The Porthole of the Kelp

Reel, D Dorian
Attributed to Bobby Casey (1926-2000, County Clare, Ireland)

The Kelp, as Bobby Casey tells it, was the name of a ship. He and his cousin encountered the Kelp (or Kelly Kelp) aground on the beach at Spanish Point, on the coast of County Clare, Ireland. His cousin kept one of the ship’s portholes as a souvenir, and it was that keepsake that inspired Bobby to name this tune “The Porthole of the Kelp.”


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.

(See the References and Resources section below for sheet music sources.)


Examples of sets that include this tune.

  • Porthole of the Kelp / The Maids of Mitchelstown

References and Resources

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