Song Spotlight: “Humours of Bandon”

Genre: Traditional Irish Jig


  • Mood: Light 
  • Theme: Irish Music, Styles of Dance
  • Tempo: Moderate
  • Genre/Style: Traditional Irish Jig

Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or not, you can always find joy in a traditional Irish Jig such as “Humours of Bandon.” Named after a town in County Cork, Ireland, “Humours of Bandon” is a traditional tune not attributed to any one composer.

The “Humours of Bandon” can be used in the traditional Irish Ceili dance as well as in the Irish jig. Of course, dance and music go hand in hand in Irish culture, with beautiful Irish music made to accompany the beautiful movements of Irish dance.

The Ceili dance is style of performance dance usually performed in groups of two to sixteen people, combining elements of traditional Irish solo dance and French and English dances. The dancers typically perform this dance with a stiff upper body with simple footwork to allow focus on the figures and formations made by the pairs in the dance. 

Other styles of traditional dances are the Reel, Sean-nós dance, and the well known Step dance. Many people are familiar with Step dance because of the famous dance troupe “Riverdance.”

Try This:

Theme: Irish Music, Styles of Dance – “Humours of Bandon” fits well in a collection of Irish tunes or with other songs that are associated with styles of dance. Encourage the group to share/discuss Irish traditions or traditions from their heritage. Other complementary songs may include “The Kesh Jig”, “The Musical Priest” and “Morrison’s Jig.

Discuss Cultural Heritage: After sharing this song to celebrate Irish heritage, share songs that celebrate the heritage of other group members. Hint: It helps to be prepared in advance of the session, although a spontaneous jaunt through YouTube can be fun and engaging, too!

Watch a Video Clip: Watch a video clip of dancers performing the Ceili.

Play Drums: Play a single hit on the big “one” of the song, or try playing a triplet along with the jig. Start your triplet by saying the word el-e-phant then play each word part on the drum.

Movement: Try out seated dancing, tapping your toes and doing other foot movements along with this traditional Irish song.

 What other Irish songs do you enjoy? Please leave your comments below!


Leave a Comment