The Glen of Aherlow (Lafferty’s Reel)

Reel, E Dorian, by Sean Ryan
Also known as: The Woman I Never Forgot

Lafferty's Reel; The Glen of Aherlow. TrailJams Tune of the Week. Play it together October 29, 2023. Illustration copyright 2023 Jonathan Lay. Photograph source: Tipperary Studies Digital Archive.

The Glen of Aherlow, or Lafferty’s Reel, is an Irish reel that has been recorded many times and is often played in Irish sessions. The tune was composed by Irish fiddler Sean Ryan (1919–1985), who named it The Glen of Aherlow.

The Glen of Aherlow is a valley located in County Tipperary, Ireland, between Slievenamuck and the Galtee Mountains. The photograph above (from the Historic Postcard collection at Tipperary Studies Digital Archive) shows The Glen of Aherlow and the Galtee Mountains.


Sheet Music

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 with chords for The Glen of Aherlow (Lafferty's Reel), traditional Irish reel in E Dorian. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay.
Play from the Dots
Very slow tempo 45bpm
Slow tempo 65bpm
Moderate tempo 85bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

Glen of Aherlow, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository,_Co._Tipperary,_Ireland.jpg
Glen of Aherlow, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. (From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.)

References and Resources

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