Traditional Irish Reel, E Dorian
This tune is too danceable for a lullaby, and might just jostle Maggie awake. Be sure to look at the “Nifty Mnemonics” lyrics below for a handy way to remember the melody.
- Video – Drowsy Maggie/ Cooley’s Reel/ Untitled Reel. From the album Blackberry Blossom: Celtic Jigs & Reels (various artists).
- Audio – Tradschool: Drowsy Maggie. From the book Irish Music — 400 Traditional Tunes by Stephen Ducke
- Video – Online Academy of Irish Music: Sally Gardens | Drowsie Maggie | The Tulla Reel – played on fiddle and tenor banjo with guitar backup. Moderate tempo of 85bpm, played with a lot of swing. Played by Cillian Ó’Dálaigh, Sean Ó’Dálaigh and Denis McAuliffe.
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.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- The Merry Blacksmith (D) / Drowsy Maggie (E Dorian) / The Wind that Shakes the Barley (D)
- Drowsy Maggie (E Dorian) / Cooley’s Reel (E Dorian)
- Sally Gardens / Drowsy Maggie / Humours of Tulla (The Tulla Reel )
Nifty Mnemonics –
Lyrics for Remembering the Tune
Here are some lyrics to help you remember how the tune goes. (They are not traditional.)
Drowsy Maggie -- memory aid lyrics by Jonathan Lay A Part (2x): Hey, are you drowsy Maggie? Hey, are you drowsy Maggie? Hey, are you drowsy Maggie? Are you really sleeping Maggie? B Part (1x): Yes, I'm asleep, you can tell because my eyes are open Yes, I'm asleep, you can tell because I'm reaching for you Yes, I'm asleep, you can tell because I'm kissing on you Now let's blow that candle out and snuggle down until the morning (Copyright Jonathan Lay 2021)
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- Article: Dorian, Mixolydian, Oh My: Modes in a Nutshell, by Jonathan Lay, TrailJams
- Video – The Fiddle Channel: Drowsy Maggie (Irish fiddle lesson)
- Book – Irish Music 400 Traditional Tunes, by Stephen Ducke (With audio download)