1st August reel

By Donough Hennessy

Also known as Donogh And Mike’s, Donogh And Mike’s 1st August, Donogh And Mike’s First August, Donough And Mike’s, First August.

There is 1 recording of this tune.

1st August appears in 1 other tune collection.

1st August has been added to 11 tune sets.

1st August has been added to 195 tunebooks.

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Thirteen comments

1st August

Several things.

1. I love this tune

2. I have no vertical line on my Spanish keyboard so the abc notation was supplimented with dashes (-) for bar demarcation.

3. I

5. Composed by Donogh Hennessy of Lunasa.

Posted .

Donogh and Mike’s First August

I too love this tune.

It’s really fun on fiddle (haven’t tried it yet on flute, but that’s coming), and holds up well even if you play it without the new age guitar and bass backup the boys use (and which I happen to like)on the Merry Sisters of Fate cd.

Here’s my take on what Sean Smyth is playing on fiddle on the cd. As for key, I’d call it E dorian, but since there’s not a single C note in the whole thing, E minor would also work.

T:Donogh and Mike’s 1st August
C:Donogh Hennessy
K:E dorian

|:fgag fedB|e3 d BAGD| E~G3 A2 GA|~B3 d BAGD|
|E~G3 A~G3|(3Bde dB AGEG|DEGB A^GAB|
|1 G2 GF G2 (3Abd:|2 G2 GF GBFG||

In the 4th measure of the A part, Sean plays it one note different the second time around: |(3Bde dB AGED|

Posted .

Another name for Mike’s

There is another name for Mike’s reel. It’s Windbroke.
It’s not the same name on the CD in France and in England.
Why ?? I don’t know.
You can find it here


As a swiss piper I wonder whether Donogh has named this nice rule after the swiss national holyday which is known for lots of fireworks, boring speeches and lots of pints ….



Since it starts on a d, and finishes on a G, i think this tune would be in D wouldn’t it.
I think it’s D dorian.
If someone could explain why it’s not, that would be good.

Kjay, what determines a tune’s key and mode isn’t the note it starts or ends on, but two other things: (1) what note it wants to resolve to--what note most people would hold as the main tone to end on. In this case that would be E (to my ear, at any rate), and (2) what notes are sharped or flatted.

A tune that resolves to E, with D naturals (if it had D sharps it might be E major), and two sharps (F sharp and C sharp) would be E Dorian. If it has only one sharp (F sharp), it would be E minor. As I mentioned in a post above, this tune has no C notes, so we can’t really tell whether it’s Edor or Em, but that’s not a big deal--backers can think “Em” chords and do just fine.

The distinction between what note a tune ends on (on paper), and what note it wants to resolve to is an important difference. Lots of Irish tunes have “automatic returns”--a phrase at the end of a half that feeds the melody back to the beginning or smoothly on to the next half. Usually, the last note of such a phrase is NOT the note that you would hold extra long if you were ending the tune all together. Similarly, the first note of this tune is a “pick-up” note--the D gives a sense of movement going into the real first note of the tune, that long E.

For an easy explanation of how to figure out keys and modes, go to: http://www.slowplayers.org/SCTLS/modes.htm. Hope this helps.

Posted .

Thanks Will, definitely cleared things up for me.


Has anyone else noticed that the chords to this tune are exactly the same as the ones for Oasis’s “Wonderwall”?
It’s just that whenever I hear it on the Lunasa album, I want to start singing, “Today is gonna be the day….”


ya know, we were at a gig, finishing up this reel, and our guitarist did actually launch into Wonderwall. I almost threw my fiddle at him, but the crowd liked it, so…

Guitar Chords

Speaking of chords… would anyone happen to know what the chords ARE, exactly? 🙂 I’m positively useless with a guitar, so I was pretty stumped…


And (one more thing, sorry) isn’t that F natural in the refrain supposed to be an E? It doesn’t sound quite right when I play it… 😏