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X:1 % T:Rig-a-jig (-jig) M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig K:G DED DED|B2G A2B|c2A F2A|d2B GFE| DED DED|B2G A2c|B2d cBA|G3 G3:| |:B3d3|e2d B3|ABA E2F|A2F E2D| B3d3|e2d B3|ABA E2F|(G3 G3):|]

RIG-A-JIG. English, Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune is used for a dance in the Northwest (England) morris dance tradition. Barry Callaghan (2007) notes the tune is “a favourite jig widespread throughout East Anglia.” The tune was recorded by the English traditional “revival” band Oak (Rod and Danny Stradling, Tony Engle, Peta Webb) in the early 1970’s, at the beginning of the resurgence of interest in English traditional dance music played for English dances.

"Rig-a-jig" was a popular mid-19th century song (for college glees, for example), later popular as a children's recreational song and play-party tune on both sides of the Atlantic. These words were published in Boston by Oliver Ditson in 1868 "Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges, with Piano-Forte Accompaniment":

As I was walking down the street,
Heighho, heighho, heighho,
A pretty girl I chanced to meet,
Heighho, heighho, heighho.

Rig-a-jig-jig, and away we go, away we go, away we go,
Rig-a-jig-jig, and away we go, heighho, heighho, heighho,
Heighho, heighho, heighho, heighho, heighho, heighho,
Rig-a-jig-jig, and away we go,
Heighho, heighho, heighho.

Said I to her, "What is your trade?"
Heighho, heighho, heighho,
Said she to me, "I'm a weaver's maid," Heighho, heighho, heighho.

The tune for the song was a variant of "Buffalo Gals" and different from the country dance tune.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 63. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 125.

Recorded sources: - Cottey Light Industries CLI-903, Dexter et al - "Over the Water" (1993). Musical Traditions MTCD327-8, Oak _ “Country Songs and Music.” Old Hat Records OH-1, Old Hat Band - "Old Hat Concert Party." Topic 12TS212, Oak – “Welcome to Our Fair” (1971). Topic TSCD752, Oak – “Stepping Up” (2004. Compilation CD).

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