Larry Sanger Videos - Fiddle, Edu, Tech, Politics

Here's an unusual 7-part tune, that is more or less a hornpipe, but apparently the music for something called the "sand jig," danced in 19th century minstrel shows by the eponymous Kitty O'Neil. Not sure how Tommy Peoples got the title "Kitty O'Shea's." I learned this from his 1995 "Iron Man" CD.

Three unusually great slip jigs, played at slow, medium (or "dance"), and faster speed. They are:

Up and Down: slow | med | fast
Ride a Mile: slow | med | fast
The Humours of Whiskey: slow | med | fast

Well, you don't have to agree with me that they are "unusually great," and I am very highly disposed to find most slip jigs unusually great, but these are all great even for slip jigs, in my opinion. The first two are tunes I believe I learned as much from sheet music as anywhere else, and are given more or less in "my own" approach here. Probably I found "Up and Down" in O'Neill's or Ryan's Mammoth Collection, and I probably picked some features of "Ride a Mile" from the playing of Andy McGann, if I'm not mistaken. As to the third tune, this setting of the popular Donegal tune "The Humours of Whiskey" mostly comes from Francie Dearg Byrne.

Neat slip jig I stumbled upon in Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes (later reprinted in O’Neill’s 1001). Deserves a wider hearing, in my opinion.

Three reels learned from Altan’s great album, “The Red Crow.”

Reels: Yellow Tinker/Lady Montgomery/The Merry Harriers
Single jig: Con Cassidy’s / Slip jig: Dusty Miller

Learned from Altan’s “The Red Crow”

Dark Corners - The Blossom Of Ballisland - The Kings Inn

Three beautiful jigs, compositions of master fiddler James Kelly, from whom you can get lessons online. I took a lesson from him myself, in Alaska in 1997 or so, though I doubt he remembers that. Remember the beginner who was into Donegal fiddle, James? I played a hornpipe fast and you told me to slow it down. That was me.

I play the jigs here with James’ eponymous CD, which you can get directly from the man himself at

The book is also published more recently under the name Ryan's Mammoth Collection. I recorded these last year and just never got around to editing the rather long video. But here it is. These are mostly tunes I haven't heard from elsewhere so you can hear what is pretty my own style as opposed to my "takes" on the styles of other people.

The Witch of the Wave - slow 1:30 med 2:32 fast 3:54 faster 4:58
Jenny Danged the Weaver - slow 6:11 med 6:59 fast 8:10
The Jolly Seven - slow 10:39 med 12:30 fast 15:05
The Seven-Up Reel - slow 17:12 med 18:43 fast 20:44
Jenny Nettle's Fancy - slow 23:13 med 24:04 fast 25:12

Double jigs:
The Morgan Rattler - slow 27:11 med 28:27 fast 30:10
My Pretty, Fair Maid - slow 32:58 med 33:58 fast 35:10
Three-jig set:
Bottle of Brandy - slow 37:47 med 43:08 fast 48:18 (version of "The Leg of the Duck")
Little Brown Jug - slow 39:10 med 44:38 fast 49:54 (unrelated to the song)
Bully for You - slow 41:17 med 46:43 fast 51:29 (also a version of "The Leg of the Duck")
Puss in the Corner - slow 53:37 med 55:12 fast 57:51

Slip jig:
Jack on the Green - slow 59:57 med 1:01:07 fast 1:02:18

Jinrikisha - slow 1:04:37 med 1:06:21 fast 1:08:29

The first two are reels from Josephine Keegan, titled "Ronnie Cooper" and "The Gates of Mullagh." I still don't know what the names of the jigs are (anyone? Brid??).

First of two recordings of tunes learned from an old radio program of Brid Harper’s playing. She’s one of my favorite players. Hi Brid! (She’s on YouTube.)

These are:
Shamrock Hill (reel, comp. Sean Ryan)
The Old Road to Garry (reel, comp. Paddy O’Brien of Tipperary)

Tailor’s Twist (hornpipe)
Unknown hornpipe

The last Two of a bunch of reels, mostly, that James Byrne recorded for me about 20 years ago. Played with a recording of him, then taught slowly.

The long, classic O’Neill’s and Coleman jig, as colored by Donegal fiddler James Byrne. I let him play by himself (on a recording he made for me 20 years ago) and then join the second time. Then I play it slowly, and then faster by myself.

Here are a couple of more reels that I learned from a recording James Byrne kindly made for me while I was in Ireland 20 years ago. Here, I play the tunes with the recording, then stop the tape and play them both slowly and then at a faster speed.

The great Donegal fiddler James Byrne once recorded for me 20-30 minutes’ worth of tunes I hadn’t learned yet. So here’s the first two tunes from the recording, played at a relaxed pace, with me playing along a bit...then I play them more slowly for those who want to learn, and wind up by playing each faster.

More tunes from the Pauls, McGrattan and O’Shaughnessy. The first is from the latter’s mother and so might have a Donegal provenance. The second is a common tune but the lesser of two tunes called by this name. The third is a tune version of a very old song, if what I seem to have learned is correct. I learned the last from Bulmer and Sharpley’s Music of Ireland, but their source was unnamed Dubliners, and the setting is awfully similar to what the Pauls play, so...

Three reels, the last track of O’Shaughnessy and McGrattan’s “Within a Mile of Dublin.” Slow medium and fast.

A very rare, difficult clog in that switches from F to B flat, and goes into second and third positions, from Ryan’s Mammoth Collection. Played slow, medium, and fast.

A set of slip jigs, from Paul O’Shaughnessy and Paul McGrattan. I teach (play at slow and medium speed) only the first, which is also called “O’Farrell’s Welcome to Limerick.” The second and third are from Donegal sources.

Three reels learned from Paul McGrattan (flute) and Paul O’Shaughnessy (Dublin, with a Donegal style), “Within a Mile of Dublin.” Great CD.

From Ryan’s Mammoth Collection/Cole’s 1000 Tunes, a new tune type for me: a “clog,” apparently which originated from the factories of Lancashire, England. I think this is a very nice one, although there’s a difficult quick slides up to and down from third position.

This is a Donegal tune, different from a similarly named tune. I believe I learned it originally from the playing of John Doherty, as here: but many Donegal players play it. B-flat hornpipe, somewhat challenging. Sorry for occasionally straying out of tune!

An unusual and difficult hornpipe in the unusual (for Irish trad music) key of E flat, learned from Ryan’s Mammoth Collection/Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes. This was apparently by an Italian composer and a famous version called “The Banks” was popularized by Scott Skinner. The Ryan’s version seems to be the original of “Morgan’s,” as nicely played on “Leitrim’s Hidden Treasure,” but there are differences, and I follow Ryan’s rather than Enda McNamara’s playing.

Three challenging B flat hornpipes learned from “Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes” aka “Ryan’s Mammoth Collection.” I’m conceding to YouTube I guess, for now, after a long break in protest.

Tunes learned from the Fiddle Music of Donegal, Vol. 1 (publ. by Cairdeas na bhFidleiri)
From Francie Mooney:
The Quaker's Wife (single jig) - slow 1:14 med 2:42 fast 4:38
The Humours of Baile na Fead (double jig) - slow 6:57 med 8:16 fast 10:07
Dúlamán na Binne Búidhe (highland) - slow 12:25 med 13:32 fast 14:36
Róise Bheag Róise Móire’s (german) - slow 17:03 med 20:54 fast 23:55
Prionnsias Ó Maonaigh’s (german) - slow 18:52 med 22:33 fast 25:16
From Paul O'Shaughnessy:
The Frost is all Over (double jigs) - slow 27:57 med 29:15 fast 34:06
Frank Cassidy’s (double jigs) - slow 31:41 med 32:48 fast 36:01

Tunelist coming

Tunelist coming


Created 3 years ago.

207 videos

Category Education

Videos from Wikipedia ex-founder, Larry Sanger—including fiddle (recently), kids' educational videos (older, made back when my boys were small), and assorted other things (a little opinion and technology).

No guarantees about what might appear later. Possibly some cranky political stuff.