Behind the Haystack

Jig, D, Traditional Irish
Also known as: Munster Buttermilk

Behind the Haystack. Traditional Irish Jig. Copyright 2022 Jonathan Lay. (Image of Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon.)

This cheerful three-part jig is fun to play and hear. It is relatively easy to learn too, due to its use of repeated phrases. While it is sometimes called Munster Buttermilk, there is a distinctly different two-part jig in G that goes by that name. Playing the tune without repeating its second and third parts makes it suitable for contra dance too (as has been done by Rodney Miller and perhaps others — see the References and Resources section below).

The illustration for this tune shows Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon. Cannon Beach is about 80 miles west of Portland, Oregon.


Dots (Music Notation)

As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference.

Sheet music for Behind the Haystack. Traditional Irish Jig in D Major. Chords for Behind the Haystack. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay, July 25, 2022.
Play from the Dots
Slow tempo 70bpm
Moderate tempo 90bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

  • Blarney Pilgrim / Behind the Haystack / Connaughtman’s Rambles
  • Blarney Pilgrim / Jimmy Ward’s / Behind the Haystack

References and Resources

For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.