Donnybrook Fair (Joy of My Life)

Jig, G, Traditional Irish
Also known as: Humours of Donnybrook

Donnybrook Fair, Joy of My Life, traditional Irish Jig. TrailJams Tune of the Week. Play it together October 8, 2023. (Illustration of cow and blue ribbon). Illustration copyright 2023 Jonathan Lay.

More famous for brawls than blue ribbons, the Donnybrook Fair was an annual market fair held in the Donnybrook district of the city of Dublin, Ireland. From its start in the year 1205 until the final fair in 1855, the fair was a major social event that spanned over six hundred years. Now the term “donnybrook” is used to mean a rough-and-tumble ruckus. As a traditional Irish jig, the tune Donnybrook Fair, or Joy of My Life, is bright and cheerful, reflecting the happier aspects of the fair.

From the song “The Humours of Donnybrook Fair”


Sheet Music

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 with chords for Donnybrook Fair (The Joy of My Life), traditional Irish jig in G major. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay.
Play from the Dots
Slow tempo 70bpm
Moderate tempo 90bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

References and Resources

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