Foxhunter's Jig (1) (The)

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X:1 T:Fox Hunters Jig, The C:”By Jackson” M:9/8 L:1/8 R:Slip Jig B:John Hall – “A Selection of Strathspeys Reels, Waltzes & Irish Jigs” (c. 1818, p. 34) B: https://digital.nls.uk/special-collections-of-printed-music/archive/104981834 N:”Printed and sold by John Hall, at his Music Room.” N:Hall (1788-1862) was a music teacher in Ayr, Scotland. His dancing master’s ‘kit’ N:(a small fiddle) used in his dancing lessons, is still preserved. Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D D/E/|F2F FEF TG2E|FAF TF2D E2D|F2F FEF G2B|AFD DFD TE2D:| |:G2B BAG FGA|B2E E2F G2A|Bcd dcB ABc|d2D D2E F2A:| |:f2f fef Tg2e|faf f2d e2d|f2f fef Tg2b|afd def {f}e2d:| |:ABc dcB AGF|B2E E2F G2A|Bcd dcB ABc|d2D D2E F2DS:|



FOXHUNTER'S JIG [1], THE (Port fiaguide an sionaig). AKA – "Nead na lachan sa mbúta." AKA and see "Jolly Foxhunter's (The)." Irish, Slip Jig (9/8 time). Ireland, County Donegal. G Major (Barnes, Kennedy, Roche): D Major (Hall, Howe, Huntington, O'Neill, Prior, Tubridy). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AABBCCDD (Hall, Martin & Hughes, O'Neill/1001, Prior, Tubridy). The slip jig "Foxhunter's" is a popular slip jig in County Donegal, but is well-known throughout Ireland. The melody appears at the end of the quasi-programmatic piece "Fox Chase (3) (The)" AKA "Irish Fox Hunt (The)" as printed by piper O'Farrell in his Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes (c. 1806). The slip jig was printed by Ayrshire fiddler-composer John Hall in his c. 1818 collection wherein he attributes the composition to Irish gentleman piper Walker 'Piper' Jackson. Hall's authority for the atttribution is not known, but he printed a number of jigs attributed to Jackson in his volume. County Cork Church of Ireland cleric and uilleann piper James Goodman (1828-1896) entered the tune at least twice in his large mid-19th century music manuscript collection. His second entry, in volume 5, is a fragment (the first 3 measures) with the note: "I copied this from a little book published by an anonymous author, in 1825"[1]

"Foxhunter's" was played by the incomparable uilleann piper from County Kerry, James Gandsey (1769–1857), as recorded by Crofton Croker, who witnessed it being rendered "with all its wild witchery" (Breathnach, The Man and His Music, 1997, p. 36). The title appears in a list of tunes in his repertoire brought by Philip Goodman, the last professional and traditional piper in Farney, Louth, to the Feis Ceoil in Belfast in 1898 (Breathnach, 1997). Famed County Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman (1891–1945) recorded a two-part version in New York in 1925, the first tune in a medley paired with "Comb Your Hair and Curl It." See also the related "Humors of Derrykissane/Derrycrossane."

"Foxhunter's" appears under the title "Dublin Gigg a Jigg" in the Ellis Knowles manuscript, a Lancashire (England) musician's chapbook from the year 1847. An English 9/8 jig called "Long Room of Scarborough (The)" also has a few bars of melodic material in the second part that is similar to "Foxhunter's Jig," however, whether it is ancestral is conjectural. See also Québec fiddler Louis Boudrealt's "Casse-reel d'idas Boudreault (Le)," which may be a version of "The Foxhunter's."


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Sean O’Gorman, fiddler, who “was taught by Lynch, a County Clare man, a teacher of dancing and fiddling in Co. Galway” [Hardebeck].

Printed sources : - Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 46. Cotter (Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor), 1989; 15. Cranitch (Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; No. 34, p. 138. Cranitch (Irish Session Tunes: The Red Book), 2000; 34. John Hall (A Selection of Strathspeys Reels, Waltzes & Irish Jigs), c. 1818; p. 34. Hardebeck (A Collection of Jigs and Reels, vol. 2), Dublin, 1921; p. 20. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs, vol. 2), 1858; No. 142, p. 65. Howe (Musician's Omnibus, No. 2), c. 1864; p. 105. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 27. Hughes (Gems from the Emerald Isle), c. 1860's; No. 86, p. 20. Huntington (William Litten's Fiddle Tunes, 1800–1802), 1977; p. 31. Jordan (Whistle and Sing!), 1975; 30. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book: Slip Jigs & Waltzes), 1999; No. 22, p. 6. Levey (First Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland), 1858; No. 84, p. 33. Martin & Hughes (Ho-ro-gheallaidh), 1990; p. 46. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 46. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 422, p. 83. Prior (Fionn Seisiún 2), 2003; p. 37. Robbins (Collection of 200 Jigs, Reels, and Country Dances), 1933; No. 13, p. 4. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 2), 1927; No. 265, p. 27. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 86. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, vol. 1), 1999; p. 37.

Recorded sources : - Folk Legacy FSI-74, Howard Bursen – "Cider in the Kitchen" (1980. Learned from the High Level Ranters and Louis Killen).

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



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  1. James Goodman music manuscript collection vol. 5, p. 26, No. 33 [3]
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