“Father O’Flynn’s” jig was more often called “Top of Cork Road” until A. P. Grave’s (the father of poet Robert Graves) wrote lyrics for it in 1906, and called it “Father O’Flynn.” The song became very popular and so the tune took on the new name. Unfortunately, after writing it A. P. Graves sold it for a guinea and never received royalties. The chorus of the song is the B part of the tune, and the lyrics are:
Here’s a health to you, Father O’Flynn / Sláinte and sláinte and sláinte ag’in;
Pow’rfulest preacher, and tenderest teacher/ And kindliest creature in ould Donegal.
In some sessions, in addition to being called “Top of Cork Road” or just “Cork Road,” it will be called “The Rollicking Irishman” or “Yorkshire Lasses.”
It is a good jig at any tempo, so if you’re playing with a plectrum (or “pic”), then you should work on jig-pattern picking. For jigs it is important to be able to be able to play down-up-down down-up-down (or in shorthand DUD DUD). This picking pattern is essential to get the right feel for Irish jigs. When I was first starting out playing Irish music, I was told by many great players to sit down and learn to play this pattern solidly. It will transform your jig playing when you have it, so if you don’t have it yet . . . get to it!
For the ABC click Father O’Flynn’s
D | G A | D Em | Bm Asus | D | G A | D A sus | D : |
D | A | G Bm| Asus | G | D | Bm G | D : |
Father O’Flynn’s Jig, slow tempo (mandolin)
Father O’Flynn’s Jig, med tempo (mandolin)
Father O’Flynn’s Jig, the dots