Jolly Old Man (The)

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JOLLY OLD MAN (Sean duine sugac, An). AKA and see "Brisk Young Lad's (The)," "Brisk Irish Lad," "Bung Your Eye," "Mary the Maid," "Off to the Hunt," "There came a young man," "Traverse the Rough Hills." Irish, Double Jig. A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The title comes from the Chicago collector, Captain Francis O'Neill, who had the untitled tune from Jimmy O'Brien, a County Mayo piper who spent a few months in Chicago in the 1870's. O'Neill describes him as "a neat, tasty Irish piper of the Connacht school of close players, and though his Union pipes were small, they were sweet and musical." The 'jolly old man' of the title was the elderly father of a family of flute playing sons, who tried his best to dance a certain jig step to O'Brien's piping. "He appealed to the piper, in strident tones, 'Single it, single it; I can't double with the other foot.' This concession granted, he continued for a time, amidst great applause." O'Neill named the tune in honor of Mr. Maloney, the elderly dancer. (O'Neill, Irish Folk Music, p. 20). The alternate title "Bung Your Eye" comes from Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs (1782), but the earliest appearance of the tune appears to be as the air to the song "There cam' a young man to my Daddie's door" published by Herd in 1769. In Scotland the tune is popular as a pipe jig under the titles "Big Headed Man (The)" (Fear a' Chinn Mhòir)," "Bride's Jig (The)," "Brisk Young Lad's (The)," "Fear an Dùin-Mhòr" (He of the Big Fort)," "Lord Dunmore," "Man with the Big Head (The)," "There came a braw lad to my daddy's door," "There cam' a young man to my daddy's door," "There was a Young Man," "Traverse the Rough Hills," "Traveling the Rugged Country" (Shiulbhail na Garbhlich). See also "Henry's Fancy Jig."

Source for notated version: County Mayo piper Jimmy O'Brien (c. 1870's) [O'Neill].

Printed sources: O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 161, p. 90. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 895, p. 166. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 142, p. 38. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 106.

Recorded sources:

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




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