|
"G"DBBA B/B/B BA|BAdB "A"ABde|"D"f/f/f fe defe|dBAF BE E2:|
|:"D"defe d/d/d dA|BAFA dAFA|dffe defg|afbf afeg|
"Bm"f/f/f fd "A"efdB|"D"AF F/F/F ABde|"G"f/f/f fe defe|"A"dBAF BE E2:|
X: 4
T: The Virginia
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DBBA B3c | BAdB AFEF | DFF2 A3B | AF F2 AFEF |
DBBA B3c | BAdB ABde | f3e defe | dBAF BE E2 :|
|:defe d3A | BAFA dAFA | defe defg | a2 bf afeg |
f3d efdB | AF F2 ABde | f3e defe | dBAF BE E2 :|
# Added by JACKB .
X: 5
T: The Virginia
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|DBBA ~B3d|BAdB AFEF|D~F3 ~A2F/G/A|AFBF AFEF|
|DBBA ~B3d|BAdB ABde|~f3e defe| dBAF B~E3|
|DBBA ~B3d|BAdB AFEF|D~F3 A~F3|AFBF AFEF|
|DBBA ~B3d|BAdB BABd|~f3e defe| dBAF B~E3|
|defe d3A|BAFA dAFA| defe defg| afbf afef|
|ffdf edBA|A~F3 AB de|~f3e defe| dBAF B~E3|

Twenty-one comments

Here’s the tune JMH was after. It’s an organic synthesis of various versions I’ve heard around in sessions, after being left to mature in my head for a few months.

Virginia reel

This is a great reel—-one of my favourites…..We play it right after the Holly Bush at our session in Canada——I just got back from a great 2 week trip to Northern ireland, and heard it played there as well!

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I always liked this one, it’s got a sweet sound, always reminded me of a "major" version of "joe cooley’s reel" although this tune is probably older.

Error?

I’m guessing that in bar six of the second part you would want de instead of cd. As in the first part.

Yeah. I guess it’s so obvious that nobody has mentioned it.

Origin

What is the origin of this tune? Is it named after the U.S. state?

Origin

Kheelch: Food for thought — there is a "Virginia" in County Monaghan. Whether or not the tune is associated with that "Virginia" rather than the U.S. state of "Virginia" (or neither) would be up to someone more knowledgeable than I to say.

Session-wrecker….

Just a thought - I find that this is one of those tunes which can cause a session to come to a grinding halt, because I’ve come across very few guitar players who can accompany this reel unless they know it from beforehand. The problem appears to be the fact that the most important note on the first bar is "B". I’ve seen guitar players playing "Gmaj", "Bmin" or "Emin" , usually a combination of all 3, which leads to chaos. Would any of you accompanists out there like to perform a public service, and suggest a chord progression which works for this reel, because it’s one I’ve always liked, but have practically given up playing for the afore-mentioned reasons ? Many thanks.
[ PS - "The Woman Of The House" is another, for the same reasons - there is 1 more, but I can’t think of it at the moment. ].

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Dance

Although introduced to Virginia by Roger de Coverley, the Virginia Reel dance has been compared to, and some say is based on, the mating dance of the partridge…

The Virginia Reel

The setting I post here is more rhythmically aligned with the way the tune is supposed to sound.
Somehow the "~" never seems to get interpreted in a way that makes any sense by the midi generator. :-)

Virginia reel chords

I like to use Em as the predominant chord and throw in a G major rather than the reverse - both the A and B parts end on an "E" which to me cries out for an Em following that note.

The Virginia, X:5

I learned this from a recording made by my friend and bagpipe instructor Evan Kenepp.

Re: The Virginia

Very surprised that nobody corrected the geographic error mentioned above stating that Virginia is in Monaghan when in fact it’s in Co Cavan.

Re: The Virginia

Leprecawn, I always thought there were four a’s in Caaavan. :-D

Re: The Virginia

and a y - Cyaaavan. :) Hope all well with you, Dick.

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