Whish Cat from Under the Table

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WHISH, CAT FROM UNDER THE TABLE. AKA and see “Drive the Cat from Under the Table,” "Huish the Cat," "Huis an Cat/Uis an cat," "Hunt the Cat," "Wollop the Cat," "Jackson's Humours of Panteen." Irish, Double Jig. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Bunting): AABB (Kerr, O'Neill). The Irish collector Edward Bunting noted the tune from harper Charles Byrne in 1802, along with two opening lines:

Whish, cat, from under the table, And you shall have milk while ever I'm able.

O'Neill's "Huish the cat" is nearly note-for-note the same as the version given by Bunting and is likely taken from him. "Whish" is one of a family of tunes, claims Breandan Breathnach in Coel Rinnce na hEireann, which includes the jigs "Bímíd ag Ól (1)," "Last Night's Fun (2)," and others. The air "Katty Quin" is a close variant, reports O'Sullivan (1983), as is "Jackson's Humours of Panteen," ascribed to the 18th century piper Walker Jackson. Breathnach (1976) felt "Bill Harte's Jig (1)," "Did You See My Man Looking for Me? (2)" and "Dance Light for My Heart Lies Under Your Feet” were related tunes. Finally, O'Sullivan notes there are motivic connections with a reel, "Gilibeart Mhac Fhlanchadha/Gilbert Clancy's Reel," in Breathnach's collection (CRE I, No. 83).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Kerr (Merry Melodies, Vol. 2), c. 1880’s; No. 231, p. 26. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 909, p. 169. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 382, p. 77 (appears as "Huish the Cat"). O'Sullivan/Bunting, 1983; No. 4, pp. 6-7.

Recorded sources: Tara Records 4008, “Josephine Marsh” (1996. Appears as “Wallop the Cat from Under the Table”).

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




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