Traditional Irish Reel, D
TrailJams Tune of the Week for October 7, 2021
The Merry Blacksmith is a very popular tune in Irish sessions, but it is also played in old-time music jams, and for contra dance.
- Audio – Olympia Traditional Music Sessions: The Merry Blacksmith, Mountain Road from the album Round Tower. (Olympia, Washington, USA.)
- Video – John Redmond (accordion) + Matt Stapleton (guitar): Virtual Irish Music Session #50, The Merry Blacksmith / Sporting Paddy / Speed The Plough (reels)
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
Here are some examples of sets that include The Merry Blacksmith
- The Merry Blacksmith (D) / Drowsy Maggie (E Dorian) / The Wind that Shakes the Barley (D)
- The Merry Blacksmith (D) / The Wind that Shakes the Barley (D) / Rolling in the Ryegrass (D)
- The Merry Blacksmith (D) / The Mountain Road (D)
- The Merry Blacksmith (D) / Sporting Paddy (A Dorian) / Speed The Plough (D)
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- Book – Complete Irish Fiddle Player, by Peter Cooper (Mel Bay Publications. With downloadable audio.)
- Book – Irish Music 400 Traditional Tunes, by Stephen Ducke (With audio CD)
- Book – Old-Time Favorites for Fiddle and Mandolin, by Dan Levenson (Mel Bay Publications. With downloadable audio. Also see clawdan.com.)
- Video – Red Desert Fiddle: Fiddle Tune a Week: Merry Blacksmith slow (Instructional video. Also see reddesertviolin.com.)
- Video – Red Desert Fiddle: Fiddle Tune a Week: Merry Blacksmith medium (Instructional video. Also see reddesertviolin.com.)
- Video – Tom Morley: Learn an Irish Trad Fiddle Tune – The Merry Blacksmith (Instructional video. Also see irishtradfiddle.com.)
- Article – Dan Levenson: The Merry Blacksmith. From: Banjo Newsletter, the 5-String Banjo Magazine. With an audio track of John Hartford playing the tune on fiddle as “Eminence Breakdown,” and another track with Dan Levenson playing it on five-string banjo.