Roaring Jelly

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X:1 T:Roaring Jelly M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig B: Joseph Lowe - Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, B:book 2 (1844–1845, p. 7) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D A,|DED F2-A|d2f ecA|G2B F2A|E2F GFE| DED F2A|d2 f ecA|Bgf {f}edc|d3 d2:| a|a2f f2d|A2a agf|g2e e2c|A2g gfe| f2d g2e|a2f bag|fed edc|d3 d2a| agf fed|Adf agf|gfe ecA|Ace gfe| fed gfe|agf bag|fed edc|d3 d2||



ROARING JELLY. AKA and see "Reel Stadacona," "Smash the Windows (1)," "Jelly Jig." English, Irish, Scottish; Jig (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Kerr): AAB (Athole, Kennedy, Raven): ABB (Gow). A seemingly plausible story attached to the title is that it refers to the plastic explosive gelignite, or the "jelly" of World War II fame, which actually was invented in the 1880's. Gelignite’s explosive predecessor, dynamite, invented by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel of Nobel Prize fame and patented in 1867) when he stabilized liquid nitro-glycerine by embedding it in kieselgur, and nitro-glycerine itself (first made by Ascanio Sobrero in 1846), considerably predates 'roaring jelly'. The tune title “Roaring Jelly,” however, was used by Nathaniel Gow in his Complete Repository, Part 3 of c. 1806, which precludes an original connection with 'modern' explosives. Another explanation proposed for the title is that in the process of making jelly one must boil it, and this boiling can sometimes become furious and noisome, thus “Roaring Jelly," or perhaps "roaring (good) jelly" is meant.

The jig appears in Irish repertory as "Smash the Windows (1)," although that title appeared with the jig in English country dance publications about the time the Gows published it as "Roaring Jelly" in Edinburgh, and the two titles have coexisted in Great Britain since then. The tune ultimately may be found to have an Irish provenance, however, the first documented Irish printing of the tune in an Irish music collection is in Hughes Gems from the Emerald Isles (London, 1867). Montreal fiddler Joseph Allard (1873-1947) recorded it in the 78 RPM era as "Reel Stadacona."

Nigel Gatherer has in his possession a 78 RPM recording of the melody played in waltz time, entitled on the label “Jelly Well Spread.”


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 439. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 3), 1806; p. 34. Kennedy (Fiddler’s Tune Book, vol. 1), 1951; No. 82, p. 40. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; No. 44, p. 40. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 2), 1844–1845; p. 7. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 107. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 137.

Recorded sources : - Beltona BL.2300 (78 RPM), Jimmy Shand (c. 1938). Parlophone F3374 (78 RPM), William Starr (1947). Parlophone F3431 (78 RPM), Adam Rennie and his SCD Quartet.

See also listing at :
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [2]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [3]



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