Girl of the Big House (The)

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GIRL OF THE (BIG) HOUSE, THE ("An Cailín Na Tig Moir" or "Cailín an Tí Mhóir"). AKA – "Girl of the House." AKA and see "Housekeeper (The)," "House Keeper (The)." Irish, Double Jig or Air. D Major (Levey, O'Neill): D Mixolydian (Breathnach). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Levey, O'Neill): AABB' (Breathnach). The title may refer to the maid of the manor. The tune is usually called "The Housekeeper" in English, says Breathnach (1976). Petrie (who printed it in his first collection, 1855) notes it was a once a very popular dance tune in the counties of Cork, Kerry and Limerick, "in all of which it is considered to be very ancient, and to have been originally used as a march." Goodman prints a different setting under the title "House Keeper (The)", while Levey gives it as "Girl of the House (The)." Alan Ward, in the booklet to the recording "Music from Sliabh Luachra," concludes that the Denis Murphy/Julia Clifford version came from Tom Billy Murphy:

"... as, for instance, the characteristic rapid notes linking the end of the second part with the re-commenced first part [i.e. two groups of quadruplets played in the time of three] follow the same pattern as those linking the second and third parts of the well-known jig from Tom Billy transcribed as no. 48 in CRE2 and played by Denis and Julia on SAG ['The Star Above the Garter']."

Source for notated version: fiddler Denis Murphy, 1966 (Gneeveguilla, Co. Kerry, Ireland) [Breathnach]; the collector P.W. Joyce [Petrie]; Anglican cleric and uilleann piper James Goodman, who collected tunes from Munster in the mid-19th century [Shields]l Chicago fiddler Edward Cronin, originally from Limerick Junction, County Tippeary, born in the 1840's [O'Neill].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ 2), 1976; No. 40, p. 23. Breathnach, "The Man and His Music," Ceol: A Journal of Irish Music, vol. 2, no. 4, p. 97 (as "Cailín a' Tí Mhóir"). Goodman, vol. 1, 1861; p. 35 (as "The Housekeeper"). Levey (Dance Music of Ireland, 2nd Collection), 1873; No. 68, p. 30 (appears as "The Girl of the House"). O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 196, p. 34 (appears as the air "The Girl of the Big House"). O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 998, p. 172 (appears as "The Girl of the Big House"). Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 1) 1913; No. 98, p. 43. Shields/Goodman (Tunes of the Munster Pipers, vol. 1), 1998; No. 82, p. 36 (as "The House Keeper"). Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; No. 995.

Recorded sources: Julia Clifford – "Humours of Lisheen."

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's [1]

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