Nell Flaherty's Drake


                    Nell Flaherty's Drake

                                      Traditional Irish song
                                       Mandolin tablature by 
                                    Elizabeth T. Knuth, 1998

Key: G

Vigorously.  Hit the first and fourth beats hard.

You have a choice here.  Technically, this is a double jig.  
If you want to sing it, though, skip the repeats and make 
the tempo more like a fast waltz.

E--||----------|------------------------------|
A--||*--6:-----|-------0----2----0------------|
D--||*--8:--0--|--5-------------------5----2--|
G--||----------|------------------------------|
            |_    |____|____|    |____|____|      

            My   name  it  is  Nell, and  the


|------------------------------|--0----2----3-----------------|
|----------------------2----5--|-----------------5----2-------|
|--0----2----5----5------------|---------------------------5--|
|------------------------------|------------------------------|
   |____|____|    |____|____|     |____|____|    |____|____|  

 truth for  to    tell   ,  I   come from Clon - mell which I'll


|------------------------------|------------------------------|
|--2----0----0----0------------|-------0----2----0------------|
|---------------------------0--|--5-------------------5----2--|
|------------------------------|------------------------------|
   |____|____|    |         |_    |____|____|    |____|____|

  nev - er  de - ny.        I    had   a  fine drake and  I'd


|------------------------------|--0----2----3-----------------|
|----------------------2----5--|-----------------5----2----0--|
|--0----2----5----5------------|------------------------------|
|------------------------------|------------------------------|
   |____|____|    |____|____|     |____|____|    |____|____|

  die  for  his sake, That my   grand-moth-er   left  me, and


|-------------------------||
|--2---------------------*||
|-------5----5----5------*||
|-------------------------||
   |____|____|    |

  she  going to  die.


||------|-------0----2----3----2----3--|
||*--2--|--5---------------------------|
||*-----|------------------------------|
||------|------------------------------|
     |_    |____|____|    |____|____|

    The  dear  lit - tle fel - low, his


|--5----2---------0------------|--3----2----3----0------------|
|------------5---------5----2--|----------------------5----2--|
|------------------------------|------------------------------|
|------------------------------|------------------------------|
   |____|____|    |____|____|     |____|____|    |____|____|

 legs they were yel-low, he could fly like  a  swal - low  or


|------------------------------|------------------------------|
|--2----0----0----0------------|-------0----2----0------------|
|---------------------------0--|--5-------------------5----2--|
|------------------------------|------------------------------|
   |____|____|    |         |_    |____|____|    |____|____|

 swim  like  a   hake,    'Til   some wic - ked sav - age, to


|------------------------------|--0----2----3-----------------|
|----------------------2----5--|-----------------5----2----0--|
|--0----2----5----5------------|------------------------------|
|------------------------------|------------------------------|
   |____|____|    |____|____|     |____|____|    |____|____|

grease his white cab- bage, most wan- ton - ly  mur-dered  my


|-------------------------||
|--2---------------------*||
|-------5----5----5------*||
|-------------------------||
   |____|____|    |

 beau - ti -ful drake.

This tune comes from nineteenth-century Ireland. The author is unknown. Subsequent verses pour a torrent of curses on the "savage" who stole and killed the drake. The real lamented hero is likely the patriot Robert Emmet. He was hanged in 1803 for his role in a rebellion against the British.

You can hear a performance of "Nell Flaherty's Drake" on the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem's album Irish Songs of Rebellion, Tradition 2070.

I found this tune in standard notation as number 44 in Francis O'Neill, The Dance Music of Ireland, ed. Francis O'Neill, arr. James O'Neill (Chicago: Lyon & Healy, 1907) 24. The tune is in the public domain in the United States.

Transcription to tablature for mandolin is my own original work, as is formatting for the World Wide Web. The copyright statement below applies to my work (including comments) and not to the tune itself.


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Nell Flaherty's Drake / Rev. 11 December 1998 / © Copyright 1998, Elizabeth T. Knuth / URL: http://www.users.csbsju.edu/~eknuth/mandotab/nellflah.html