When Sick is it Tea You Want? (1)

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WHEN SICK IS IT TEA YOU WANT? [1] ("Ann Do Tinneas Ne Tea Ta Uait?" or "Tae ab' ea a Theastaionn is Tú Tinn?"). AKA and see: "Come from the Devil and Shake Yourself," "Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself (1)," "Irish Newsman (The)," "Is it Tea You Want?" (?), "One-Legged Man (1) (The)," "Penniless Traveller (The).” Irish, Double Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (O'Neill, Songer, Taylor): AABB’ (Mallinson): AA'BB' (Breathnach). The melody appears in O’Neill under the titles “When Sick is it Tea You Want?” “Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself (1),” and “Penniless Traveller (The).” Ryan’s Mammoth Collection (1883) gives the tune as “Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself.” Breathnach finds the tune first printed about 1778 in a London country dance collection, after which it appears frequently in collections published in England throughout the rest of that century. Although the titles are similar, Petrie’s “When you are sick ‘tis tea you want” is a different tune. The origin of the title is obscure, but at least one circulating story has it that a piper came home one night after an evening spent in his favorite pub, playing and drinking far too much. The next morning he nursed a monumental hangover, and his wife, pitying him, offered to make him a cup of tea to soothe his condition. Far from appreciative, however, the piper growled, “When sick, is it tea you want?”

Sources for notated versions: piper Seamus Ennis (Ireland) [Breathnach]; Maire O’Keeffe (Tralee, County Kerry) via Fran Slefer (Limerick/Dublin/Portland, Oregon) [Songer]; set dance music recorded live at Na Píobairí Uilleann, mid-1980’s [Taylor].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ III), 1985; No. 27, p. 13. Mallinson (100 Enduring), 1995; No. 28, p. 12. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 18. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 714, p. 133. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 16, p. 19. Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 81. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 209. Taylor (Music for the Sets: Yellow Book), 1995; p. 21.

Recorded sources: Drumlin Records, Brian McNamara – “A Piper’s Dream.” Tara Records TA 1002, Seamus Ennis "The Pure Drop" (1973).

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

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