Páinneach na nUbh (1)

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PAINNEACH NA nUBH [1] (The Basket of Eggs). AKA - "Painseach," "Pairneach," "Páinneach." AKA and see "O'Sullivan More's March (1)," "Scotch March (1) (The)," “Old Woman Tossed Up in a Blanket (4),” "One-Horned Cow (2) (The)," "Montrose's March," "Carawath/Carawith Jig/Caravat Jig (The)," "A Rock and the/a Wee Pickle Tow," "Retreat (The)," "Pretender's March (The)," "Green Goose Fair (1)." Irish, Double Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Goodman (vol. 1, No. 237) prints the tune as “Dé bheatha ad’ shláinte, Uí Shúilleabháin Mhóir” (Good health, O’Sullivan Mor), and it is sometimes known as “O’Sullivan’s March,” although Breathnach (1976) says it is not known which O’Sullivan is referred to. The song from which Goodman’s title comes from is printed by Fionán Mac Coluim in Cosa Buidhe Árda, ii, pp. 36-37 (Breathnach, 1976). O’Neill prints the tune as a “piece” in Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1923, No. 93) with the following words:

There was an old woman tossed up in a blanket
Seventeen times as high as the sky…

“There was an old woman tossed up in a blanket” is also used as the name for a jig. The English musicologist William Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times) identifies the song as a nursery-rhyme sung to the tune of “Lillibulero” in England. Another song, finds Breathnach (1976), sung to the tune is “Gogai ó gog” (the first line of the verse must be sung twice to fit the tune), collected from Sliabh Luachra accordion player Johnny O’Leary (Ballydesmond, County Cork):

Cucaí cucae cá ndéanfaidh mé nead?
Má dhéanaim sa sliagh é
Faighfaidh na gadhair fiaig é.
Cucaí cucae cá ndéanfaidh mé nead?

Cucaí cucae where will I make a nest?
If I make it on the mountain
The hunting dogs will find it.
Cucaí cucae where will I make a nest? ... [Literal translation by Paul de Grae]

Breathnach finds other alternate titles in Forde (“Carawath/Carawith/Caravat Jig (The)”), Pigot (“When the Wind Blows” and a version called “One-Horned Cow (2) (The)”), and Playford (“Scotch March (1) (The)” in Musick’s Handmaid, 1663 & 1678, and “Montrose's March” in Musick’s Delight on the Cithren, 1666, with an extra bar in the turn). Walsh gives it as “Green Goose Fair (1)” in Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year 1814, and Johnson has it as “Retreat (The) or Pretender's March (The)” in 24 Country Dances for the Year 1752. In Scotland it is known as a small-pipe tune called “Rock and a Wee Pickle Tow (A).”

Irish musicologist Brendan Breathnach writes: “Mrs. Murphy learned this jig and every one of the hundreds of jigs she has from the (Sliabh Luachra region, County Kerry) fiddler Tom Billy Murphy. Tom Billy was born in Glencollins in the year 1879; he died in the year 1944. Tom Billy learned his music from Taidhgi/n an Asail [lit. 'Timmy of the Donkey'], Tadeen the Fiddler. Tadhg O/ Buachalla was his correct name.”

Source for notated version: fiddler Mrs. Murphy, 1973 (Glencollins, Co. Cork, Ireland) [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 12 [1], p. 9.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]




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