Compositions by Mick Mulcahy ‑ second time lucky

Mick Mulcahy / [unidentified photographer]
Mick Mulcahy / [unidentified photographer]
Mick Mulcahy / [unidentified photographer]

Mick Mulcahy / [unidentified photographer]

© The Mulcahy Family

The ferry to Clare [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

The inspiration for this jig came to me while I was on the ferry to Clare from Tarbert.  We were going over to Miltown Malbay for the Willie Clancy week and I went up on the top deck.  It was a very nice calm day and I was looking across to Killimer and started to whistle a few notes.  I recorded them on my phone and composed the jig later.

Learn the tune:

The ferry to Clare [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive Score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The old windmill [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel

The old windmill [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

I was walking by Tralee Bay during the summer and came by Blennerville Windmill.  It was built in 1880.  The mill was used for milling grain, both for the local people and for export to Great Britain.  It is now open to visitors and it was here I got the inspiration to compose this reel.

Learn the tune:

The old windmill [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The banks of the Feale [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig

The banks of the Feale [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

I was standing on the Kerry Bridge, here in Abbeyfeale, where the river Feale flows under the bridge. It flowed gently along and as I was watching a few notes came to mind and I hurried home to get the accordion to finish the composition.
Mick Mulcahy

Learn the tune:

The banks of the Feale [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The bog road [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel

The bog road [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

When the family first went to the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, we used to stay in a house in the Bog Road, so I thought I must compose a reel in rememberance of the great times we had there, playing in the concerts and playing for the Clare sets, and also the great sessions in Friel's pub.

Learn the tune:

The bog road [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The humours of Avondale [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig

The humours of Avondale [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

I play a lot of music in the hallway in our home here in Abbeyfeale and it is here I composed this jig.
Mick Mulcahy

Learn the tune:

The humours of Avondale [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig [olayed slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The floating barge [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel

The floating barge [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

One day I was walking along the canal in Tralee and I saw a very long barge anchored in the water and I stepped onto it.  I whistled a few notes and when I got home I composed this reel.

Learn the tune:

The floating barge [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The lockdown jig [comp. Mick Mulcahy]

The lockdown jig [comp. Mick Mulcahy] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

I composed this jig during the lockdown.

Learn the tune:

The lockdown jig [comp. Mick Mulcahy] [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The humours of Clarina [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel

The humours of Clarina [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

This reel I composed after the lockdown in July 2020.  The family had a musical reunion in Clarina, Co. Limerick.

Learn the tune:

The humours of Clarina [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The view from Barna Gap [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig

The view from Barna Gap [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Barna is about 6 miles north of Abbeyfeale.  There is a nice parking place there where you can see Limerick, Clare and Tipperary.  It was here I got the inspiration for this jig.

Learn the tune:

The view from Barna Gap [comp. Mick Mulcahy], jig [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription (PDF)


The road to Foynes [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel

The road to Foynes [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Learn the tune:

The road to Foynes [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly
Tune Transcription(PDF)


Celia's favourite [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel

Celia's favourite [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

This reel I composed for my wife, Celia. She gave me great support and encouragement in my musical career down the years.
Mick Mulcahy

Learn the tune:

Celia's favourite [comp. Mick Mulcahy], reel [played slowly] / Mick Mulcahy, accordion ; Louise Mulcahy, flute ; Michelle Mulcahy, concertina

Interactive score, with The Mulcahy family playing the tune slowly 
Tune Transcription (PDF)


About Mick Mulcahy


Mick, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy


Mick Mulcahy, from Brosna, Co. Kerry, is a living legend in Irish accordion and melodeon playing, with a rare repertoire of old tunes, which he plays in a highly distinctive style. Mick learned to play the accordion from his uncle as a child. One of Mick’s earliest musical memories was listening to Ciarán MacMathúna’s Radio Éireann programme ‘A Job of Journeywork’ which featured Mrs. Crotty, Pádraig O’ Keeffe, Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford. Mick’s father bought him his first accordion in 1956 and in 1968 Mick was chosen to represent Kerry in RTÉ’s All Ireland ‘Spot the Talent’ Competition, which he won. Mick was asked to join the Brosna Ceilí Band in the mid 60’s by fiddle player Donal O’Connor. The Brosna went on to win the Senior Ceilí Band title at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in 1972 in Listowel.

Mick himself is a renowned solo artist having recorded two stalwart albums on the Gael Linn label. His first solo album, self-titled ‘Mick Mulcahy’ is considered a classic album of accordion music. His later album in 1990 titled, Mick Mulcahy agus cairde’ featured Mick O’Connor on banjo, Joe Rynne on fiddle and Mel Mercier on bodhrán.  Mick has also recorded with Professor Mick Moloney on the families first album titled 'The Mulcahy Family'.

Mick’s distinctive style of accordion playing is rooted in the musical regions of Kerry, Clare, East Galway and Sligo, a style of music and touch, which has been passed down to his two daughters Michelle and Louise. Mick, Louise and Michelle have recorded four albums, which have received worldwide acclaim, one with American record label Shanachie, and 3 with Irish record label Cló-Iar Chonnacht. Their latest album ‘The Reel Note’ was awarded Tradconnects ‘Traditional Album of the Year’ in 2017. Mick also received the Bardic award from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2017. 

Mick is considered one of the great exponents of the D/D# system of accordion playing who was very much influenced by the East Galway accordion player, Joe Cooley. As Martin Hayes writes:

I first became familiar with the music of Mick Mulcahy from his first solo recording... I remember that both my father and I felt that his music had such a great depth of feeling.

Mick’s albums have made regular appearances in the top ten traditional albums charts in the United States, Ireland and the U.K. As a family they have toured extensively throughout Europe, America, Asia, New Zealand and Australia, performing and teaching at festivals worldwide. Mick has also featured on many television and radio programmes both in Ireland and around the world. The family have performed on many TG4 progammes and RTÉ programmes over the years. Mick performed on the well known TV programme titled ‘The Pure Drop’ for RTÉ on many occasions. Mick has made an invaluable contribution to Irish Traditional Music and is considered one of the great musical stalwarts in the tradition.


Presented by Treasa Harkin, July 2021, with thanks to Mick, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy.