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Origins: gander in the pratie hole

fergus o'strange 17 Mar 08 - 09:15 AM
Bert Fegg 17 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 17 Mar 08 - 02:24 PM
Jack Campin 17 Mar 08 - 02:56 PM
Bert Fegg 17 Mar 08 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,strad 17 Mar 08 - 03:43 PM
Jack Campin 17 Mar 08 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 17 Mar 08 - 04:14 PM
Bert Fegg 17 Mar 08 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 17 Mar 08 - 04:42 PM
Bert Fegg 17 Mar 08 - 04:47 PM
Lynn W 17 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM
RTim 17 Mar 08 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 17 Mar 08 - 05:43 PM
cptsnapper 17 Mar 08 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 17 Mar 08 - 06:11 PM
Lynn W 17 Mar 08 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,RWM 17 Mar 08 - 11:13 PM
Dave Hanson 18 Mar 08 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,PMB 18 Mar 08 - 07:11 AM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 18 Mar 08 - 11:30 AM
fergus o'strange 19 Mar 08 - 12:48 AM
Dave Hanson 19 Mar 08 - 03:40 AM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Mar 08 - 11:18 AM
Dave Hanson 19 Mar 08 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,petr 19 Mar 08 - 01:38 PM
Rich_Kelly 20 Mar 08 - 09:44 AM
redsnapper 20 Mar 08 - 10:05 AM
Gedpipes 20 Mar 08 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 20 Mar 08 - 11:54 AM
Geoff Wallis 21 Mar 08 - 02:54 PM
fergus o'strange 22 Mar 08 - 12:06 PM
Geoff Wallis 22 Mar 08 - 01:26 PM
fergus o'strange 22 Mar 08 - 03:21 PM
Gulliver 22 Mar 08 - 06:17 PM
Jack Blandiver 23 Mar 08 - 06:08 AM
redsnapper 23 Mar 08 - 07:22 AM
Geoff Wallis 23 Mar 08 - 03:03 PM
redsnapper 23 Mar 08 - 03:23 PM
Geoff Wallis 23 Mar 08 - 03:28 PM
redsnapper 23 Mar 08 - 03:32 PM
Geoff Wallis 23 Mar 08 - 04:50 PM
Geoff Wallis 24 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM
Greg B 24 Mar 08 - 07:06 PM
Seamus Kennedy 24 Mar 08 - 11:05 PM
Roughyed 25 Mar 08 - 04:42 AM
Mo the caller 25 Mar 08 - 05:21 PM
Geoff Wallis 28 Mar 08 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,louis riel 09 Sep 09 - 01:39 AM
GUEST,Corney 09 Sep 09 - 04:57 AM
Dave Hanson 09 Sep 09 - 09:08 AM
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Subject: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: fergus o'strange
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 09:15 AM

is there a web resource, or a book available, which gives information on the origins of traditional tunes, be they irish, english etc. am currently learning, among others, gander in the pratie hole on mandolin, and will be playing same live in the nera future. it would be nice to say what the tune is about before i play it. any help gratefully received


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Bert Fegg
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM

Irish tunes are not *about* anything. Their titles are merely means of identification.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 02:24 PM

Pratie means potato...soooooo...'avin' a gander in the pratie hole, I think, means having look in the hole from whence you dug up the potato

Though why you'd want to do that, I've no idea, except perhaps to see if there are anymore spuds down there.

perhaps something to be celebrated, so someone composed a jig.

Charlotte (still a bit early for gardening in this part of the world)


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 02:56 PM

The majority of older tune titles *do* mean something, because dance tunes were commonly derived from songs, or the titles reference specific people, places and events. This is true of almost all the Scottish repertoire (as in Kerr's, say) and certainly a large part of the Irish one (as in O'Neill's).

Quite why the 19th century Irish had such an obsession with geese I have no idea. But I'd be surprised if there were no traceable story behind this one.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Bert Fegg
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 03:28 PM

Charlotte and Jack, you're just completely way off beam.

The poster wrote 'it would be nice to say what the tune is about before i play it'.

The tunes are about nothing! The titles are mere identifiers. If you don't understand that then you really shouldn't be posting responses to a thread such as this.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,strad
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 03:43 PM

In days of old when knights were bold praties would have been stored in a hole in the ground. So an inquisitive gander may well have found an uncovered hole and gone in for a feed. I know farm creatures are good at getting where they didn't ought to be!


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 04:06 PM

Irish tunes are quite often VERY DEFINITELY "about" something. The tunes have associations that in some cases have been fixed for centuries. Try walking into a Republican or Orange bar whistling a tune from the other side and see if you still have enough teeth to whistle through when you walk out again.

This was an issue for the Scottish Protestant reformers when they wanted to create a new liturgy. They first tried to use folk tunes for their new hymns. They gave up the experiment very quickly when it was obvious people couldn't forget the secular associations they had.

Two Scottish examples of tunes which never had words but where the historical context of the title throws up some fascinating history which makes for a darn good piece of on-stage patter: John Macdonald's pipe march "The 79th's Farewell to Gibraltar" (pipe marches are NOT always about patriotism) and William Marshall's reel "The Illumination 9th Feb 1781" (the window that one opens up into 18th century history and the mindset of Marshall's public is astonishing, its modern equivalent would be walking into a New York bar announcing in all seriousness that you were going to dedicate your next song to Osama bin Laden).

"Sam Henry's Songs of the People" is often a good source for this sort of info about Irish music, but draws a blank with this one. You could try Alois Fleischmann's "Sources of Irish Traditional Music" for a start - he won't give the story but he will at least pin down where it came from. I don't have a copy here.

I have come across Bert Fegg's sort of know-nothingism about tunes before. I don't get it. If you care about the music, why on earth *wouldn't* you want to want to know as much as you could about the circumstances of its creation and what it's meant to people before you?


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 04:14 PM

"The tunes are about nothing! The titles are mere identifiers. If you don't understand that then you really shouldn't be posting responses to a thread such as this."

I thought I'd seen pomposity before; but don't this just beat all?

Bert Fegg is well named as in Bert Fegg's Nasty Book For Boys and Girls, compiled by a couple of the Monty Python crew...but, "Bert" that was a joke, you know, funny..HA HA!

"In days of old when knights were bold praties would have been stored in a hole in the ground. So an inquisitive gander may well have found an uncovered hole and gone in for a feed. I know farm creatures are good at getting where they didn't ought to be!"

Now there's another good explanation, thanks strad :-)

Bert, baby...you're waaaayyyy off beam: should you be allowed out on your own? *LOL*

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Bert Fegg
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 04:22 PM

Jack and Charlotte,

You really don't get the point do you?!

And sadly you reinforce your ignorance about Irish music with each posting.

The tunes themselves do not have any meaning whatsoever. (Jack, you're confusing connotation with denotation.)

How can a series of notes have a meaning?

I'll say it again until I'm blue in the face, but the titles are mere cataloguing devices.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 04:42 PM

"I'll say it again until I'm blue in the face, but the titles are mere cataloguing devices."

right "Bert" whatever you say...


Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Bert Fegg
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 04:47 PM

Oh, grow up and don't be so blooming flippant, Charlotte!

Why don't you just admit that you're completely out of your depth for once rather than continuing to smatter Mudcat with your ill-conceived opinions and half-backed 'knowledge'!

And, if you're going to quote my name, it should be 'Bert' rather than "Bert", but I suspect that's a grammatical nicety beyond your ken.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Lynn W
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM

To go back to the original poster's question, there are several web resources on the origins of the tune titles at least and these often show a fascinating history. Try the Fiddler's Companion which has loads to say about this particular tune
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/GAMB_GAY.htm
However, lots of Irish tunes have many different titles and which one you use will depend on who you learnt it from.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: RTim
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 05:43 PM

Just an illustration
- I have to add I am NOT a musician, but a singer.
I taught a tune to my wife some time ago (when in England - and we used it for a Morris Dance) that I called "Horse Music", (I mouthed and hummmed the tune and she transcribed it).
She in turn taught it to some other friends in the USA and played it at a few sessions.
Another friend heard and liked it and learned it - and then added it to the index highlighted above by Lynn W. as :
TIMÕS KERRY PONY. English, Morris Dance Tune (2/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning. AABB.
X: 1
T: Tim's Kerry Pony
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
S: Tim Radford / Jan Elliott
Z: Transcribed by Bill Black
H: English traditional (morris dance)
K: D
FA AB/2c/2 | dc BA | FA AB/2c/2 | dF E2 | FA AB/2c/2 | dc BA | Be Be | Bc d2 :|
fd fd | e>c BA | fd fd | Be e2 | fd fd | e>c BA | Be Be | Bc d2 :|

NOT my tune, NOT my title, and the title has NOTHING to do with the tune.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 05:43 PM

"Oh, grow up and don't be so blooming flippant, Charlotte!"

I grew up along time ago. What I'm seeing here with you, is a spoilt child who isn't used to being challenged on his 'opinions'

My knowledge of music is based on good sound research, and, of course, the playing of the tunes and songs... and my knowledge of the English language and grammarhas a basis in life long usage, with high marks at the school and university level.

"least and these often show a fascinating history"

a history of 'markers' eh? ;-)

Lynn, a very interesting site that, I've book marked it for future reference. many thanks:-)

Charlotte (the informed view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: cptsnapper
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 06:09 PM

I can't help thinking that this particular title brings Rambling Syd Rumpole to mind!


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 06:11 PM

You mean that grand old trad.arr tune(uncatalogued) The Ballad of The Irish Woggler's Mouley?

Charlotte (a sense of humour helps a good deal)


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Lynn W
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 06:29 PM

That's a great cautionary tale Tim! (Just played your tune - it sounds like "Who wouldna fight for Charlie" to me!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,RWM
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 11:13 PM

Another possibility: The pratie hole is an opening on a blacksmith's anvil. Curious gander....would be a load of squawking. It's a GREAT piping tune.

Robert


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 18 Mar 08 - 06:00 AM

The names of most Irish dance tunes mostly don't mean anything, they merely reflect a moment in time, if you look at O'Neills 1001 there are exactly 1001 tunes but about 3500 titles, each reflecting a time when the tune was popular or who or where it was obtained from, take the jig ' Top Of Cork Road ' also known as Father O'Flynn or The Rollocking Irishman, no reasons.

eric


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 18 Mar 08 - 07:11 AM

Sometimes a tune takes its name from a dance. In that case the dance may or may not have been expressive of the title. Perhaps the Black Stripper comes into this category, no, idiot, not that sort of dance, shut up.

Some tunes are definitely sound poems- the Fox Chase is one- Gander in the Pratie Hole might have originally been performed on the pipes with a lot of goosey honking (though beware- today's tune of that title might not be the "original").

There are a lot of commemorative tune names- O'Farrel's Welcome to Limerick, the Repeal of the Union, the Bould Fenian, the Land League, the Metal Bridge, the New Road to Wherever etc. These may be renamed tunes- they often have other names, e.g. O'Farrel is often referred to as Housewives' Choice or An Fishfluke.

Some will have had music hall songs attached to them, bits of stage Oirishry, Father O'Flynn is probably in this category.

Others are named after the composer or populariser or someone who was particularly fond of it- Tom Billy's, Coleman's No. 2 (not named after a visit to the toilet), Creavey's etc. Still others

Some were certainly named after the circumstances of their composition- I've forgotten who it was that, one fine summer's day, sat down for a rest while cutting turf, and an idea of a tune came to him- worked out on the spot on the whistle from his pocket, it's still called the Bank of Turf.

Other tunes are simply whimsical- Upstairs in a Tent, Last Night's Fun, When Sick Is It tay You Want, though I think It Goes As Follies is actually mondegrenic, someone asked what tune was played, expecting the name, and the player replied "It goes as follows" with a bit of an accent, then proceeded to play it.

There may be reasons behind many of the other names, though as Brendan Breathsnatch pointed out, the same tune may have contradictory names, and the same name can be attached to several tunes of different characters. I understand that some of the names by which tunes are known today resulted from record labels being incorrectly printed.

Ciaran Carson's "Last Night's Fun" is absolutely required reading in this context.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 18 Mar 08 - 11:30 AM

"Another possibility: The pratie hole is an opening on a blacksmith's anvil. Curious gander....would be a load of squawking"

with his head stuck in the hole..hmmm..not sure how musical that would be, but it's really great visual *LOL*

Charlotte (the non pratie hole view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: fergus o'strange
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 12:48 AM

to all posters, bar bert fegg, thanks for your help. now when i play a given song, i can say, this is about blah blah blah, or this is about nothing, enjoy or not as you wish, a 1,a 2, a 1,2,3,4...

to bert fegg, i didn't specify just irish songs, i typed irish, english etc. i quoted "gander" as but one example because the title intrigues me. a series of notes can have any meaning the composer, or the listener wishes to invest them with. harold pinter once said that his plays were "about" "the weasel under the cocktail cabinet" i may have the exact words wrong, but that was the gist, and he said it to frustrate one of those interviewers who like to pigeonhole, and know what something is "about". i don't ask what "gander" is about so i can pigeon hole it, but i'm aware that some songs will have clear origins, and some will be lost in the mists of time. however, the next time i do actually want a smart ass answer, i promise you'll be the first i ask, do we have a deal?


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 03:40 AM

Never mind The Gander In The Pratie Hole, what about ' Kitty Got A Clinking Coming From The Races ' number 605 in O'Neills 10011 Gems.

eric


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 11:18 AM

"' Kitty Got A Clinking Coming From The Races ' number 605 in O'Neills 10011 Gems."

maybe you should start a thread concerning this song

Charlotte (Lazing on a Sunny Wednesday morn[sorry Ray])


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 11:23 AM

That should be 1001 Gems, and anyway it's a reel, no words.

eric


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 01:38 PM

there is a story about two pipers competing all night and in the morning one of them walked outside and heard a lark and composed the tune lark in the morning on the spot. and thereby winning the competition..
(Seamus Ennis used to tell that story and then add - now here's the real tune that was composed..)

of course a lot of the names are pointless, just for mnemonics, and many tunes have multiple names, and there are a number of different tunes of the same name.. etc..

Supposedly Julia Delaney is Chief O'Neills daughter. She married piper Barney Delaney. And Mayor Harrison (of the fedora) was Mayor of Chicago.

I ll have to re-read Ciaran Carsons book (Last Nights Fun), Id recommend it for all session musicians.
Petr


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Rich_Kelly
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 09:44 AM

At a session one time I was told the apocryphal tale of a college student coming to a session to record the tunes played. After hearing a set, the student asked the fiddler for the name of the tune. The older veteran player said it was called "The Hen's Tooth". The student dutifully recorded the information.

Later, another tune was played and, again, the student leaned in and asked for the name of that last one. The fiddler leaned over and said "The Hen's Tooth".

The student quickly replied, "But I thought you said that tune you played earlier was called 'The Hen's Tooth'"?

Without hesitation, the fiddler replied "Different tooth".


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: redsnapper
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 10:05 AM

I always thought of it in my mind as the gander (the goose's partner) in the pratie hole (the hole left behind after the potatoes were lifted). Don't know if that's what was meant by the composer though and stand to be corrected. It also makes for a nice Spoonerism.

RS


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Gedpipes
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 11:49 AM

Personally, I think tunes are always about something or someone. Whenever, I play a tune, in particular an air, but also with marches, jigs, polkas, reels I try to put myself into it. If anyone is familiar with the liner notes written by Seamus Ennis on The Best of Irish Piping you will know how he beautifully describes what tunes mean to him.
Isnt it wonderful what a set of dots can do to emotions?

So I must be missing the point you are making Bert Fegg.

Blue skies (but not in Beverley)
Ged


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 11:54 AM

Irish tunes are not *about* anything. Their titles are merely means of identification.

So I must be missing the point you are making Bert Fegg.

There was no point to miss, Ged..apparently Feggy does this all the time, makes unsupportable claims and then shuts up and hates when people contradict him.

Charlotte (Gimme the moonlight...)


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 02:54 PM

I have no intention of being as rudely blunt as Fegg, but s/he does have a very valid point. Irish tunes themselves are meaningless (in the sense that a collection of notes can never be interpreted linguistically), only their titles carry any meaning.

Said titles fall into various categories:

1) airs derived from songs sung in either Irish or English - in this case the tune's title is no more than a reference to the song;

2) tunes celebrating or commemorating events, whether major or minor in consequence, e.g. The Battle of Augrhim or The Dispute at the Crossroads;

3) melodies celebrating a place or area, e.g. Bantry Bay, The Glen Road to Carrick and all the 'Humours' tunes;

4) those named after a person, either because said person is reckoned to have originally composed the tune (e.g. Paddy Fahy's, Jackie Coleman's, etc.) or celebrating a particular person or an aspect of their character (e.g. Marquis of Lorne or Mayor Harrison's Fedora);

5) descriptors of everyday events, places, household objects, preferences, appreciations, etc - the list is very wide;

6)tunes referencing birds, animals, farming, hunting, etc.

I could go on, but that's enough for starters.

I'd also be very wary of assuming that anything Séamus Ennis wrote or said about a tune is necessarily correct. I'd better qualify that.

In the years following his work as a collector of songs and tunes Séamus developed a career as a musician and, dare I say, showman.

The Lark in the Morning story certainly dates from that time and has no veracity in fact (the younger Ennis would have acknowledged its implausibility). Similarly, informative though his notes for The Best of Irish Piping might be, they do roam somewhat wildly into the realms of fancy.

Here's one example relating to The Merry Sisters which struck Ennis 'as being the musical embodiment of a man's dilemma as he tries to choose between the three, with arguments for and against each, unsuccessfully'.

And here's another: 'Kitty's Rambles takes us on a variety of expeditions with her enquiring mind and her conclusions'.

In other words, and in response to the OP, I'd be very wary of attempting anything more than an explanation of the tune's title.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: fergus o'strange
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 12:06 PM

geoff,
thanks for your reply. i have no problem with there being conflicting "meanings" to songs, thats part of the magic of music. i see no problem that a single song may be said to be "about" different issues or events, depending on who is presenting the song. the origins of irish, english, scottish, american traditional tunes are not written in stone, that goes without saying. my initial post was about what resources a fella like myself could go to to research some background to the songs i'm playing.i have no time for pedantic smart arses and self appointed "experts" like bert who can't or won't see my query for what it is.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 01:26 PM

Well, for Irish tunes, the best bet is http://www.irishtune.info/ which is a searchable database.

Andrew Kuntz's site, The Fiddler's Companion - http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/ - has plenty of background detail on the origins of tunes from North America, Ireland and the UK.

That's two great resources for starters!


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: fergus o'strange
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 03:21 PM

cheers geoff,
earlier poster lynn mentioned the fiddlers companion too, have already had a "gander" and bookmarked that one. will check out the other one too. as i say, when i'm playing a song, saying a little about the story surrounding a song, even if the story is one of many,or the provenence of the song is moot, breaks up the set and is better than saying "and this next one is..." ad infinitum.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Gulliver
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:17 PM

I agree that the vast majority of Irish tune titles are just identifiers, but when I'm playing this tune, for example, the way it keeps returning to A and C, I imagine, when playing the tune, a gander stuck in a muddy hole and trying to get out, but keeps slipping back again. And when playing "Out on the Ocean", I imagine the waves lapping against a boat, with every so often a big wave--that's the ornamentation. Nearly every tune I play brings up a mind picture, and that also helps me remember the melody. Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:08 AM

To what extent might traditional Irish music be programmatic? Well, if there's a definite precedent then it has to be The Fox Hunt, as famously rendered by Seamus Ennis and uproariously reconstructed by Felix Doran (see VOTP 18, although Felix's choice introduction has been edited out, for whatever reason...). There is poetry, wit, humour & existential irony in these titles, the nature of which certainly imply another level beyond simply being identifiers for a series of notes. The Chieftains certainly thought so too.

How can a series of notes have a meaning? Best start with Pythagoras on that one!

Easter Joy (& Easter Snow!)

Sedayne.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: redsnapper
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 07:22 AM

Irish tunes themselves are meaningless (in the sense that a collection of notes can never be interpreted linguistically), only their titles carry any meaning.

I'm not sure I fully agree. Having grown up playing Irish traditional music and having played with others and in public for some 45 years, I cannot view ITM as just a collection of notes. The melodies, phrasing and timbre of instruments do, at least to me, frequently communicate feelings, situations and events in a powerful non-linguistic way and are very far from being meaningless. The titles often reflect what the tune has been trying to convey.

I'm sure that many will disagree but that's the way I see it.

RS


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 03:03 PM

Redsnapper,

But how do you know whether:

1) the title of the tune you're playing was the original one ascribed by its author?

2) which instrument(s) originally played the tune?

3) the feelings you experience while playing the tune were those intended by its author? And I'm definitely not willing to get into any arguments about the Intentionist Fallacy! :)

It's all conjecture. Obviously, if someone plays a tune like 'The Atlantic Roar' ('Tuam na Farraige') and prefaces this with detail about John Doherty and information about Donegal seascapes, the latter embroidered with a reference to the Malinbeg headland of the same name), then there'll be a tendency for said tune's audience to interpret sounds in ways which it would not have done if the tune had simply been played without any form of announcement. If you, or anybody else, can actually point me to the parts of that tune which implicitly suggest the roar of the Atlantic, without any other interpretation, then I'll get my coat.

I could raise many, many other examples, but I'll restrict myself to one, 'Tom Ward's Downfall'. As listeners to the tune, we don't know anything about Tom nor whether his fate was generally applauded. Sure, it's a reel, but so's 'The Ten Pound Float'. Where are the specific notes in the tune which actually relate to either Tom or his fall from grace?

The upshot, Redsnapper, is that I think you really are reading to much into a tune's title and I would challenge you to name at least one Irish dance tune which is attempting to convey some form of meaning (and I'm not referring to titles, but the actual notes themselves).

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: redsnapper
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 03:23 PM

I could name at least 200 that do that but do not intend to. As I said, I grew up playing ITM and a very large number of tunes that I play or have played convey a strong message to me. Whether that is exactly the same as what the composer intended is immaterial.

Respectfully,

RS


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 03:28 PM

No, RS,

It's all very well claiming that you can name 200 tunes which convey a meaning, but you haven't even provided one example to support your case.

If you can do so, I'd very much appreciate hearing more about this tune! And, please don't be tempted to mention 'The Fox Chase', as we're talking about run-of-the-mill dance tunes here, not special pieces.

ATB,

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: redsnapper
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 03:32 PM

I do not have to and I will not. I am expressing my opinion as a long-time ITM player, which is as valid as your opinion that a collection of notes cannot convey a meaning, and this website is not a court of law.

Respectfully,

RS


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 04:50 PM

Apologies, RS,

I'm by no means trying to force you to share my viewpoint, just requesting some information which challenges my own experience of Irish music over the last 40 years.

All I'm asking is for you to share with me one Irish traditional dance tune whose meaning is implicit in its music, not by means of its title.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM

Sad to say, but, in the absence of a reply from Redsnapper, I'll have to rest on my laurels. However, I don't feel particularly comfortable. Come on, Rs, share just one little snippet of enlightenment, please.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Greg B
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 07:06 PM

Well, the title of the tune in question might have an obscene
connotation, mightn't it?

I'm reminded of the derisive remark made about various sorts of music:

"How do you tell (Irish, bluegrass, Scottish, Rap) tunes apart?"

"By the names."

I'm fond of the improbable yet explicable ones like "Twice Round the
House and Mind the Wardrobe" which of course is likely coming from a
dancing directive.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 11:05 PM

In order to find out the meaning of The Gander in the Pratie Hole, I think you need to ask The Pigeon on the Gate, or maybe The Dogs among the Bushes, or possibly the Lark in the Clear Air.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Roughyed
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 04:42 AM

Couldn't do the blue clicky but could this be the sort of pratie hole meant. A gander could probably make a bit of an inroad into the winter store of spuds.

http://www.selfsufficientish.com/clamp.htm


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Mo the caller
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 05:21 PM

Greg said
"I'm fond of the improbable yet explicable ones like "Twice Round the
House and Mind the Wardrobe" which of course is likely coming from a
dancing directive. "
That title conjures quite a different dance to the one done in the kitchen 'round the house and mind the dresser'
Just in case anyone doesn't know, 'round the house' is when 4 couples dance in ballroom hold round a square set, turning as they go. As the Irish Sets used to be danced in farmhouse kitchens you had to 'mind the dresser'.
Never heard of anyone dancing in the bedroom - not for 4 couples anyway!


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 04:43 PM

There is no Irish dance tune called 'Twice Round the House and Mind the Wardrobe'! Mo's right in referring to 'Round the House and Mind the Dresser', written by Charlie Lennon and recorded by The Chieftains, amongst others.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,louis riel
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 01:39 AM

i heard an accordionist play a Metis tune called "Louis Riel" about the life and death of Canadian rebel Louis Riel and while he played the tune he actually pointed out the different parts of the story, including a battle, and "the hanging," which did indeed have the feeling of being about the hanging of a hero.


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: GUEST,Corney
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 04:57 AM

An earlier post mentioned "Kitty got a clinking coming from the fair".
I think Seamus Ennis described a clinking as "an intimate act of warm admiration"!

Alos mentioned above: "These may be renamed tunes- they often have other names, e.g. O'Farrel's welcome to Limerick is often referred to as Housewives' Choice or An Fishfluke."
The correct Irish title is "An Phuis Fluich".
"Fluich" in Irish means wet, "Phuis" is an intimate part of the female anatomy -I'll say no more!


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Subject: RE: Origins: gander in the pratie hole
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 09:08 AM

Seamus, The dog in the bushes has run off after a rabbit, the pigeon on the gate has flown away and the lark has got a sore throat being unable to find any clear air, so what now ?

Dave H


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