Drops of Brandy (1)

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X:1 T:Drops of Brandy [1] M:9/8 L:1/8 R:Slip Jig B:David Young – Drummond Castle/Duke of Perth Manuscript (1734, No. 9) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G GAB BAB BAB|GAB BAB d2e|GAB BAB BAB|=FGA =fcA c2A:| |:GAB gdB gdB|GAB gdB d2B|GAB gdB gdB|=FGA =fcA c2A:|]



DROPS OF BRANDY [1] ("Braona Brannda" or "Braoinini Brannda"). AKA and see - Braona Brannda, Braoinini Brannda, Drops of Whiskey (1), Drop of Whiskey (A), Hey My Nancy, New Drops of Brandy, Oh Mary if My Advice You Take, Oh! Mary Take My Advice, Jaunting Car for Six, Paddy was up to the Gauger." Irish (originally?), Scottish, English; Jig (9/8 time). England; Shropshire, Lancashire, Northumberland, Lincolnshire. G Mixolydian (Young): G Major (most versions): A Major (Martin, Silberberg, Trim). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill/1001, Silberberg): AAB (Tubridy): AABB (most versions). AABB' (Martin). There are two main versions of this tune, an old and a new, the latter often known as "New Drops of Brandy." The older versions can be found in the English manuscripts of John Moore and William Vickers. Merryweather (1989) notes it bears some resemblance to Playford's "Scotland." The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes, which he published c. 1800 and also appears in the Scottish Drummond Castle Manuscript in the possession of the Earl of Ancaster at Drummond Castle. This latter MS is inscribed "A Collection of Country Dances written for the use of his Grace the Duke of Perth by Dav. Young, 1734" (and for this reason it is sometimes called the Duke of Perth MS). Editor Matt Seattle (1987) says Vickers' version is a non-standard variation. There is some evidence a 17th century Scots jig called "Hey My Nanny" is ancestral to "Drops of Brandy." An early English printing of the melody is to be found in Walsh's The Compleat Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Third (London, 1747, p. 37).

Drops of Brandy is also the name of a specific country dance known throughout the British Isles under two names. In Ireland, O'Neill (1913) tells us "a special dance was performed to the melody," and indeed, "Drops of Brandy" is a favorite tune for solo step dancing competitions. A Scottish dance called Drops of Brandy was performed to a schottische, while the exact same figures were danced to a jig and known as the dance Strip the Willow, report Flett & Flett (1964). In fact, the R.S.C.D.S.'s "official" tune for the dance Strip the Willow is "Drops of Brandy," although a variety of suitable jigs in 6/8 time are also employed on the ceilidh circuit. Emmerson (1972) states that the tune "Drops of Brandy" is often associated with the dance Strip the Willow, so much so that in England the dance is known by the title Drops of Brandy (although it is performed there to schottische-type tunes); "Today, Strip the Willow can be encountered danced to marches or to reels with Country Dance steps, or more often with unbridled abandon." Martin (2002) also suggests the tune as a vehicle for the dance Strip the Willow (played in a medley with "Brose and Butter" and "I Hae a Wife of my Ain"). Compare also with untitled slip jig collected from Donegal fiddler John Doherty, printed in The Northern Fiddler (1979, p. 61b), and with the related "Jaunting Car for Six." "Drink of Brandy" is a similarly named, although unrelated slip jig. See also the related "Drops of Whisky (3)."

Anne Lederman, in her entry on "Fiddling" in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (1992), identifies "Drops of Brandy" as one of two important tunes in the 'fur-trade' repertoire of the 18th and 19th centuries in Canada (along with "La grande gigue simple" and cognates). It was the vehicle for the Scottish line dance (also called Drops of Brandy), and Lederman suggests the tune was derived from a Scottish 6/4 hornpipe (or 'Triple' or 'Old' hornpipe time). The tune also went by the titles "Brandy (Le)," "Hook Dance (The)" and "Danse du crochet (La)" as well as various titles in native languages, writes Lederman. See also the version in Ann Winnington's music manuscript book (no. 19), c. 1810, wherein the frontispiece indicates she resided in New York, presumably as a youthful keyboard student.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - a c. 1837-1840 MS by Shropshire musician John Moore [Ashman]; a c. 1847 manuscript from Lancashire musician Ellis Knowles [Plain Brown Tune Book]; Joshua Gibbons (1778-1871) was a papermaker and musician from the village of Tealby, near Market Rasen, in the Lincolnshire Wolds, who compiled a manuscript collection dated 1823-26 [Sumner].

Printed sources : - Ashman (The Ironbridge Hornpipe), 1991; No. 331, p. 10. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 60 (appears as 'A Drop of Whiskey"). Emmerson (Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String), 1971; No. 75, pp. 156-157. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 1), 1858; No. 70, p. 30. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 284. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book: Slip Jigs and Waltzes), 1999; No. 16, p. 5. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 235, p. 26. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 46. Merryweather (Merryweather's Tunes for the English Bagpipe), 1989; p. 53. Northumbrian Pipers' Second Tune Book, 1981; p. 23. O'Flannagen (The Hibernia Collection), 1860; p. 9 (Boston, Elias Howe). O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 448, p. 87. O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 218, p. 116. Doyle (Plain Brown Tune Book), 1997; p. 8. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 130. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 93. Seattle (William Vickers), 1987, Part 2; No. 304. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 37. Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 4. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 2), 1765; No. 171. Trim (The Musical Legacy of Thomas Hardy), 1990; No. 10. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, vol. 1), 1999; p. 38. Westrop (120 Country Dances, Jigs, Reels, Hornpipes, Strathspeys, Spanish Waltz etc. for the Violin), c. 1923; No. 2. Williamson (English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 83 (appears as "Drops of Whiskey"). Wilson (Companion to the Ballroom), 1816. Wright (Wright's Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances), 1740; p. 50. David Young (Drummond Castle/Duke of Perth Manuscript), 1734; No. 9.

Recorded sources : - Capelhouse Records, James Kelly - "Traditional Irish Music" (1996). Gael-Linn CEF 045, "Paddy Keenan" (1975).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]



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