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    The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish
 traditional instrumental music with annotations, formerly known as
                          The Fiddler's Companion.
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Beatles-Christmas-1964.jpg
Did you wash your father's shirt?

Played by : Mick O'Brien agus Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh
Source : Youtube
Image : Did you wash your father's shirt was sung by the Beatles on the October 26,1964 Christmas record

Did you wash your father's shirt?

The tune is played in Ireland both as a polka (2/4) and as a reel (cut time) under a variety of titles, no one of them particularly dominant. The "Did You Wash Your Father's Shirt" comes from a ditty sung to it:

Have you washed your father's shirt?
Have you washed it clean?
Have you hung it on the line
Out on the village green?

The words (of unknown provenance), albeit to a different (hexatonic) tune and slightly altered, were popular among children across Britain in the mid-20th century. It was sung by the Beatles on the 1964 Christmas record:

Oh, can you wash your father’s shirt?
Oh, can you wash it clean?
Can you hang it on the line
By the village green.

A version of the tune, under the title "Ghile Beag lé m'Anam Thú" was collected as a vocal air by George Petrie (1790-1866), from F. Keane in July, 1858. Another version was printed in James Kerr's Merry Melodies vol. 1 (c. 1880) as the reel "Disappointed Coquette (The)," giving it an Irish provenance. In America, Boston music publisher Elias Howe included it in his 1000 Jigs and Reels (1867) as "Shins about the Fireside (3)", although that title is also associated with other, different, tunes in 6/8 time (including one collected by George Petrie). Howe's title, however, echoes the name given to the tune in P. Carew's 19th century mss., from which collector George Petrie obtained it; there, its called "Box about the Fireplace" with the note that is is "a Munster reel." If it originated in Munster, it became known throughout Ireland: in the north, County Donegal fiddler John Doherty recorded it as "Marry When You're Young" (which sounds like another set of words went to it, as well). Dublin fiddler and concertina player John Kelly recorded the tune for Topic records in 1975, calling it "West Cork Reel."

...more at: Did you wash your father's shirt? - full Score(s) and Annotations


X: 1 T:Did You Wash Your Father's Shirt? R:reel H:words provided by Trevor Jennings, who got them from a colleague, H:who learnt them from his grandmother. D:Paddy Moloney & Seán Potts: Tin Whistles Z:id:hn-reel-173 M:C| K:D g|:fde^c dcAg|fde^c d2de|fde^c dBAB|1 =cAGE D3g:|2 =cAGE D2AD|| |:(3EFG AB =cAG2|Add^c d3e|fde^c dBAB|1 =cAGE D2AD:|2 =cAGE D3|| W:Have you washed your father's shirt? W:Have you washed it clean? W:Have you hung it on the line W:Out on the village green? W:

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Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.
This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.
Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni

Please register as a user to make the most of the many functions of the TTA, and enjoy the many ways that information about traditional tunes can be elicited and combined, from simple to complex situations. Users may make contributions, which, when reviewed by an editor, become part of this community project. Serious user/contributors may become editors through the TTA's autopromotion process, in which quantity and quality of entries allows increased levels of permission to edit and review the entire index.
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  • Query the Archive. The “Query the Archive” function under “The Archive” in the sidebar can be used to draw down reports from the TTA in either in single items or in a number of combinations. One might, for example, use a single item query to run a report in the TTA for a particular composer/core source. Clicking on the arrow at the right of the bar draws down a list of composer/core sources, or one may be typed in. For example, clicking on “Bill Pigg” and then the “Run Query” tab at the bottom left will result in a list of all compositions listed in the TTA that the Northumbrian piper either composed or is the core source for. Reports may also be run in combinations, as, for example, by selecting “William Marshall” as a composer/core source, “Three Flats” for the number of accidentals, and “Major” for the Key/Mode. This will result in a report of all Eb Major compositions of Scottish fiddler/composer William Marshall that are indexed in the TTA.
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