Annotation:I'll Tell Me Ma

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I'LL TELL ME MA (WHEN I GO HOME). AKA and see "Come to the Show," "Heel and Toe Polka (6)," "King Pippin Polka," "My Aunt Jane," "My Auntie Jean," "Sister Jean (2)," "Tommy Beadle's." Irish, Polka. D Major. Standard (fiddle). AABB. The melody propels at least two popular songs, and the whole tune and constituent strains are often used as a polkas. The first strain (which shows up also as the second strain of the English "Percy Brown's Polka") was composed (as "King Pippin Polka") by Charles D'Albert (1864-1932), a Glasgow-born pianist and composer who was a student of Franz Liszt. D'Albert became a naturalized German citizen (he was the son of a French/Italian father and an English mother, never spoke English fluently, and considered himself to be German) and composed 21 operas, a symphony, two piano concerti, and numerous lesser works.

The words to the Irish song go:

I'll tell me ma when I get home
The boys won't leave the girls alone
They pull my hair, they steal my comb
But that's all right till I get home

She is handsome, she is pretty
She is the belle of Belfast city
She is courting one, two, three
Hey, won't you tell me, who is he?

Albert Mooney says he loves her
All the boys are fighting for her
Knock at the door and ring the bell
Hey, my true love, are you well

Out she comes as white as snow
Rings on her fingers, bells on her toes
Our Jenny Murray says she'll die
If she doesn't get the fellow with the roving eye

Let the wind and the rain and the hail go high
Snow come tumbling from the sky
She's as nice as apple pie
She'll get a fellow by and by

When she gets a lad of her own
She won't tell her ma when she gets home
Let them all come as they will
It's Albert Mooney she loves still

Another song set to the tune is "My Aunt Jane"-

My Aunt Jane, she took me in,
She gave me tea out of her wee tin;
Half a bap with sugar on top,
Three black lumps (or balls) out of her wee shop.

My Aunt Jane has a bell at the door,
A white stone step and a clean swept floor;
Candy apples and hard green pears,
Conversation lozenges.

My Aunt Jane, she's so smart,
She bakes wee rings in an apple tart;
And when Halloween comes around,
Fornenst that tart I'm always found.

My Aunt Jane she'll dance a jig,
And sing a ballad round a wee sweetie pig;
Wee red eyes and a cord for a tail,
Hanging in a bunch from a farthing nail.

My Aunt Jane, she took me in,
She gave me tea out of her wee tin;
Half a bap with sugar on top,
Three black lumps (balls) out of her wee shop.

The first part of the music also appears as the second part of the English "Percy Brown's Polka." County Cork fiddler and fiddle-teacher John Linehan (1860-1932) has the first strain as part of an untitled polka (see "Polka (21)"), entered into his c. 1910 music manuscript collection. The first strain, with a different second strain, was also played by a fife-and-drum band at the 1982 Wren celebration in Dingle, under the title "Take Her away down to the Quay."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Taylor (Music for the Sets: Blue Book), 1995; p. 8. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, Book Two), 1999; p. 6.

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