The Best ITM Tune-Learning Tutor

Category Archives: Jig

Pipe on the Hob (Ador)

This three-part (double) jig is played AABBCC, and called “An Píopa ar an mBaic” in Irish. It’s #705 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903), and #9 in O’Neill’s 1001 (1907).  Through thr wonders of technology you can also transport yourself to a parlor, and listen to a version on ITMA from the 1930s, track 10.  A hob, […]

Drummond Castle (Aaeol)

This Scottish jig is named after a castle in Perthshire, Scotland, just south of Crieff in Muthill perish. It’s still a privately owned castle, and has extensive Italian Renaissance style gardens with a long history.  Sir Malcolm Drummond fought alongside Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn (1314) during the First War of Scottish Independence, and was […]

Newport Lass (D)

The double jig “Newport Lass(es)” or “Gearrchaile Bhaile Uí bhFiacháin” in Irish, is a two part jig played AABB, and also called “Trip to Athlone.” For instance, it’s called the latter on Paddy Canny (1919–2008) & P. J. Hayes (1921 – 2001) recording (with Peadar O’Loughlin, and Bridie Lafferty) entitled All Ireland Champions: Violin (1959), re-released as An […]

Humours of Glendart (D)

This jig is commonly known as both “East of Glendart” and “Humours of Glendart,” so don’t bother correcting anyone who uses either title.  In the west of Cork there is a hamlet called Glendart.  The latter title concerns its “humors” (see note), the former title uses it merely as a geographical reference. I’m pretty sure this is […]

Saddle the Pony (G)

This jig, Cuir Diallaid Air An Clibin in Irish, will be played in Amix as well as G, and is a member of the family of tunes which includes “Buttermilk Mary” (G). A cousin of this tune, the Donegal jig “The Pet in the Kitchen,” has a very similar B part, at least in some versions […]

Tobin’s Favorite (D)

The jig “Tobin’s Favorite” is #775 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903) and #52 in O’Neill’s 1001 (1907). The title seems to have been preferred by Capt. O’Neill to the title it was usually called by at the time, namely “Pretty Young Girls for Sale” or “Girls for Sale, the Old Way.” O’Neill was not above changing […]

The Sporting Pitchfork (G)         

“The Sporting Pitchfork”  is the second of the well-known “Pitchforks” on the Glackin/Keenan album Doublin’ (1978), the first being “The Rambling Pitchfork” — and the album/CD is a real gem!  While the first (double) jig of the set refers to an itinerant farm-laborer, this one refers to a friendly farm-laborer, a sport (however you picture such a […]

The Rambling Pitchfork (D)

“The Rambling Pitchfork” was made popular by the Felix Doran’s acetate recording in 1949, now available on the CD The Master Pipers,Volume 1 (2003). The title “Rambling Pitchfork” refers to an itinerant farm-laborer, in the same sense that “hired gun” refers to a mercenary – i.e., the main implement of one’s occupation is used as […]

Killavil (D)

“Killavil”  is a (double) jig from co. Sligo. Killavil is a parish south of Sligo, and the birthplace of the great twentieth century Irish fiddler Michael Coleman (1891-1945).  The name is probably an endocentric compound (or perhaps just a copulative compound) of “cill” (church) and “abhaile” (home, or lit. homeward), and so means something like “Home-Church” […]

Burnt Old Man (D)

When I first played this tune, Becky Pringle called my attention to an old Civil War tune, a close variant called “The Campbells are Coming” (G) that is still often played by fife and drum bands.  In the 1950s the tune, at least the A part, was used in a Campbell’s Soup commercial for Scotch Broth. […]