How are you now my maid?

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HOW ARE YOU NOW, MY MAID? AKA and see "Fear Mór (An)," "Is the Big Man Within?," "Merry Tailor (The)." Irish, English; (Slip) Jig (9/8 time 'A' part & 6/8 time 'B' part). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The melody is contained in the music copybook [1] of John Buttery (1784-1854), a fifer with British army's 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot (so designated in the army reorganization of 1782), who served from 1797-1814. Later in life Buttery emigrated to Canada, where he died. Buttery's manuscript collection has also been identified as belonging to John Fife [1], with a suggested date of 1780. Fife was a family name, like Buttery, identified with the manuscript. The jig was learned by collector P.W. Joyce [2] (1827-1914) as a boy in County Limerick in the 1830's, and printed in his Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909). It was also entered into the mid-19th century music manuscript collection (vol. 2, p. 170) of Canon James Goodman, as well with the title "How are you now, my maid?" but with parts reversed from Joyce. The melody was printed in Frank Roche's early 20th century Irish music collection under the title "Fear Mór (An)."

Source for notated version: James Goodman (1828-1896) entered the tune into his manuscript, having obtained it from the music manuscript collections of Seán Ó Dálaigh (John O'Daly, 1800-1878), the great nineteenth-century scribe; compiler and collector of manuscripts; editor; anthologist; publisher of Gaelic verse and stories and founder of societies for the publication of Gaelic literature, best-known today for his volume ‘’’Poets and Poetry of Munster’’’ (1849). O’Daly was born in the Sliabh gCua area of west Waterford and was, like Goodman, a teacher of Irish.

Printed sources: Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 137, p. 70.

Recorded sources:




Back to How are you now my maid?[edit]

  1. Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, https://www.cdss.org/elibrary/Easmes/Index.htm