What Call have You to Me Ned

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WHAT CALL HAVE YOU TO ME NED. AKA and see "Irish Ned." Irish, Double Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The jig appears in three parts (the first two strains of which were published by Levey) under the title "Irish Ned" in dancing master Alexander Monro Kinloch's One Hundred Airs published in London in 1815. The title page states the pieces in the volume were "selected and composed by Lieut. Gen. Dickson, although there is no attribution accompanying "Irish Ned."

"What Call Have You to Me, Ned" was heard in the afterpiece The Wicklow Gold Mines performed at the Theatre Royal, Crow Street, in May, 1804, sung "with great applause" by Mr. Stewart.

Hand-colored lithograph attributed to Scottish painter and caricaturist Isaac Cruikshank (1756?–1811?).

O what a dainty fine thing is the girl I love,
She fits my knuckle as well as a Lim’rick glove;
If that I had her just down by yon mountains side,
Soon I would ax her for to become my bride.
For the skin on her face is as red as eves apple,
Her pretty round waist in my arms I’d soon grapple,
But when that I ax’d her to come to the priest and wed,
She slyly made answer what call have you to me Ned?
Rhy tum didlely dum &c.

Arrah Cisly my jewel, the dickens go with you, why,
If that you’re cruel its down at your feet I’ll lie,
Because you’re hard hearted I’m melted to skin and bone,
O ‘twould move your compassion to hear me grunt & groan.
But all I could say, her hard heart would not mollify,
Still she would titter, and giggle, and look so shy,
Be easy, said she, for indeed you make very free,
I beg you’ll leave off now, because you’ve no call to me.
Rhy tum didlely dum &c.

It was at Ballygally last easter I met with her,
Into Jem Garvey’s we went, where I sat with her,
Oh my dear cratur, now if you will be my own,
Soon father Luke shall come, and shall make us one,
At hearing of this oh her eye began to glister bright,
Ough my dear crater I’ll make you my own this night,
Then in comes the Clargy & ax’d would we marry’d be,
O yes to be sure, sir, for Ned has a call to me.
Rhy tum didlely dum &c.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Holden (A Collection of Old Established Irish Slow and Quick Tunes, vol. 1), Dublin, 1805; No. 22. Levey (Dance Music of Ireland, 2nd Collection), 1873; No. 49, p. 21. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 1), 1927; No. 122, p. 50–51.

Recorded sources:




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