The Flogging Reel
The Flogging Reel has a great driving rhythm and is a very popular session tune.
Generally agreed to have originated from the Scottish piping tune, The Flagon (also called The Alonby Lasses), the first written record of it is in a manuscript compiled by William Vickers in 1770.
There is some argument that the original version was a Scottish piper’s tune composed by Neil Gow but was modified to suit Irish musicians and the title was changed from the cheerful ‘flagon’, which is a large vessel with a handle and spout for holding wine or liquor, to the more painful ‘flogging’ perhaps reflecting the general zeitgeist of each country but we’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
The Flogging Reel was first recorded by accordion virtuoso, John J. Kimmel in 1916. There have been a number of versions and variations since, with some gentle disagreement as to whether to play the Fs in the third part as as F naturals or keep them as F sharps.
You’ll note that Caitlín uses the F natural when she plays!
Throw in the F natural to impress your fellow musicians. I’d recommend taking a moment to confer before starting this at a session so you don’t end up clashing with your fellow session goers.
I’ve included the sheet music natation and ABC notation for the F natural version below. The alternative is almost identical – just change those F natural to sharps!
The Flogging Reel Sheet Music Notation
BG ~G2 BGdG | BG ~G2 Bdgd | BG ~G2 BGdG | AGFG ABcA |
| BG ~G2 BGdG | BG ~G2 Bdgd | BG ~G2 BGdG |AGFG ABcd ||
g2 gd BGBd | g2 ge fgaf |gfgd BGBd | AGFG ABcd |
|g2 gd BGBd | g2 ge fgaf | bgaf gedB | AGFG ABcA ||
Bdgd Bdgd| Bdgd BGGB | Ac=fc Acfc | Ac=fc A=FFA |
|Bdgd Bdgd| Bdef g2 ga |bgaf gedB | AGFG ABcA ||
Sheet music & ABC thanks to thesession.org
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