Cossey's Jig

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COSSEY'S JIG. AKA - "Cassey's Jig," "The Cosey Jigg," "Casey's Jig (2)," "Copey's Jigg, "Cossy Jigg (The)." AKA and see "Bain's Favorite," "Blain's Jig," "Captain Rock," "Charming Molly Brannigan," "Dwyer's Frolic," "Greenfields of America (4) (The)," "Humors of Newtown (1)," "Jackson's Lodge (1)," "Jackson's Wife on the Road," "Jimmy O'Brien's Jig," "Keg with the Tap in it (The)," "Maid in the Meadow (1)," "Mist on the Mountain (2) (The)," "Molly Brallaghan."

Irish, Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC. Breathnach (1996) believes the name Cossey comes from the Irish Cáthasaigh, in English perhaps 'Casey'. The tune is from Samuel Lee's Jackson's Celebrated Irish Tunes (Dublin, 1774, p. 1, republished in 1790), attributed to the 18th century gentleman composer Walker 'Piper' Jackson, of the townland of Lisduan, parish of Ballingarry, Aughrim, County Limerick. "Greenfields of America (1)" is a related tune in reel time, as are parts of "Charming Molly Brannigan", "Dwyer's Frolic", "Humors of Newtown (1)", "Jackson's Lodge", "Maid in the Meadow (1)", "Molly Brallaghan (1) (1st part)" and "Stone in the Field (The)". See note for "Molly Brallaghan (1)" for more on the family. Breathnach (1996) also identifies the alternate titles "Maid in the Meadow (1)/Mist in the Meadow (The)," from County Clare; "Jackson's Wife on the Road," from Galway and Westmeath; "Jolly Weaver (The)," from Cork and Tipperary. Clare fiddler Junior Crehan had a set dance version he called "Drunken Gauger (The)." "Jimmy O'Brien's Jig" is O'Neill's name for it--a four strain setting. Fiddlers Frank Quinn (1893-1967) of Drumlish, Co. Longford, and Joe Maguire, County Fermanagh, recorded a version of the jig in a duet recorded in New York in December, 1927, released under the title "Mist on the Mountain (2) (The)."

Researcher Conor Ward finds the jig in the c. 1900 Meagher music manuscript (Gaigue, Ballinamuck, Co. Longford) as "Jackson's Wife on the Road," consisting of the first two strains of O'Farrell's three-strain piece, and identifies a version (in the key of 'A') in the c. 1920 manuscript of Maggie Reynolds as "Keg with the Tap in it (The)." Ward finds different strains of the jig in various orders and combinations in print and manuscript collections. He writes: "If we say for instance that the original 'Cossey's Jig' with three parts is in the order ACD, and that O'Neill's four part version 'Jimmy O'Brien's Jig' in Waifs and Strays (1927) has an extra second part in the order ABCD, then the first manuscript attachment from the Meagher MS has two parts in the order AC while the second version from Maggie Reynolds is in the order AB.

Scots fiddle-composer Niel Gow (1727-1807) printed a three-part "Cossy Jigg" in his Second Collection (1788), and acknowledged it was "Irish", a provenance echoed by Glasgow publisher James Aird who printed it under the title "Casey's Jig (2)" in his Selections, vol. 3 (1788). It has some currency among Cape Breton fiddlers, where it also goes by the titles "Bain's Favorite" and "Blaine's Jig."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Gow (Second Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 1788; p. 23 (3rd ed.). Smollett Holden (Collection of Old and Established Irish Airs and Jiggs), Dublin, 1805; p. 1. Mulhollan (Selection of Irish and Scots Tunes), Edinburgh, 1804; p. 47. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. II), c. 1806; p. 112.

Recorded sources: Rounder 82161-7032-2, Bill Lamey - "From Cape Breton to Boston and Back: Classic House Sessions of Traditional Cape Breton Music 1956-1977" (2000. Gow's "Cossy Jigg").




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