Classic Irish fiddle tunes no.4 Irish Reel ‘The Humours of Lissadell

Irish Fiddle lessons

Classic Irish fiddle tunes – No.4



The Humours of Lissadell


A classic Irish reel and another tune in the ‘Classic Irish Fiddle Tune’ collection. The ‘Humours of Lissadell‘ is a tune that has strong connections with county Sligo and with Michael Coleman, James Morrison and Paddy Killoran.(Recorded by Morrison and Killoran on ‘From Ballymoate to Brooklyn‘).

A place or area name is a common title often giving an indication of the location of the composer and players.

This irish reel composition is a strong modal tune and as with a good Irish fiddle tune is not shy of string crossing(across 2 octaves). It is also common of an older sounding composition. Martin Byrnes from Ahascragh, Co.Galway was one of the first I heard playing this tune (in O Donghues pub, Dublin)with a wonderful setting(link below). Martin used a minuscule amount of bow and a unique hand vibrato that complimented his style wonderfully.

All tunes in the classic Irish Fiddle tune series(PDF versions) are my interpretation and by no means definitive, you should by all means search out other settings or versions. Also listen to other instruments versions and approaches to the tune.

The Humours of Lissadell Download PDF The Humours of Lissadell

There are several commercial recordings of this tune:

Kevin Burke – ‘Sweeney’s Dream’(1972)


James Morrison and Paddy Killoran

A recording by James Morrison and Paddy Killoran from ‘Ballymoate to Brooklyn’.


Seamus and Manus Maguire ‘The Humours of Lissadell’


Paddy Killoran – ‘Back in Town’

Martin Byrnes of Ahascragh, County Galway.


Joe ‘Lacky’ Gallagher – ‘The Leitrim Cake’


A wonderful recording from Vincent Griffin of County Clare.


A great fiddle recording with a wealth of diverse players.


Frankie Gavin – ‘Hibernian Rhapsody’

Frankie Gavin with De Danann.


John Vesey(Rec.’54-75) ‘The Sligo Fiddler’


Randal Bays ‘Out of the WoodsAvailable here.

A downloadable version the tune is available here The Humours of Lissadell.


Paul McNevin – ‘A Complete Guide to learning the Irish Fiddle’

A Complete Guide to the Irish Fiddle’  by Paul McNevin.

Book reviews

Lessons online(Via Skype) or ‘One-to-One’ from Paul McNevin in Dublin. Please contact [email protected]







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *