Tralee Gaol

This is Tralee Gaol, an Irish polka that I know from playing for ceilidhs.  It goes by many names and seems to be pretty widespread in Ireland and also across various parts of the world!

Here’s the video:


And the dots are here, with a PDF also available:

Tralee Gaol.png


Author: debfiddle

Deborah is a violinist and violist specialising in English folk music. She trained in viola and Baroque viola at Birmingham Conservatoire, before returning to her first love of traditional music, song and dance. Deborah has developed a passion for playing for dancing since joining her first ceilidh band at age 13. She is a member of Stepling, a band performing English music, step-dance, song and percussion, and also plays with Folk Dance Remixed, a dance company combining traditional dance with hip hop and street dance styles, with whom she has performed as such events as Car Fest, the Southbank's Festival of Love and Glasgow's Commonwealth Games Festival. Deborah records on a regular basis for a number of people, including The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra, and for Laurel Swift's 'Travelling with Thomas' musical. She teaches music, song and dance regularly for The English Folk Dance and Song Society, as well as on a freelance basis for various workshop series, festivals and music services. Deborah recently completed The Teaching Musician MA degree course at Trinity Laban, graduating with Distinction.

4 thoughts on “Tralee Gaol”

    1. Hi Simon, hard to pin down a date for this one as there are tunes from the mid 1700’s that have identical A sections (Wat Ye How the Play Begins and related tunes) and then there’s Barrack Hill from the early 1900’s which is essentially the same tune but in jig time. Not sure at what point these solidified into Tralee Gaol as it doesn’t appear to have been published in any tune collections until the 1900’s but I think it’s a great example of how tunes evolve and change over time – I’d say it’s probably a relatively young tune, maybe 100 years old or so, but with much older roots.


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