Swinging on a Gate

Reel, G, Traditional Irish
Also known as: Swinging on the Gate

Swinging on a Gate. Traditional Irish Reel. TrailJams Tune of the Week. Play it together October 16, 2022. trailjams.org  Illustration copyright 2022 Jonathan Lay

Swinging on a Gate is a cheerful Irish reel that is popular for sessions and dance. From its traditional Irish settings, it has found its way into the contra dance and American old-time repertoires.


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 Swinging on a Gate. Traditional Irish reel in G major. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay 10/7/2022. trailjams.org
Play from the Dots
Slow tempo 65bpm
Moderate tempo 85bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

TrailJams Devanney's Goat Reel Set: Devanney's Goat; The Galway Rambler; Swinging on a Gate. Traditional Irish Reels. Illustration copyright Jonathan Lay, 2022. trailjams.org
  • Devanney’s Goat Reel Set: Devaney’s Goat (D) / Galway Rambler (G) / Swinging on a Gate (G)
  • The Torn Jacket (D) / Swinging on a Gate (G) / The Silver Speer (D)
  • The Merry Blacksmith / Cooley’s / Swinging On A Gate
  • Swinging on a Gate / The Longford Collector

References and Resources

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