Annotation:Life is all Chequered

Find traditional instrumental music

Back to Life is all Chequered

LIFE IS ALL CHEQUERED. AKA and see "Black Joke (2) (The)," "Black Rogue (1)," "Come Under My Plaidie," "Johnny MacGill/Johnnie McGill/MacGill," "Paddy McNicholas." Irish, Scottish (under the alternate titles); Air and Jig (6/8 time). G Major (Allan's): D Major (Williamson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title comes from Thomas Moore's song set to the tune, published in 1812 (in Irish Melodies, No. 4, song 12). John Synge played this tune for the local Aran Islanders when he lived there, prompting this reaction from one of the local men:

In a moment a tall man bounded out from his stool and began flying around the kitchen with peculiarly sure and graceful bravado. The lightness of the pampooties (shoes) seems to make the dancing on this island lighter and swifter than anything I have seen on the mainland and the simplicity of the men enables them to throw a naive extravagance into their steps that is impossible where the people are self-conscious. The speed, however, was so violent that I had some difficulty in keeping up as my fingers were not in practice, and I could not take off more than a small part of my attention to watch what was going on.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), c. 1920’s; No. 33, p. 8. Williamson (English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 68.

Recorded sources:

Back to Life is all Chequered