Swallowtail Jig

Jig, E Dorian, Traditional Irish
Also know as: The Dancing Master

Swallowtail Jig. Traditional Irish Jig. TrailJams Tune of the Week. Play it together March 5, 2023. Illustration copyright 2023 Jonathan Lay. trailjams.org

Perhaps it’s the swooping flight of a swallowtail butterfly that gives this tune its name. Swallowtail butterflies are so named because the forked shape of the back edge of their wings resembles a swallow’s tail. Swallowtail Jig is a beautiful tune that is at the deep core of traditional Irish session and dance tunes.


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 and chords for Swallowtail Jig, traditional Irish jig in E Dorian. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay. trailjams.org
Play from the Dots
Very slow tempo 50bpm
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.