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Tag Archives: Irish Traditional Music

Blarney Pilgrim (G)

“Blarney Pilgrim” appears as tune #1099 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903). There are numbers of variations of this tune at sessions, and quite a bit of confusion over its tonal center – which is really of concern only to those backing/accompanying the tune. The melody was especially popular at sessions in the 1970s, and though a […]

Drops of Brandy (D)

“Drops of Brandy” is a solid but simple slip jig often played in D or G.  It is #448 in O’Neill’s 1001 (1907), in G. It is in Phil Rubenzer’s Midwestern Irish Session Tunes (2000) in both D and G (pp. 219-20).  James Merryweather, author of Merryweather’s Tunes for English Bagpipes (1989, pg. 47), holds […]

Morrison’s Jig (Edor)

This jig, usually just called “Morrison’s,” gets its name from the renowned Sligo-born Irish-American fiddler James Morrison (1891 – 1947) who, in fact, did not write it.  He was, of course, older than that California musician who named his band after Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception (1954).  Our James Morrison learned the tune from a […]

Tabhair Dom Do Lamh (G)

The tune “Tabhair Dom Do Lamh” is often played at Irish weddings — the Irish title is pronounced “Tour Dum Dah Lahw (or Lahv)” in Irish, and most often translated as “Please, Give Me Your Hand.” The tune is by the Irish harpist (and pipe player) Ruairi Dall Ó Cathain (c.1570-c.1653), whose name is variously […]

Foxhunter’s Jig (D)

“Foxhunter’s Jig” is a slip jig. The title of this four-part slip jig concerns, of course, an over-hill-and-dale foxhunt.  Thus, a few desultory comments are in order. The earliest known notation of this tune is c. 1847, where it is entitled “Dublin Gigg-a-Jigg” (in A) – both are old spellings of “jig,” and“gigg-a-jigg” is the hoary […]

My Darling Asleep (D)

The jig entitled “My Darling Asleep” is #925 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903).  The piper and pipe maker Leo Rowsome (1903-1970) used to recount a story in which Chief O’Neill (1848-1936) got this tune from Abram Sweetman Beamish of co. Cork, who called it “My Darling in Bed.” O’Neill thought that that title was just too suggestive, […]

Miller’s Maggot (G)

The single jig “Miller’s Maggot” shows up in some tune collections as a slide – some tune collections don’t even have a separate single jig category.  As for the title, it is often repeated that the word “maggot” is from the Italian magioletta, a type of dance.  I have also seen the following, or something […]

Dever the Dancer (Edor)

“Dever the Dancer” is a common session slip jig, and has been recorded many times.  It appears in O’Neill’s 1850, tune #1147, and O’Neill’s 1001, tune #431, so it is at least as old as the late nineteenth century. It has long been a popular slip jig in Ireland. As was all too common in […]

Ger the Rigger (A)

This polka, “Ger the Rigger,” also known as “Jer The Rigger,” will have a soft “g” rather than a hard one.  It seems to be named for “Gerald,” “Gerry,” “Jerry,” or “Jeremiah” who was, we can assume, some sort of rigger of renown – that is, one who engages in cable hoisting on land or on […]

Merry Blacksmith (D)

The reel “Merry Blacksmith” is a lively, popular tune in both the Irish tradition and in American old-time.  Though once known as “The Peeler’s Jacket,” it is not any more — unless one calls it “Peeler’s Jacket #1” and one is a supreme fan of the Fiddler’s Companion, which I am.  The tune is often […]