Cat that Kittled in Jamie's Wig (The)

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X: 1 T:Cat that Kittled in Jamie's Wig, The R:strathspey H:Francie Byrne plays it with quarter-tones, which are not notated here. D:The Brass Fiddle (Francie Byrne) Z:hn-strathspey-7 Z: M:C| K:Ador Bc>B|A<A,A,>B, C>DE>F|G>G{A}G>F G>cB>c|A<A,A,>B, C>D (3Bcd|(3efe (3dcB A>Bc>B| A<A,A,>B, C>DE>F|G>DB,>D G>Bc>d|(3efe (3dcB c>AB>G|E<AA>G A>B^c>d|| e<aa>^g e>f=g>d|e<aa>f g>ef>d|e<aa>^g e>f=g>f|(3efe (3d=cB c>AB>G| e<aa>^g e>f=g>d|e<aa>f g>fg>a|(3bc'b (3agf g>ef>d|(3efe (3d=cB A||

CAT THAT KITTLED IN JAMIE'S WIG, THE. AKA and see "Bonny Lassie (2)," "Mrs. Grant of Laggan," "Miss Lyall (1)." Irish, Highland. Ireland, County Donegal. A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B. A popular highland in County Donegal, recorded by fiddler John Doherty. In Scotland the tune is known as a strathspey called Miss Lyall (1)<div class="mw-ext-score" data-midi="/w/images/lilypond/k/s/ks8albyrjg79oy99j8v7qognjn6x2dc/ks8albyr.midi"><img src="/w/images/lilypond/k/s/ks8albyrjg79oy99j8v7qognjn6x2dc/ks8albyr.png" width="689" height="59" alt=" X:1 M:C L:1/8 K:Amin c/B/|A<A, A,>B, C>DE>^F|G2 B>A G2 Gc/B/|A<A, A,>B, C>DE>A| "/></div>

The title refers to a cat that had a litter of kittens in Jamie's wig, but appears to have been a anti-Jacobite reference. Nigel Gatherer found the following stanza in a collection entitled Perthshire Ballads, Rhymes and Fragments:

The cat has kittled in Charlie’s wig,
The cat has kittled in Charlie’s wig,
There’s ane o’ them living, and twa o’ them dead,
The cat has kittled in Charlie’s wig.

Musiciologist Paul Tyler has discovered an account by one Joseph Hayes, born in 1786 in Pennsylvania, who moved from that state down the same Ohio river to settle in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Late in his life he dictated memories of frontier life from circa 1810, including an account of dancing after corn-huskings. Hayes writes that at these events "in one corner would be seated the fiddler delving way with fingers, elbow, cat-gut and horse-hair, to the joy of all around - The pieces of music mostly called for, were 'The gray cat kittened in Charley's wig,' 'Captain Johnston', 'Buncomb' &c. the whole ending in a jig called 'Clear the kitchen'." The melody appears in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883, p. 168) as "Bonny Lassie (2)." See also O'Neill's variant, "Paddy Ryan's Dream (1)."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - John Doherty (1895-1980, County Donegal) [Feldman & O'Doherty].

Printed sources : - Feldman & O'Doherty (The Northern Fiddler), 1979; p. 80.

Recorded sources: - Green Linnet SIF 3077, John Doherty - "Bundle and Go" (originally recorded for Topic Records). Green Linnet SIF 188, Patrick Street - "No. 2 Patrick Street" (appears under the eroneous title "Hard by Seifin").

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