Auld Jew (The)

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AULD JEW, THE. AKA and see "Black Headed Dearie" (Ceann Dub Oilir), "Irish Round (The)," "Kennington Wells." Scottish, Air (3/4 time). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. Williamson obtained the tune from a 'very old' Scottish manuscript printed by Stenhouse. It was known in the Scottish Highlands as "Cuir, a Ghaoil Dileas, Tharrum do Lamh," which translates as 'Place true Love thine arm around me'. A similar tune was apparently known to Irish harpers, according to the Scottish fiddler and composer Capt. Simon Fraser (1816) who states that, notwithstanding their own national prejudices, on hearing his Scottish rendition they at once relinquished all claim to it "considering their own an imperfect imitation of the original." Stenhouse (in notes to The Scottish Musical Museum) remarks that Fraser's tune is a 'new set' of an older tune called "Auld Jew (The)," printed in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion (1742), although Stenhouse sniffs: "but [Oswald] has corrupted the melody in several bars with spurious interpolations, in attempting to embellish it." Irish musicologist Grattan Flood (1906) claims Irish provenance for the tune, dating it to the first decade of the 17th century or earlier under the title "Ceann dub Dilir," or "Black Headed Dearie," printed by Playford in 1713. Flood says it was known as "The Auld Jew" in Scotland and in England as "The Irish Round, or Kennington Wells." Burke Thumoth (1740) styled it "Currie koun dilich."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book V), 1760; p. 19.

Recorded sources: Flying Fish FF358, Robin Williamson - "Legacy of the Scottish Harpers, vol. 1."




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