Jig, G, Traditional Irish
Also known as The Coach Trip to Sligo
The Blackthorn Stick is a tune that comes up often in traditional Irish sets and sessions. Blackthorn wood is used to make walking sticks, including the Irish shillelagh. The fruits of the blackthorn (tree or bush) are called sloe, and are used to make sloe gin. Watch out — between shillelaghs and sloe gin, this tune might pack a wallop!
- Video – Phoenix Folk: Blackthorn Stick/Rakes of Kildare (fiddle and guitar, sheet music and DADGAD chords available) Marina Dodgson, fiddle; Maurice Condie, guitar.
- Video – Comhaltas: The Blackthorn Stick, from the album Foinn Seisiún 3
- Video – Shane Farrell (Traditional Irish Music): The Blackthorn Stick Jig – played on tenor banjo
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.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Rambling Rogue Jig Set: The Rambling Pitchfork (D) / The Black Rogue (D) / The Blackthorn Stick (G)
- The Blackthorn Stick / The Rakes of Kildare
- Kinnegad Slashers / Blackthorn Stick / Scotsman Over the Border
- My Darling Asleep / Blackthorn Stick / Smash the Windows
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- More Recordings
- Video – Peakfiddler: Irish Jigs – My Darling Asleep, Blackthorn Stick, Smash the Windows
- Video – Michaela Cunningham: Jig played on concertina – The Blackthorn Stick
- Video – Pat Barton Accordion: The Blackthorn Stick – Irish traditional jig on button accordion – played on b/c diatonic button accordion.
- Video – Tradschool: The Blackthorn Stick Jig – Learn the Irish Whistle – played on tin whistle
- Book – Stephen Ducke: Irish Music 400 Traditional Tunes
- Book – Gary Coover: 75 Irish Session Tunes for Anglo Concertina (Rollston Press). One of a series of Anglo concertina tune books by this author. Available as a printed book a e-book.
- Lesson – Tom Morley: Learn an Irish Trad Fiddle Tune -The Blackthorn Stick (Video lesson.)
- Lesson – James Finnegan (The Banjo Buddy): The Blackthorn Stick (With ABCs) – Traditional Irish Music Tutorial – tenor banjo lesson, video with ABC notation
- Lesson – Online Academy of Irish Music — Lessons on playing the tune on tenor banjo and flute. (By subscription. The site refers to the tune both as The Blackthorn Stick and The Coach Trip to Sligo. Besides the lessons, it provides a backing tracks with melody on fiddle and rhythm on guitar to play along with.)
- Audio & sheet music – Phoenix Folk Resources: Irish session tunes: Blackthorn Stick & Rakes of Kildare (play along track with DADGAD guitar chords and sheet music)
- Additional Resources
- Web page – The Session: The Blackthorn Stick Jig – crowdsourced sheet music, comments, and more.
- Article – Wikipedia: Prunus spinosa – information about the blackthorn bush (or tree)