Murphy's Weather Eye

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MURPHY'S WEATHER EYE. AKA and see "Inverness Jig (3)." Irish; Air and Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A distanced version of the jig is known to Cape Breton fiddlers under the "Murphy's Weather Eye" title, but also as "An Inverness Jig" (referring to the town and county of Inverness, Cape Breton). Paul Cranford notes: "During the 1950's and '60's this traditional jig was popular among Inverness County players such as Dan J. Campbell and Angus Allan Gillis" [Cape Breton's Magazine, Issue 65, 1994, p. 24).

"Murphy's Weather Eye" is the name of an early 19th century song set to the tune. The lyric, printed in Hodgson's National Songster (1832) and The Quaver; or, Songster's Pocket Companion (1844, p. 86), goes:

Murhpy hath a weather eye,
He can tell whene'er he pleases,
If it will be wet or dry,
When 'twill thaw, and when in freezes,
To the stars he has bee up,
Higher than the Alps' high summits,
Invited by the moon to sup
With her, the planets and the comets.
Murphy hath a weather eye;
He can tell whene'er he pleases,
If it will be wet or dry,
When 'twill thaw, and when it freezes.

Murphy hath an Almanack,
From which we every day may gather,--
He has such a happy knack,--
What will really be the weather;
Hold the rains, have hail at pleasure,--
Get in the sun when he's a mind,
And blow a cloud when he's at leisure,
He knows how to raise the wind.
Murphy hath a weather eye, &c.

Murphy can the world eclipse,--
Can light the sun if he should fail, Sir,--
At Venus nightly lick his lips,
And pull the great bear by the tail, Sir.
He knocks the quicksilver about,
Nor ever asks what there's to pay, Sir;
Don't let his mother know he's out,
But drinks tea in the Milky Way, Sir!
Murphy hath a weather eye, &c.

The song also appears in the Wehman Bros.' Irish Song Book, No. 2 (1909, pp. 82-83), where the indicated air is "Norah Creenah/Nóra Críona."

Source for notated version: copied from Clinton's Irish Melodies (1840) [O'Neill].

Printed sources: O'Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922; No. 163.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [1]
Hear Tommy Wilmot's recording of "An Inverness Jig" at Cranford Publications [2]




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