Continuing with the Irish tune trend, today’s fiddle tune is a jig called the Swallowtail Jig. It is my understanding that this is a traditional Irish jig, so I hope that my understanding is confirmed by the fiddler’s companion.
I was inspired to play Swallowtail Jig because of it’s similarities to the Angry Birds theme song, which I recorded tonight before I recorded Swallowtail. I haven’t posted it yet, but by the end of the day tomorrow, you will be able to watch me play the Angry Birds Theme song from the homepage of vithefiddler.com.
Get sheet music to this version of Swallowtail Jig here
Learn to play Swallowtail Jig on fiddle here
It does look like the Fiddler’s Companion Confirms the Irish origins. Woo hoo!
Swallowtail Jig according to the Fiddler’s Companion
SWALLOWTAIL JIG , THE (Drioball na Fáinleoige). AKA and see “The Dancing Master,” “Dromey’s Fancy,” “From the New Country,” “Swallow’s Nest .” Irish, English, Canadian, American; Double Jig. USA; New England, southwestern Pa. E Dorian (most versions): A Dorian (Allan’s): B Minor (Shears). Standard tuning. AB (Bayard): AABB (most versions). A popular tune in Ireland, Britain and North America, especially with beginners, although often considered too hackneyed for session play. The title (in conjunction with the alternate title in O’Neill’s, “The Dancing Master”) may possibly refer to the type of coat typically worn the by early 19th century dancing master. Bayard (1981) identifies as another member of the “protean” “Welcome Home” tune family. Ken Perlman (1979) dates “Swallowtail Jig” to the mid‑nineteenth century (perhaps on the strength of its appearance in Kerr’s c. 1880’s collection), and says it is often used as the vehicle for Northumbrian sword dancing (for five dancers with two‑handled swords). See also O’Neill’s related tune “Dromey’s Fancy.”
Stephanie Loo says
Those two-handled "swords" are actually horse-grooming implements. It's called "rapper Morris" dancing. The Boston area has Morris teams that perform it. I first saw them in the Christmas Revels initiated by the late, great John Langstaff. The "wow" moment is when, at the end of the dance, the dancers have woven their swords into an interlaced 5 pointed star, and the man in the center holds it aloft. See e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8MmDebC1Zc&list=PL1iPYBwW09vg9_Z5_kykMH-wtIr1Lq4UZ.
Vi Wickam says
Interesting dancing. Who would have thought that you could use a Horse comb as a dancing sword. 🙂