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Archive for the 'Slip jigs' Category


John McKenna was quite fond of putting slip jigs after jigs on his recordings. Unfortunately, the change in phrasing from double jig to slip jig on this track completely throws an already struggling piano accompanist. The piano's ham-fisted sonic and rhythmic brutality renders the melody quite hard to follow, which is a pity, because it's a nice tune with some unusual features... and this from someone who is very used to 'unhearing' ropey accompaniment on old recordings.

McKenna plays this on an F flute with a remarkably clear and focused tone. He gets a great pace and emphasis going despite the piano's best efforts to rugby tackle him to the floor of the studio and jump on his ear.

He's doing some interesting things on the low G 'rolls' of the second part: Sometimes he sounds like he's playing a short roll, then it sounds like he's articulating the G notes with his breath and tapping out a grace note or two for a different effect.

In the clip below I play a bit of the rhythmic pulse of slip jig rhythm and phrasing as it might be used in the first part of this tune,then I play 

the melody slowly and up to speed.

The double jig on this track is a very nice setting of the common tune 'Behind the Haystack' but with only 2 parts and in G. He has some great turns in it.

The slip jig is one of the lesser know McKenna tunes however. I've never met anyone else who plays it.



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My Old Clay Pipe (Slip Jig).

Here's a nice take on the slip jig 'The Humours of Whiskey' from Galway/U.S. fluter and piper Tom Morrison.


There are no known recordings of Morrison playing the pipes, but you can hear him flute this one in fine fashion HERE.


He was a fantastic flute player. Would love to have heard what he made of the pipes.


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Hardiman the Fiddler (Slip Jig)


Just time for a quick go at this well-known old slip jig. I was reminded of it after hearing Willie Clancy playing it on RTE Radio's The Rolling Wave programme the other evening. There's plenty of scope in it for Clancy's nice treatment of the Cs including various grades of pronouncing them in a clipped or tight way. Accented C naturals stand out well against this them then.

I don't play the second part as open as Clancy did, but I chance a couple off-the-knee 'F super-naturals' here (sliding from high E to the F roll in the second octave off the knee with the wee finger of the bottom hand kept down).

It's thought that the title may commemorate the Mayo-born librarian and music collector James Hardiman (pictured above). The library in NUIG is named after him.


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This one was made pretty famous by Liam O'Flynn who recorded it with Planxty. This is a pretty similar setting, being after Seamus Ennis.

It differs a bit from the standard session version having one less part, and the last part here is different, with a big long C natural (that is always nice to tuck into on the pipes).

I only remembered afterwards the option of elongating the second cranned long E in the first part (as Ennis and O'Flynn do it), but t'was too late for me ta put it in, arrrrrrrr, 'tis a hard loife bein' a poipin' poirate! (Just slipped into Pirate Mode there for the day that's in it).

Here's Planxty doing their THANG with it. Great track altogether.


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(fig 1. Gimlets: Size isn't everything)

This is one of my favourite tunes that Willie Clancy played. It was also recorded under the title 'The Munster Gimlet' by Patsy Touhey which resonates with a verse that Clancy had to the tune:

Kitty come down, come down,

Kitty come down to Limerick.

I knew by the glint in her eye

That she wanted a touch of the gimlet!

A gimlet is a hand tool for manually boring into wood. In the spirit of the last post (I swear, Dr. Freud, that this dubious connection was not intentional!) I'll leave you to make any lewd poetic connections as your disposition dictates.




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