The Knotted Cord reel

Also known as The Bangor, Bridie Morley, Bridie Morley’s, Bridie Morley’s Favourite, Jr Crehan’s Favourite, Junior Crehan’s, Junior Crehan’s Favourite, The Knot On The Cord, The Knotted Chord.

There are 48 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

The Knotted Cord appears in 3 other tune collections.

The Knotted Cord has been added to 116 tune sets.

The Knotted Cord has been added to 476 tunebooks.

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Six settings

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Nineteen comments

Knotted Cord

This sounds very nice on the whistle; great for practicing those A reels. 🙂

This is usually notated in 2/2 or C| measure (not 4/4), but i can’t fix that.

The 🙂 is on me…

Of course i mean A rolls. Can i go home now?

Also check The Knotted Chord, one of my favourite places to get Irish albums that haven’t arrived in the US yet.

Knotted cord

Composed by the late Junior Crehan - probably his “greatest hit”, thanks to Liam O’Flynn playing it on the first Planxty album.
A great piece of whistle-playing, and a great tune - and listen to the “lift” when they go into “Corney Is Coming” !!

Junior Crehan

So it was composed by him? I didn’t know that. It certainly sounds like him. I wonder why it didn’t make it into the An Bhabog Sa Bhadog album (

Knotted Cord

This may be a no-brainer, but it’s a bit of fun for those who aren’t familiar with the term. A Knotted Cord is a synonym for Rosary Beads, I guess this is from a time when people were too poor to afford them & made a set for themselves out of some string or rope. All that aside this tune is really a good one.


Knotted Cord

I’m having second thoughts about whether or not Junior Crehan composed this. I’ve just remembered that Leitrim flute player Packie Duignan was recorded playing this and he called it “Bridie Morley’s Favourite” (I think), and that tune appears on a CD of re-mastered tracks from old 78 recordings made in the 1920s or thereabout. If it was recorded in the 1920s, I think it would pre-date Junior Crehan, unless he was very young when he wrote it. I’ll check up on this, - I think it important to give credit for a tune where it’s due - ( but what the hell? - it’s a great tune by any standards.)

Corney is Coming

Has anybody the planxty version as abc to provide to the public?

I think that album is a claccis and all tunes on it should be listed here…


Knotted Cord

Junior Crehan was born in 1908. This tune, under the title “Bridie Morley’s Favourite” was recorded by John McKenna and Eddie Meehan in 1937. Does anyone know if this is definitely a composition of Junior Crehan, or is it perhaps one of his favourite tunes which has become associated with his name?

Junior crehan’s planxty version

S: Planxxty Z: GianMarcoPietrasanta

dB|A3B AE~E2|A2(3Bcd edBA|~G3A GEDE|~G2(3BAG dGBG|
~A3B AE~E2|A2(3Bcd edBA|~G2Bd efge|1dBGA ~B2:|2dBGA BAA2|:
ea~a2 eaag|eaag aged|eg~g2 eggf|~g3a ged2|
ea~a2 eaag|eaag aged|~B3d gaba|1gedB BAA2:|2gedB ~B2|

Knotted Chord

There is a nice version on the CD (The Road less travelled) by Tuatha, NOT Danú, followed by The Earl’s Chair and The Sally Gardens

Here’s a transcription of the basic melody as played br Brian Owens for a lesson recorded by wurtzel here.

X: 1
T: Knotted Cord, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
S: Lesson tape of Brian Owens, 2001, shared by Chris (“Wurtzel”)
K: Ador
A2 AB AGEG|A2 Bd edBA|GABd gfge|1 dBGA BAAG:|2 dBGA BAA2||
ea a2 ea a2|eaab aged|eg g2 eg g2|gfga gedB|
ea a2 ea a2|eaab aged|edef g2 ge|1 dBGA BAA2:|2 dBGA BAAG||

Posted .

The Bangor Reel

The Fiddler’s Companion says the following about this tune.

“The melody is said to be the composition of the great Co. Mayo and New York fiddler John McGrath (1900-1955), who named it ”The Bangor Reel“ after a seaside resort in County Down.”

FYI-Kevin Crehan is Junior’s grandson

I have my doubts

about it being a Junior Crehan tune, just as I have my doubts about it being a John McGrath tune. I got the McGrath quote (see Phantom Button’s post) from McGrath’s nephew Vincent.

Vincent made some very plausible-sounding claims for his uncle’s prolific output but I’ve not heard or seen any real convincing proof that he composed any at all - sorry Vincent, if you’re reading. I’d be fascinated to know more and see some real evidence.

It’s said John McGrath wrote The Providence (The Rossport Reel) and Sean sa Ceo but, confusingly, states McGrath only wrote Maids of Mount Kisco. Following that link doesn’t mention McGrath as composer at all, only as a recorded source. Hmmm.

The thing that sticks out is SOMEONE wrote these tunes; Crehan was notorious for taking existing tunes and reworking or adapting them (see for example Mist on the Mountain) but he could have written this, it’s feasible. McGrath could have, we have no proof yet.

The stonecrusher’s comments here: are fascinating, if again somewhat confusing. My head hurts.


It’s all good stuff, whatever!

An instant classic, I heard it played on the tin-whistle by Pierre Imbert -of all ITMians!- when I was barely 8 or 9. He plays it as part of story telling on this seminal concept album for children(!):
Chantines N° 2 La Fête De La Forêt - Alvarès / La Boite À Musique (c. 1979)