Annotation:Wake Jig (The)

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WAKE JIG, THE. AKA and see: "Barrel Rafferty," "My Love in the Morning," "Jemmy the Gom," "Sorry to Part," "Happy to Meet Sorry to Part," "You'll Go a Hunting No More." Irish, Jig. Music was an integral part of many old Irish wakes, as were other activities. This passage is from Reverend James Hall’s Tour Through Ireland (1813):

On enquiring what they did at the wakes? A girl told me, while she lay abed, that some go there with their faces blacked, and men in women’s clothes; that various amusements are introduced, even where they have no whiskey. At one of these amusements, which they call mending the old coat, a girl told me that a coat is spread on the floor, and that two persons, a young man and woman, sit down and pretend to mend it, while the rest are dancing in a ring around them, wheeling sometimes one way, and sometimes another. At length, the young man and woman get up, then kiss, and join in the dance; that another couple sit down and do the same; and so on, till all have mended the old coat.

Though they have no manner of acquaintance, or relationship to the dead person, young people, she tolk me, sometimes comes a dozen miles to a wake. The priest, having given to the dead the extreme- unction, and prayed for the repose of the soul; they think that all will be well with their departed friend, and that grief would be improper. Hunt the slipper, and blind-man’s-bluff, are also common amusements. On some occasions, where there is plenty of whiskey, the singing and music stop, and the old women set up a howling for the dead in general; at which, if they please, young women may learn to howl.

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

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