This tune, “Arthur Darley’s Jig,” is also commonly known as “The Swedish Jig” and less well-known as “The Bruckless Shore.” On the Arty McGlynn CD McGlynn’s Fancy (1994) the liner notes read “Arthur Darley arrived in Co. Donegal from Dublin to play the organ in a church somewhere around, it is believed, Bruckless.” Arthur W. Darley (1873–1929) was a classically trained musician, and became the Church of Ireland organist in Bruckless. Having retained a respect for traditional music, he traveled around co. Donegal listening to traditional music, especially the fiddle music of John Doherty and Donny O’Donnell. Together with his friend Patrick J. McCall they collected many tunes from Donegal around the turn of the last century, and the collection was later published as The Darley & McCall Collection of Irish Music (Ossian Publications Limited, 1914). They also composed tunes and songs, including “The Boys of Wexford” and “Boolavogue.” This jig was one of the tunes composed by Arthur Darley and he called it “The Bruckless Shore.” He passed it on to John Doherty, and as Caoimhi Mac Aoidh explains, John Doherty then passed it on to Danny Meehan who was visiting from London. However, when Meehan returned to London he couldn’t remember the tune’s name, and some at the session thought it sounded like a Scandinavian tune, and so would request that Meehan play “that Swedish jig.” That name spread with the tune as it traveled from London (Between the Jigs and Reels, Caoimhin Mac Aoidh, 1994), but was boosted by the Le Cheile album Lord Mayo (1978) with Danny Meehan on fiddle, and played in the set “The Runrig Jig > The Swedish Jig” on the Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham CD The Pearl (1994). So, though you might hear someone call it “Arthur Darley’s Swedish Jig,” you now know why that’s just a jumble.
Notes: the tune has an extra beat in the second measure of the A part (so that one measure is in 9/8). The tune is sometimes played with an F natural in the first bar of the C part. Further, you may find places on the web where the tune is posted in different keys, but uses the same notes. This is just a confusion due to the common failure to understand modes.
For the ABC click Arthur Darley’s Jig
Arthur Darley’s Jig, slow tempo (David Agee, fiddle)
Arthur Darley’s Jig, med tempo (David Agee, fiddle)
Arthur Darley’s Jig, the dots