Reel, G, Irish, attributed to James McMahon, 1893-1977
TrailJams Tune of the Week for July 15, 2021
This tune is attributed to James McMahon [1893-1977] and is variously known as McMahon’s Reel, McMahon’s #3, and McMahon’s Favorite. James McMahon’s daughter, Rose, has published a Facebook page with information about the tune and about James. A Banshee, in Irish mythology, is a female fairy who heralds a person’s death by her shrieking or keening.
- The Banshee, played by Mikela Rayburn (TrailJams member and music instructor)
- The Banshee (Reel): Trad Irish Fiddle Lesson by Kevin Burke
- Reel Set – Banshee / Cooley ‘s / Maid behind the bar 92bpm, played by Mikela Rayburn
Dots (Musical 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.
- Banshee Reel Set: The Banshee (G) / Cooley’s (E Dor) / Maid behind the Bar (D)
- Salamanca Reel Set: The Salamanca (D) / The Banshee (G) / The Sailor’s Bonnet (D)
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- James McMahon Facebook Page, created by Rose McMahon
- James McMahon playing The Banshee (SoundCloud by Rose McMahon) tempo=104
- The Portland Collection, Volume 1, by Sue Songer with Clyde Curley
- Vashon Celtic Tunes, The Banshee
- (Mel Bay’s) Complete Irish Fiddle Player by Peter Cooper
- The Banshee, setting by Mikela Rayburn (TrailJams member and music instructor), with bowing marks.