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The Rambling Pitchfork (D)


Willie Clancy

coleman1“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 the signifier. An early recording in London by the Ballinakill co. Galway Traditional Dance Players (1931), has it as “Lambert’s.” The renowned co. Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman recorded it in New York in the 78 RPM era. The tune was famously paired with “The Sporting Pitchfork” on the Paddy Glackin & Paddy Keenan album Doublin’ (1978) and together entitled “The Pitchforks”  — it’s an amazing album/CD.   Also, Kilmaley, co. Clare, fiddler, flute player and uilleann piper Peader O’Loughlin remembers that the famous Milltown Malbay, co. Clare, piper Willie Clancy loved to dance to this tune:  “Willie was one of them, Willie Clancy that could do the step great.”  Clancy played the tune “in his mouth” (i.e. mouth-music) as he danced , and always incorporated the rolls and triplets which corresponded to the dance steps.  Peader also mentioned that when Clancy played the “Rambling Pitchfork” on the pipes, he would imagine himself dancing out the steps.

For the ABC click Rambling Pitchfork

The Rambling Pitchfork, slow (fiddle, David Agee)

The Rambling Pitchfork, med (fiddle, David Agee)

The Rambling Pitchfork, the dots

Rambling Pitchfork

Rambling Pitchfork, Jig in D




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