O’Rourke’s reel

Also known as O’Keefe’s, Rogue’s, The Westport Chorus, The Wild Irishman.

There are 80 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

O’Rourke’s appears in 3 other tune collections.

O’Rourke’s has been added to 51 tune sets.

O’Rourke’s has been added to 433 tunebooks.

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Twenty-one comments

This is a fast paced tune with a Donegal/Scottish feel to it.

I find that triplets are the most effective way of adding “lift” to this tune.

So, so far I’ve found two different tunes called Within A Mile of Dublin. They bear no real resemblance to each other,and we can find recordings of both tunes bearing the same name. (Na Connery’s and the Chieftans call this one Within a Mile of Dublin, the latter recording it on “Water From the Well”, Paddy Keenan calls it O‘Rourke’s. However, the Chieftans play BOTH the reels together and call them both O’Rourke’s on their second album.)

We asked a recent immigrant from Dublin/Galway about the tunes, and he said he plays both of them, and that they’re both called Within A Mile of Dublin. I’m going to ask Kevin Glackin about it when he gets here in a couple of days, but does anyone have any other clues?


Actually the Chieftains call this tune O’Keefe’s on their Irish Evening cd. Also, on Water from the Well, they play Within A Mile of Dublin the correct way. There is only one.

You do like absolutes, don’t you SPeak? *grin* According to Eoin O’Riabhaigh (I asked him shortly after that post), they’re both called Within a Mile of Dublin, and he said it’s not all that important what they’re called anyway, so long as you can play the damn thing. Which is probably why the Chieftains let the name wander about as well.


This tune is linked from Larry Nugent’s Two for Two, but it’s not the Within a Mile of Dublin on the recording.


I learned this from a Boys of the Lough LP. tThey called it “The Wild Irishman” just to confuse matters. And it would confuse matters to add this name to the details, I think.

Dawn In The Hills Of Ireland

How can I purchase the CD featuring Marty O’Keefe reciting DAWN IN THE HILLS OF IRELAND?

Patricia Lodes

Confusion between Wild Irishman and O’Rourke’s

It seems that the confusion is maintained by many. Paddy Glackin on In Full Spate (Rabharta Ceoil) (1991) calls it The Wild Irishman, and so does James Kelly on Traditional Irish Music (1996).
I believe possible the confusion originates from the Music From The Coleman Country recording where the two reels form a medley - played by Fred Finn, Peter Horan and many others - but the sleeve only mentionned The Wild Irishman.

There shouldn’t be any confusion as the one here is positively O’Rourkes (this is notated in David Lyth’s Book 1) while the Wild Irishman is the one that follows it (F3E DFAF …)

I found the Wild Irishman with some difficulty (in fact I thought it wasn’t here and was going to post it) titled the Cat on the Roof. The tune which is at https://thesession.org/tunes/844 is also known as the Irish Girl or occasionally as the Daisy Field (none of your Gan Ainms here - 3 for the price of one!).

Paddy Keenan´s version (aprox.)

X: 45
T:O’Rourke’s Reel
H: See also “Westport Chorus”, #331
|:ed|cAAe fded| cAeA dfed| cAAe fd (3Bcd| fage d2:|
g2fg ~e3f|gfed eaaf|gefd ed (3Bcd|fage d2ef|
g2fg ~e3f|gfed ea~a2|bgaf gfed|eaag aged||

They misprinted the label

A knowledgeable person told me that Michael Coleman recorded “The Wild Irishman” and “O’Rourkes” but the printers got the names mixed up. Hence the ambiguity.

Slide’s Version (The Flying Pig Album)

The tune title on Slide’s album seems to be a clever work around to avoid discussions about right or wrong: they call it “O‘Rourke’s Wild Irishman”. I transcribed the tune a long time ago but had a wrong title written down. I never realized that it was a version of O’Rourke’s as the feeling of Slide’s version is very different from the O’Rouke’s versions I know. Well, yesterday a friend told me what the rest of the world already knew… I like Slide’s version a lot: slow, laid back and with a different cool flow with the long c sharp in the beginning and the long d on the end:

X: 1
T: O’Rourke’s
T: O’Rourke’s Wild Irishman
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
S: Slide - The Flying Pig
c3e fce2| eAce dfed| ceAe fdd2| fage dfed|
c3e fce2| eAce dfed| ceae fdd2| fage dfea||
g2fd eBef|gfed eaa2|gefd edBd|f/g/a ge defa|
g2fd eBef|gfed eaa2|bfaf gfed|eaae d3e||

As I’m not so familiar with the too s of this website maybe someone can update title #10 here: https://thesession.org/recordings/413?

Re: O’Rourke’s

Just spent an hour or so researching this re the earlier comments re ‘O’Rourke’s‘ and ’The Wild Irishman‘. The recording I’ve got of the Michael Coleman 78s (not the actual 78s, but an old vinyl record) gives the titles as ’O‘Rourke’s/The Wild Irishman’ - The first reel played is as printed above; but the second reel is actually also called ‘O’Rourke’s‘ aka ’The Daisy Field‘. So the second title is wrong, but they’re not the wrong way round. The Boys of the Lough and Paddy Glackin do indeed both refer to the first O’Rourke’s as ‘The Wild Irishman’. Maybe it was The Boys of the Lough who got the titles the wrong way round. I’ve no idea how Paddy Glackin came to his conclusion that “this reel is commonly, though incorrectly, referred to as ”O‘Rourke’s", especially as he’s just referenced the Coleman recording, but I certainly wouldn’t want to pick a fight with him over it. However it wasn’t Paddy Glackin who wrote the sleeve notes but Dermot McLaughlin. (I wouldn’t want to pick a fight with him over it either, as his knowledge of Irish traditional music is far greater than mine.) As for the Coleman Country Traditional Society, they simply copy Michael Coleman’s original titles on the 78, and, like him, they play ’O‘Rourke’s’ followed by ‘O’Rourke’s’ (The Daisy Field). I hope that this all helps, rather than adding to the confusion!

Re: O’Rourke’s

From f. pellerin - 15 years ago , above : “I believe possible the confusion originates from the Music From The Coleman Country recording where the two reels form a medley - played by Fred Finn, Peter Horan and many others - but the sleeve only mentionned The Wild Irishman”.
This is simply wrong. I’m sitting looking at an original copy of the LP record sleeve right now, and the first track is listed as “O’Rourke’s / The Wild Irishman”.
The second of the two reels played which they call “The Wild Irishman” is in “O’Neill’s 1001” as “The Daisy Field” [ #538 ].

Re: O’Rourke’s

Yes, see my comment above, Kenny…