Nine Points of Roguery (The)

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NINE POINTS OF ROGUERY, THE (Naoi nArda na Rógaireachta). AKA and see "Black Fanad Mare (The)," "Black Mare of Fanad (The)," "Kiltyfanad Reel (The)." Irish, Reel. D Major ('A' and 'C' parts) & D Mixolydian ('B' part) {Brody, Mallinson}: D Mixolydian ('A' and 'B' parts) & D Major ('C' part) {Breathnach}. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'CC'BB' (Brody): AABBCCBB (Martin & Hughes): AABBCCAABB (Breathnach): AABBA'A'BB (Mallinson). The title remains somewhat of a mystery. According to chivalry the nine points of knightly virtue were honor, loyalty, liberality, pride, good faith, bravery, glory, unselfishness and courtesy, and it may be surmised that the nine points of roguery were the opposite. The way the Boys of the Lough play the tune, after the three parts of the tune are played through once, the 'B' part is repeated, and only then the 'A' part is played again. One of the parts is often an octave transposition of another, as is occasionally the custom in Donegal fiddle tradition; for example Breathnach's transcription of Doherty's version has a third strain that is simply the first strain set an octave higher. In County Donegal the tune is known as "Black Mare of Fanad (The)" (see note for this tune for a story of the origins of the title); see The Northern Fiddler (1979, p. 65).

The title may be a variation of that of a tune called "Nine Points of Knavery (The)" collected by County Cork Irish music enthusiast William Forde (c. 1759-1850) and printed by P.W. Joyce. While the titles are similar, the melodies are different. The melody and title of "Nine Points of Knavery" is similar, however, to the Scottish Reel "Nine Pint Coggie (The)." It may be that "Nine Points of Roguery" refers not to nine anti-virtues, but rather is also a corruption of "Nine Pint Coggie" via the "Nine Points of Knavery" name.

Source for notated version: Boys of the Lough (Ireland/Shetland), who had the tune from the Castle Ceili band (Dublin) [Brody]: fiddler John Doherty, 1965 (Co. Donegal, Ireland) [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 264, p. 137. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 202. Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland, vol. 1), 1974; No. 26. Feldman & O'Doherty (The Northern Fiddler), 1979; p. 65. Jordan (Whistle and Sing), 1975; 41. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 50, p. 22. Martin & Hughes (Ho-ro-gheallaidh), 1990; p. 37.

Recorded sources: Cracker Barrel Records, Winifred Horan & Friends - "Pleasures of Home" (2002). Folkways FTS 31098, Ken Perlman - "Clawhammer Banjo and Fingerstyle Guitar Solos." Philo 1026, Boys of the Lough- "Live" (1974). Shanachie 29003, Tommy Peoples and Paul Brady- "The High Part of the Road." Shanachie 79002, "The Boys of the Lough" (1973). Trailer 2086, "Boys of the Lough."

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]
Hear the Castle Céilí Band's recording at the Comhaltas Archive [3] (2nd tune in set, preceded by "Oak Tree"). Hear the tune played by fiddler Seamus Barr at the Comhaltas Archive [4]
Hear Winifred Horan's recording on youtube.com [5]




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