Down with the Tithes (2)

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X:1 T:Untitled Jig T:Down with the Tithes [2] M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig B:Levey - Second Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland (1873, No. 57) K:G D|GBA G2A|Bdg Bdg|GBA (G2B)|AFD AFD| GBA G2A|Bdg Bdg|ecA dBG|cAF G2:| |:d|ege g2f|ege dBG|GFG dBG|BAA A2d| egf g2f|ege dBG|GFG dBG|cAF G2:|



DOWN WITH THE TITHES [2]. AKA and see "Draught of Ale (1) (A)," "Priest's Leap (2) (The)," "Saddle the Pony (1)," "Widow Well Married (1) (The)." Irish, Jig (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Written from memory. I find a copy also in a very old MS." (Joyce). The tithes were a much-hated system supporting the Protestant Church of Ireland, through the mid-19th century. All landed members of a parish, regardless of denomination or religious affiliation, were assessed tithes for the maintenance of the church, generally a tenth of their output. The tithes gave rise to agrarian revolt in the early 19th century, sometimes taking the form of societies or gangs such as the Whiteboys, an organized resistance to the system. Researcher Conor Ward finds the tune a cognate of "Priest's Leap (2) (The) or "Saddle the Pony (1)" (particularly in the first strain.

The jig also appears in R.M. Levey's Second Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland (1873, No. 57) as an untitled tune (although the second strain of Levey's tune differs somewhat as the initial measure and a half is in the subdominant). Glasgow publisher James Kerr also published a version in the key of 'A' as an untitled double jig. Fr. John Quinn has also matched a version from the Reilly MSS (County Leitrim c. 1900) entitled "Double [Jig] composed by J Graham", which appears to be copied from a published sources[1]. As Ward points out, it suggests the melody was a composed tune (i.e. by 'J. Graham', that was Reilly's source, and one that may surface in the future.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 28, p. 17. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 4), c. 1880's; No. 224, p. 25 (untitled double jig).






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  1. Ward remarks that "the Reillys have another tune further in the same MS entitled "Lough Gill - Gallop composed by J.C. Graham violinist"