Old Figary O'
X:1 T:Old Figary O' M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig S:Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D A | d2d d2A | B2A ABc | d2d ede | f2d def | g2g f2f | efd cBA | BAG FGA | B2c d2 :| |: f | a2a fdf | g2e efg | a2a fdf | ecA A2 (f/g/) | a2a g2g | fgd cBA | BAG FGA | B2c d2 :|
OLD FIGARY O'. AKA and see "Dandy O (2) (The)," "Gallant Tippeary Boys (The)," "Irish Air from Robin Hood," "New May Moon," "Young May Moon (The)." Irish (originally), American; Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Cole, Phillips, Ryan): AA'BB' (Miller). Well known in Ireland as a single jig or slide called "Gallant Tippeary Boys (The)," points out Paul de Grae. Frank Roche printed a two-part version in his collection under that title, and Francis O'Neill printed a four-part setting as "Gallant Tipperary." "Old Figaree (The)" is the title by which the jig was, and still is, called in County Leitrim, remarks uilleann piper Brian McNamara, who found it in the 19th century Stephen Grier manuscript.
The jig has also long been popular in England as "New May Moon," and was used by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) as the vehicle for his song "The Young May Moon," found in many English musicians' manuscript collections. The tune was employed as early as in William Shield's stage production Robin Hood (1784) and was printed by Samuel, Ann and Peter Thompson as "Irish Air from Robin Hood."
"Old Figary" was a phrase in use in Ireland, as evidenced by its inclusion in an anti-tithe song printed in The Athenaeum (p. 797):
All the roots and grain that grow,
Assembled together in a row,
Great eloquence they did display,
And they resolved no Tithes to pay.
Sing rgidum rigidum dearly O,
The ministers they're running crazy O,
O'Connell's the boy that does them annoy,
For he's beginning his old figary O.
Flute player John Clinton printed the tune in his Gems of Ireland (1841) as "Dandy O (2) (The)," but that name is firmly attached to a duple-time tune. It may be that Clinton confused his "Dandy-o's" and his "Figary-o's."