Ballyhaunis reel

Also known as Ballyhauness.

Ballyhaunis has been added to 12 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Ballyhaunis
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
e>d|cBcd cBA^G|A^GAB c>dcB|ABAG EDE^G|A4 {c/B/}A2:|
A2|ABcd e2 dc|dcde g2 e^d|e2a2 age^g|a4 a2 e>d|
c>Bcd cBA^G|A^GAB cdcB|GBAG EDE^G|A4 {c/B/}A2||

Nine comments

Is this a weird version of the hornpipe Humours of Ballyconnell that Micheal O Raghallaigh recorded? Seems the same, only in Amin instead of dorian.

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Should’ve been Amix I suppose for the version that O Raghallaigh plays.

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Humours of Ballyconnell

Your right Tize, this tune is very similar to the Humours of Ballyconnell but they are two different tunes. Amn’t familiar with Micheal O Raghallaigh recording of the Humours of Ballyconnell


That made my day. Thanks for the smile. 🙂

Posted .

The setting as listed here also appears in the Petrie collection, in case anyone else finds such things interesting. Went looking for it on this site to see if it was already here, but didn’t find it at first because the name is spelt slightly different. Anyway, a very cool tune!

Ballyhaunis = O’Neill’s 1850 “Gordon’s Tune” = “Mary of Ballyhaunis”

On page 7 of O‘Neill’s 1850 is Gordon’s Tune. This is tune 40 in the collection and is contained in the section “Airs and Songs”. O’Neill’s index gives the alternate title, Mary of Ballyhaunis. Presumably this air once had words that told Mary of Ballyhaunis’ story. My wife, Therese Honey, has just recorded Gordon’s Tune as a march. Beautiful tune. The new CD should be released next month.


A quick Internet search shows that “The town of Ballyhaunis [in Mayo] itself grew around the original Augustinian settlement of St. Mary’s Abbey which was founded in the 14th Century (circa 1348).” So maybe the song was about THAT Mary.

Could this be the song?


The Maid Of Ballyhaunis

Author: Unknown
Theme: Love
My Mary dear! For thee I die,
O! place thy hand, in mine, love -
My fathers here were chieftains high,
Then to my plaints incline, love.
O! Plaited-hair! That now we were
In wedlock’s hand united
For maiden mine, in grief I’ll pine,
Until our vows are plighted!

Thou, Rowan-bloom, since thus I rove,
All worn and faint to greet thee,
Come to these arms, my constant love,
With love as true to meet me!
Alas! My head - it’s wits are fled,
I’ve failed in filial duty -
My sire did say, "Shun, shun, for aye,
That Ballyhaunis beauty!"

But thy Cúilin bán I marked one day,
Where the blooms of the bean-field cluster,
Thy bosom white like ocean’s spray,
Thy cheek like rowan-fruit’s lustre,
Thy tones that shame the wild birds fame
Which sing in the summer weather -
And O! I sigh that thou, love, and I
Steal! Not from this world together!

If with thy lover thou depart
To the land of Ships my fair love,
No weary pain of head or heart,
Shall haunt our slumbers there, love -
O! haste away, ere cold death’s prey,
My soul from thee withdrawn is;
And my hope’s reward, the churchyard sward,
In the town of Ballyhaunis