The Blackthorn Stick

Jig, G, Traditional Irish
Also known as The Coach Trip to Sligo

The Blackthorn Stick. Traditional Irish Jig. TrailJams Tune of the Week. Play it together April 16, 2023. Illustration copyright 2022, 2023 Jonathan Lay.

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!


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 The Blackthorn Stick, Jig, Traditional Irish, Key of G, arranged by Jonathan Lay.
Play from the Dots
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.