Tune Notes - Spring 2018

The Meelick Team/Snug in the Blanket/The Miller's Maggot (jig)
The Meelick Team
Composed by fiddler and accordionist Eddie Kelly (b. 1933) in honor of the hurling team that lost to Tipperary in the 1887 all-Ireland finals and was revived in the 1960s. Meelick is a small town (population 278 in 2011) on the River Shannon in East Galway. This version in Em comes from fiddler Éilís Crean, the only one of Eddie Kelly's three fiddle students to still play and teach his music exactly as learned in his original lessons. We have transposed it from the original D minor key to E minor, where it is more commonly played. Éilís has shared the East Galway Irish Music Tradition in the albums Searbh Siúcra and The Lonesome Fiddler, as well as the tutorial web site www.theirishgift.com.
Snug in the Blanket
A piping tune, appearing in the early 19th century collection O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes under the name "Calloch a Theusa" (Cailleach a Shúsa or The Old Woman in the Settle-Bed).
The Miller's Maggot
Published by O'Farrell in National Irish Music for the Union Pipes (1804), "maggot" referred to a fancy or whim.
Some Say the Devil Is Dead (fling)
This tune is mentioned in Henry Robson's list of Northumbrian tunes, The Northern Minstrel's Budget (c. 1800), as "Some Say the Diel's Dead and Buried in Kirka'dy". It's sung in Irish circles as "Some say the devil is dead and buried in Killarney ... others say he rose again and joined the British army!" Michael J. Kennedy, the Galway melodeon player who lived in the Cincinnati area most of his life, sang it as "Johnny will you marry me and keep me out of danger ... no I won't marry you, you dirty ugly creature!"
The Killarney Boys of Pleasure/The Maids of Mitchelstown/Up to Your Knees in Sand (reel)
The Killarney Boys of Pleasure

A reel associated with Tommy Peoples and also called "Ril a' Sean Nós" ("The Old Style Reel") in Donegal.

The Maids of Mitchelstown

This tune appears in O'Neill's Dance Music of Ireland (1001 Gems) (1907) and was popularized by the Bothy Band, who recorded a slow, elaborate setting in 1977; Mitchelstown is in County Cork near the boundaries of Limerick and Tipperary.

Up to Your Knees in Sand

The tune was popularized by Mary Bergin on her classic tin whistle album Feadoga Stain (1979). John Skelton has suggested the title may refer to Irish construction workers in London.

For additions or corrections to the website, please send email to