Kesh Jig (1) (The)

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X:1 T:Kesh Jig [1] L:1/8 M:6/8 K:G D|G3 GAB|ABA ABd|edd gdd|edB dBA| G3 GAB|ABA ABd|ede gdB|AGF G2:| |:A|B3 dBd|ege dBG|BAB dBG|A3 AGA| BAB dBd|ege dBd|g3 aga|bgf g2:|]



KESH JIG [1], THE. AKA and see "Castle Jig (1) (The)," "Kerrigan's Jig," "Kerrigan's Fancy," "Kincora Jig," "Little Boy Ted in the Hay," "Mountaineers' March (The)," "Port Pat Coclain," "Rambler Jig (The)," "Spring Well (The)," "Tear the Callies," "Union Reel (The)." Irish, Double Jig (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AA'BB' (Miller & Perron). The village of Kesh [1] is in County Fermanagh, Ireland, near Lough Earne. The jig has been popular in Irish sessions since it was (re)popularized under the "Kesh" title by the Bothy Band, albeit often regarded nowadays as a 'beginners tune'. "Port Pat Coclain" is a West Kerry slide version of this tune, and also the related "Spring Well" and "Fond of the Ladies." Michael Coleman recorded the melody on 78 RPM as "Kerrigan's Jig."

The first printed version appears to be in George Petrie's 1850's collection under the title "Tear the Callies." The first sound recording was by accordion player Edward Herborn with banjo player James Wheeler, who recorded a close version of the "Kesh" under the title "Rambler Jig (The)" (paired with "Maid Behind the Bar (1) (The)"). Ellen O'Byrne was an entrepreneur who saw an opportunity supplying early commercial 78 RPM recordings to the niche market of the Irish community in America. She convinced Columbia to take a chance recording Irish musicians with the Herborn and Wheeler accordion/banjo duo as the first musicians to record Irish dance tunes. "Since the deal required O'Byrne to buy 500 to 1,000 copies in advance to sell through the O'Byrne Dewitt store, she went door-to-door in the Irish neighborhoods to announce the impending release of the recording. The disc sold out in no time and proved there was a market for Irish music in America"[1].


Additional notes



Printed sources : - 'Boys of the Lough, 1977; p. 4 (appears as "Kincora Jig"). Brody (Fiddler's Fake Book), 1983; p. 157. S. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 6: Jigs), 1982 (revised 1989, 2001); p.12. Mac Amhlaoibh & Durham (An Pota Stóir: Ceol Seite Corca Duibne/The Set Dance Music of West Kerry), No. 59, p. 37 (appears as "Port Pat Coclain"). Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 81, p. 35. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 24. Reiner (Anthology of Fiddle Styles), 1979; p. 49. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 118. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, vol. 1), 1999; p. 29.

Recorded sources : - Columbia A2147 (78 RPM), Edward Herborn & James Wheeler (1916, as "Rambler Jig"). Mulligan LUN 002, The Bothy Band - "The Bothy Band" (1975). Mulligan LUN 030, The Bothy Band- "Afterhours." Philo 1026, The Boys of the Lough- "Live at Passim" (appears as "Kincora Jig"). Voyager 320-S, Frank Ferrel and Graham Townsend- "Fiddle Tunes." Outlet 1031, Sean McGuire- "Ireland's Champion Traditional Fiddler."

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]
Hear the tune played by a variety of artists at the Comhaltas Archive [4]
Hear the tune played by the Kincora Céilí Band at the Comhaltas Archive[5]
Hear the tune (as "Rambler Jig") played by Herborn & Wheeler (1916) at Soundcloud [6]



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  1. See accompanying note from the Ward Irish Archives [7].