Fisherman's Widow (The)

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FISHERMAN'S WIDOW, THE (Baintreabac An Iasgaire). AKA and see "Baxter's Big," "Friendly Neighbor (The)," "Rambling Pitchfork (The)," "St. Patrick's Day in the Evening." Irish, Double Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Mulvihill, O'Neill/Krassen & 1915): AABB' (O'Neill/1850 & 1001, Doyle). The tune usually goes by the title "Rambling Pitchfork (The)" today.

Source for notated version: Francis O'Neill learned the tune from an accomplished West Clare flute player (and Chicago police patrolman) named Patrick "Big Pat" O'Mahony, a man of prodigious physique of whom he said: "the 'swing' of his execution was perfect, but instead of 'beating time' with his foot on the floor like most musicians he was never so much at ease as when seated in a chair tilted back against a wall, while both feet swung rhythmically like a double pendulum" [O'Neill, Irish Folk Music]; a tape of the Birmingham grandfather of editor Tony Doyle, c. late 1960's, playing the melodeon [Plain Brown].

Printed sources: Doyle (Plain Brown Tune Book), 1997; p. 25. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 7, p. 66. O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 179, p. 98. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 43. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 931, p. 173. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 163, p. 41.

Recorded sources:

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]
See the tune in the Dunn Family manuscript collection [3]




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