Rakes of Newcastle West (The)
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RAKES OF NEWCASTLE WEST, THE. AKA and see "Repeal of the Union (2)," "Ballaí Lios Chearbhaill," "Merry Old Woman (1) (The)," "Walls of Enniscorthy," "Walls of Liscarroll (2)," "Mouse in the Cupboard (The)," "Tumble the Tinker," "Wollop the Potlid." Irish, Jig. G Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. ‘Rakes’ is said to be short for ‘rakehell’, which itself stems from the Old Icelandic word reikall, meaning "wandering” or “unsettled." Francis O'Neill (Irish Folk Music, 1910, p. 100) identifies the tune as "a much simpler setting" of "the fine old traditional tune" "Merry Old Woman (1) (The)," "None of our best performers [i.e. in Chicago's Irish Music Club] had any name for this favorite jig, so it could not be permitted to remain nameless any longer. By dint of persistent investigation we eventually learned that it was known as "Walls of Enniscorthy." Few double jigs equal it. None excel it, and I'm inclined to believe that it was one of "Old Man" Quinn's tunes preserved to us by Sergeant Early."
Source for notated version: "Copied...from a MS. evidently written by a skilled fiddler with much musical taste, from Limerick, but the name of the writer nowhere appears" [Joyce]. Newcastle West is in County Limerick.
Printed sources: Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 348, pp. 159-160.
See also listing at
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info