Ships are Sailing

Reel, E Dorian, Traditional Irish

Ships are Sailing. Traditional Irish Reel. TrailJams Tune of the Week. Play it together June 25, 2023. Illustration copyright 2023 Jonathan Lay.

This is a strong Irish reel that has journeyed across oceans and become one of the most popular of Irish session tunes.


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.

Ships are Sailing, traditional Irish reel in E Dorian. Sheet music and chords. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay.
Play from the Dots
Very slow tempo 45bpm
Slow tempo 65bpm
Moderate tempo 85bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

References and Resources

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