Burnt Old Man (1)

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X:1 T:Burnt Old Man [1] M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air S:O'Neill - Music of Ireland (1903), No. 90 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D D | (DEF) (AFE) | (DEF) T(F2E) | (DEF) (BAF) | AFE TE2F | DEF AFE | (FEF) (dcd) | (edB) T(BAF) | (AFE) E2 :| F | .A.F.F .d.F.F | .A.F.F (~F2G) | AFF dcd | eEE E2F | (DEF) (AFE) | (FEF) (dcd) | edB (BAF) | AFE E2 ||



BURNT OLD MAN [1] ("Seanduine Doit (An)/Doighte," "Seanduine Dóite (An)" or "Sean Duine Dóite"). AKA - "Burdened Old Man." AKA and see "Georgie the Dotard," "Hob or Nob/Hob a Nob," "Silly Old Man (The)," "Shan Dinna (The)/Shandinna (The)." Irish, Air (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Francis O'Neill (Irish Folk Music, 1910; and Samuel Bayard (1981) believed this tune to be a cognate of the tunes "Miss McLeod's Reel (1)/Miss MacLeod's Reel (1)" and "Campbells are Coming (1) (The)," with Bayard remarking that all three are "recognizable cognates of 'The White Cockade' as well." Piper O'Farrell printed versions of the tune under the titles "Silly Old Man (The)," "Shan Dinna (The)/Shandinna (The)" in the first decade of the 19th century.

The song (which features bawdy lyrics on the 'maids never wed an old man' motif) can be found in Peter Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland and was recorded by Relativity on their first album of the same name (Green Linnet SIF 1059). Caoimhin Mac Aoidh remarks that most older Irish fiddlers (even English-speaking ones) know the tune by the Gaelic name, "Sean Duine Dóite" (pronounced "shaan din-uh doy-chuh"), but that the English name is prevailing among the younger players. While the Irish word dóite does mean burnt, the title would be more meaningfully translated as "The Withered Old Man." The alternate title "Burdened Old Man (The)" is not used in Ireland. Irish musician and researcher Paul De Grae, in his extensive manuscript collection of notes on the O'Neill collections, elaborates on the song:

"Jackson's Bottle of Brandy" [MI 898, DMI 145] has a similar first part, but a different second part; it is later than "An Sean-Duine Dóite." According to O'Daly, the song "An Sean-Duine Dóite" was written, to a pre-existing air, by Andrew Magrath, popularly known in his day as "An Mangaire Súgach" ("the merry dealer"). His exact dates are unknown, but he is said to have died at an advanced age, probably in the 1790's, so his birth date might be anywhere between 1700 and 1720. The song seems to have been written relatively early in his career, so 1725-50 is a plausible range; whereas the earliest setting of the Jackson tune is probably the c. 1785 printing of it by Elizabeth Rhames in Dublin under the title "Jackson's Bottle of Punch" (it is usually called "Pay the Reckoning" nowadays). Magrath's song is about a young woman persuaded against her will to marry a rich old man, and unlike in other songs on a similar theme, her plight is treated sympathetically and not played for easy laughs. It seems Magrath met the woman in question on his travels, and was moved by her sorrow.

Breathnach's "Anthony Frawley's Jig" is a related tune. O'Neill gives the alternate title "Georgie the Dotard," originally a song from O'Daly's collection and a satire on King George II of Great Britain.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - "learned from my mother as he sung the song in the Irish language" [O'Neill, Irish Folk Music, 1910, p. 72].

Printed sources : - Baoill (Ceolta Gael), pp. 84-85. Cotter (Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor), 1989; No. 49. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 90, p. 17.

Recorded sources: -Green Linnet SIF 3002, Kevin Burke & Jackie Daly - "Eavesdropper."

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]



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