Murphy Roche Irish Music Club and School of Irish Music

11309 72nd Street, Burr Ridge, Ill 60527, USA | +1 630 212-7679 |

Murphy Roche is a branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE), the international association of Irish musicians.

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Our lists of tunes, while not written in stone or totally comprehensive, will give you an idea of the tunes you might find us playing at our session, a festival or a Ceili. Attending a new session for the first time, particularly if it is your first session, can be a daunting and intimidating experience. For many new and seasoned musicians, there is always the concern "will I know the tunes they play". Different sessions have their own list of favorites they like to play. But there is a body of tunes that does seem to be common to most all sessions and, if not played regularly at a particular session, will more than likely, be known by all the musicians there.

The members of Murphy Roche want your visit to our session to be a fun and painless experience for you. You are truly welcome regardless of your level of playing experience. We want you to be a regular at out session and encourage you to join our club. We need your support and in return we offer you a friendly and supportive environment where you can improve your playing and familiarity with Irish Traditional Music. If you are nervous about starting a tune just tell the other musicians ahead of time what you plan on playing and they will be glad to help.


By learning tunes in sets you can play with us from the start of the set to the end. Or if asked to start something you have a set that you can start. A set is just a group of usually three tunes of the same type (i.e. three jigs or three reels etc.). They are each played three times before moving on to the next one with no breaks between the change. Usually musicians wait for the person who started a set to start the second and third tune.

We have arranged the tunes we play into the common sets you might find them played in. Some of these sets are by convention from our session, some seem to be the convention worldwide, and others are as organized in the Comhaltas books Foinn Seisiún. Many sets are taken straight from recording of famous musicians and groups. Most Irish music books just list tunes in sections by type of tune and give no indication of which tunes are usually played together in a set. There is no hard and fast rule to say what tunes should be played together. In fact, combing tunes in different sets according to your own preference is not only encouraged but can sound absolutely brilliant.

But for those with a humble repertoire of Irish tunes, it can be frustrating to be only able to play one of the tunes in a set and have to sit out the other ones. To make the session that much more enjoyable while you build your repertoire, it is nice to be able to play three tunes back to back that everyone knows so that they all join in and you are not left doing a solo when you prefer to blend into the session.



Silver Spear
Sally Gardens
Merry Blacksmith

Longford Collector
Sailor’s Bonnet

My Love is in America
Old Copperplate

George White’s
Bird in the Bush
Tinker’s Daughter

Wise Maid
Father Kelly’s

Miss McCloud’s
Merry Blacksmith
Sally Gardens

Humouts of Tulla

Miss Monaghan's

Bucks of Oranmore

Musical Priest
Morning Dew

St. Anne’s
Ships are Sailing
Mountain Road