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Monaghan Twig (Amix)

Monaghan shillelagh

A Monaghan shillelagh

The name of the reel “Monaghan Twig” probably refers to a switch or something similar, and as the name “O’Manacháin” means “descendants of monks” it might be a euphemism that downplays the severity of corporal punishment.  It could also be a meiosis, and reference a Monaghan shillelagh. As for the tune, there are many versions of “Monaghan Twig,” and much confusion about how they relate to each other.  While this is also true of people, the chord progression I have below is fairly simple.  Much more complexity is possible, of course, just like with people.  This tune should NOT be confused with another reel entitled “The Old Monaghan Twig” which is also in Amix, and was often played in sessions in the 1970s, but has since gone out of favor for some reason. I’ve heard it said (mostly from Canadians) that Paddy O’Brien composed this tune based on the “Old” version.  Maybe so.  The B parts are noticeably similar in places.  Anyway, as Canadians are sometimes right, the tunes may be related.  Some people will argue the point to no end.  I won’t.  I just don’t know enough Canadians.  It is also included in Phil Rubenzer’s Midwestern Irish Session Tunes (2000).

For the ABC click Monaghan Twig

Monaghan Twig, med tempo (David Agee, fiddle)

Monaghan Twig, med tempo then med-fast tempo (flute)

Monaghan Twig, the dots

Monaghan Twig

Monaghan Twig (Amix)


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