Wild Irishman (4) (The)
X:3 T:Wild Irishman , The M:6/8 L:1/8 B:Thompson’s Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3 (London, 1773) Z:Transcribed and edited by Fynn Titford-Mock, 2007 Z:abc’s:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:E e2f g2e|a2f g2e|e2f gfe|d3 f3| e2f g2e|a2f g2d|egb afd|e3 E3:| |:bge c3|Bdf fdB|Bdf fdB|f2g a3| bge c3|Bdf fdB|egb afd|e3 E3:||
WILD IRISHMAN . English, Scottish; Jig (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AABBCCDD (Kennedy). A jig setting that would seem to predate the reel version played in Ireland, at least in printed collections. However, all versions of this "Wild Irishman" appear to have developed from a melody printed by London music publisher Henry Playford in 1688 entitled “Fourpence Ha'penny Farthing.” Boorish British officers called for dancing after a concert in Boston on January 25, 1769, that featured a group led by musician Stephen Deblois. The "Wild Irishman" was one of the tunes (along with "Yankee Doodle") derisively demanded by the British, as recorded in a period newspaper account, and when Deblois was not forthcoming, the Redcoats rioted. Camus assumes from these circumstances that the "Wild Irishman" was in common currency at that time, well known enough to be associated with a sterotype. English printings of "Wild Irishman " predate Scottish ones (according to information from the EASMES site), beginning with Charles and Samuel Thompson’s Compleat Collection, vol. 3 (London, 1773), Straight and Skillern’s Two Hundred and Four Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1 (London, 1775), and Longman and Broderip’s Compleat Collection of Two Hundred Country Dances (London, 1781). Scottish bandleader and fiddler Alexander "King" McGlashan printed the melody in his Scots Measures (p. 36), c. 1778 & 1781.
Related tune in this family include 6/8 forms from England, Scotland and Ireland, and include "Cailleach an Túirne," "Cailín an Túirne," "Garrett Barry's Jig," "Gearoid de Barra," "Is Maith le Nóra Císte," (Nora Likes Cake), "Jockey (2) (The)," "Kiss Me Darling," "Ladies' Fancy (3) (The)," "Maid at the Spinning Wheel (The)," "Máire an Phórtair," “Norah with the Purse,” “Noran Kista,” “Nora's Purse,” "Norickystie," "Port an Achreidh,” "Road to Lurgan (The)," “Sergeant Early's Jig," “Spinning Wheel (4) (The),” "Tune the Fiddle,” "Wreathe the Bowl.” The “Norickystie” title appears in James Aird’s vol. 1 of his Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs (Glasgow, 1782), with an alternate title of “The Wild Irishman.” Dublin music publisher Morris/Maurice Hime set the melody in 2/4 time in his 1804 collection, making liberal use of triplets. County Cork cleric and uilleann piper, James Goodman, entered it into his mid-19th music manuscripts (vol. 2, p. 168) as "The Wild Irishman."
Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, 1589–1839: An Index finds the jig in a number of North American musicians’ manuscripts from the late 18th and early 19th century. Fifer William Morris of the First Regiment, Hunterdon County, N.J. entered it into his copybook in 1776, as did fifer Henry Blake of Hopkinton, N.H., in his manuscript the same year. Flute player John Hoff of Lancaster County, Pa., had it in his copybook dating from 1797, and flute player Ensign Thomas Molyneaux of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Elizabeth Sanders Van Rennselaer, a New York keyboard player entered it into her copybook of 1782, and ships fiddler William Litten had it in his music collection (and although Litten himself may have been British, his ms. ended up on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., brought home by a shipmate). Clement Weeks of Greenland, N.H., had dance instructions for the tune in his commonplace book of 1783.