Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: Ger the Rigger

Gypsy 06 Feb 07 - 11:42 PM
clueless don 07 Feb 07 - 12:31 PM
Marje 07 Feb 07 - 12:44 PM
Charley Noble 07 Feb 07 - 02:57 PM
Crane Driver 07 Feb 07 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,mg 07 Feb 07 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,Cliff 07 Feb 07 - 03:47 PM
clueless don 07 Feb 07 - 04:01 PM
Lighter 07 Feb 07 - 04:26 PM
Herga Kitty 07 Feb 07 - 04:53 PM
BanjoRay 07 Feb 07 - 06:10 PM
Gypsy 07 Feb 07 - 09:26 PM
Bob Bolton 08 Feb 07 - 06:37 PM
Crane Driver 08 Feb 07 - 07:28 PM
Gypsy 08 Feb 07 - 10:27 PM
Marje 09 Feb 07 - 05:56 AM
clueless don 09 Feb 07 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Rog Peek 15 Dec 11 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,kenny 15 Dec 11 - 03:48 PM
Jack Campin 15 Dec 11 - 05:10 PM
Liberty Boy 16 Dec 11 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler 16 Dec 11 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Rog Peek 16 Dec 11 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,kenny 17 Dec 11 - 05:26 AM
mayomick 17 Dec 11 - 05:21 PM
mayomick 17 Dec 11 - 05:38 PM
mayomick 17 Dec 11 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,fiddlefancier 18 Apr 14 - 10:22 AM
Lighter 18 Apr 14 - 11:11 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Gypsy
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 11:42 PM

Okay everyone.....can anyone explain the title? One place sez that the title is actually Jer the Rigger, and Jer would be the diminutive for Jeramiah........and a rigger is a carpenter. Any other definitions out there for me? And how do you pronounce it? Locally, it is said more like "GAR" the rigger, with a hard G. Thanks all!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: clueless don
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 12:31 PM

This is not definitive, but I have always heard the "Ger" of the title pronounced "Jare" (rhymes with hair), i.e. as the first syllable of Jerry (or, if you prefer, the first syllable of Gerald.)

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Marje
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 12:44 PM

I thought it was a Scandinavian tune and name. Swedish?

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 02:57 PM

Are you asking about Andrew MacKay's (Wales) fine song which he titles "Jerry the One-Legged Rigger."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Crane Driver
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 03:27 PM

Well, I'm sure it's NOT Jerry the One-Legged Rigger being asked for, but since it's been mentioned, I'll post the words.

Jerry the One-Legged Rigger
by Andrew "Crane Driver" McKay

By the time he was born he'd been twice round the horn,
For his Mam was his Dad's navigator,
He was born in the dark on an old Swansea barque
About thirty miles from the equator.
By the time he was three he'd spent four years at sea,
What he didn't know didn't figure,
Now his sailing is past, but he's still up the mast,
He's Jerry the one-legged rigger.
        Oh you may have a dock where you float round the clock,
        And your ships may be faster and bigger,
        But there's one thing we've got which we're sure that you've not,
        That's Jerry the one-legged rigger.


Now copper's our trade, in the Hafod it's made,
The ore comes from far away places,
So the sea's always glad of a strapping young lad,
Who knows how to haul the lee braces.
By the time he was ten Jerry'd sailed with the men,
On the Gem and the old Ocean Beauty,
It was always his boast to be first at his post
And foremost in doing his duty.

Well, the story's in baulk, because Jerry won't talk
Of just how his leg went a-missing,
Was it through work, from which he'd never shirk,
Or a fight over who he'd been kissing?
Or could it have been like a fellow I seen,
When we was in port making merry,
Took a swim for a lark, and got ate by a shark,
Well, perhaps that's what happened to Jerry.

When your ship's on the Strand and you've ale in your hand,
The sails in the locker are lying,
When it's time to put out, they gives a great shout,
And that's when the riggers come flying.
They're an old stranded crew but they know what to do,
And they do it with skill and with vigour,
But the foremost of all, at the foot-rope or fall,
Is Jerry the one-legged rigger.

When there's ships to prepare, you'll see him up there,
His old ragged trouser-leg flapping,
And he hops to and fro, both aloft and alow,
To check out the rigging and wrapping.
When she puts out to sea, Jerry's left on the quay,
But you know that what e'er may betide her,
Come spring airs or late gales, Jerry's heart's in her sails,
And his thoughts on the ocean beside her.

This is based on a true story from Swansea, South Wales. An old sailor told a story of Jerry, the one-legged rigger, who could be seen working aloft on the top-gallant yard, the empty leg of his trousers flapping in the wind, bending sails before hauling down to the jiboom corner. I thought he deserved a song.

A 'rigger' here is someone who works in the docks, preparing sailing ships for their next voyage. They would go up the masts and check the sails and rigging, repairing or replacing as needed. In industrial ports like Swansea, the sails would be taken down and stowed in the sail locker until just before the outward voyage, to avoid damage from air pollution - Swansea's copper smelters (based in an area called The Hafod, but long gone now) pumped out sulphuric acid which was no good for anything.

Swansea, despite being a busy port throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, was late in getting a floating dock. Ships tied up at the riverbank (The Strand), and at low tide sat on the mud. This restricted the type of ships that could use Swansea. The big, fast windjammers and clippers would make for Liverpool, from where the goods would be transferred to coastal boats for the trip south. The Town Float, or North Dock, was only created in 1850, by straightening the river and fitting lock gates to the ox-bow of the old river channel. This is now under the Parc Tawe shopping precinct. The South Dock (now the Marina) was opened in the 1860's and the Prince of Wales Dock on the East Side not until the 1880's. The last Swansea barque to take a commercial cargo round Cape Horn to Chile sailed in 1896.

Andrew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 03:39 PM

great song..can you put it on you tube so we get the tune? mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: GUEST,Cliff
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 03:47 PM

It's a Sliabh Luachra polka. Check here: http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display/1367


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: clueless don
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 04:01 PM

I found some ABC notation, using JC's Tune Finder, for the tune I was talking about in my response. I modified it slightly to sound more like I am used to, and here it is:

X: 1
T:Ger the Rigger
M:2/4
L:1/8
K:A Major
eA eA|e/f/e/d/ cA|d2 d/e/f/g/|ae fe|!
eA eA|e/f/e/d/ cA|d f/e/ c e/d/|B/A/B/c/ A2:|!
ae f/e/c/e/|ae f/e/c/e/|d2 d/e/f/g/|ae fe|!
ae f/e/c/e/|ae f/e/c/e/|d f/e/ c e/d/|B/A/B/c/ A2:|!

Copy and paste this into the window at concertina.net to get staff notation and a midi.

Many folks call this a polka, but it is closer to a type of tune called, in the Irish tradition, a "single reel" (another example of this type of tune is "The Rakes of Mallow".)

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 04:26 PM

The tune was collected by Breandan Breathnach from Kerry fiddler Denis Murphy in 1966. It is titled "Jer the Rigger" in Breathnach's
"Dance Music of Ireland," Vol. II (1976).

In addition to being a fine tune, its international popularity also owes something to Kevin Burke's great recording of it on "If the Cap Fits."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 04:53 PM

Crane Driver - thanks for posting the words.

Hope to see you and Carole soon!

Kitty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: BanjoRay
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 06:10 PM

I've been playing 'Ger The Rigger' for our Appalachian Dance team in Scunthorpe - they made me learn as an Old Time tune, and now I know it isn't. It always sounded wrong to me (for Appalachian) but the dancers love it, so I'm not arguing. Now I'll be able to tell them where it came from!
Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Gypsy
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 09:26 PM

Yep, my guess had been 'gar' as in getting the rigger geared up. Not earth shattering, but since people tend to ask me these things as i am performing them........would be nice to have a boilerplate answer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 06:37 PM

G'day,

We need to avoid the persistent error of trying to read old titles from just our limited 21st century conception of the words used.

When I published the Bush Music Club's Bush Dance (tunes) collection, back in 1985, the author, David Johnson, included Ger the Rigger from his Scottish fiddling background (not from direct collection in Australia). Dave's Scottish sources influence the notes ... so I'm not getting involved in any Celtish stoush about origins ... but this is our note:

GER THE RIGGER is a tune of Scottish origin. According to Scottish reference books a "rigger" is either "one who manipulates a market" or "one who supplies clothes" or "one who attaches nozzles to cork and sole-ropes on a herring net". In the 18th century the word "rig" referred to a wanton woman and the verb meant to deflower a maiden. In the 19th century a "rig" was a practical joke and "to go the rig" was to get drunk. The reference quoted to "Corn Rig"s (elsewhere in the notes) suggests that a "rigger" might also be the one who makes the ridges or furrows between adjacent fields.

Just to give a few more possibilities from the tune's era.

Regards,

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Crane Driver
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 07:28 PM

note to mg -

The tune to my song is, of course, in no way related to the tune this thread is really about. 'YouTube' looks a bit technologically advanced for me, but if you pm me with your e-mail I could send you an mp3 of the song. Alternately, you could go to Woven Wheat Whispers and download my whole CD 'Pennbucky to Llangenny' for the recently discounted price of just 3 UKP (approx 6 USD) - 16 of my songs (plus a couple of tune sets) and a 12-page booklet of notes to the songs - a bargain! ;-}

Permission to sing my songs is always given - just please acknowledge the source.

Andrew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Gypsy
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 10:27 PM

GER THE RIGGER is a tune of Scottish origin. According to Scottish reference books a "rigger" is either "one who manipulates a market" or "one who supplies clothes" or "one who attaches nozzles to cork and sole-ropes on a herring net". In the 18th century the word "rig" referred to a wanton woman and the verb meant to deflower a maiden. In the 19th century a "rig" was a practical joke and "to go the rig" was to get drunk. The reference quoted to "Corn Rig"s (elsewhere in the notes) suggests that a "rigger" might also be the one who makes the ridges or furrows between adjacent fields.

This is the type of thing i am looking for! Kin i tek my pick? The mental images...........So, you defined Rig in various ways, howzabout 'ger'? thanks!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Marje
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 05:56 AM

Ok, sorry if I introduced a red herring by saying Scandinavian - I'm sure someone once told me this, but it now looks like rubbish. I still don't think it sounds very Irish, and am more inclined to believe that (as some say, above) it's originally Scottish,possibly taken up by Irish players later. This could mean there was a connection with Scandinavia, so maybe I wasn't so far out.

As to who "Ger" is and whether it's short for something, I have absolutely no idea.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: clueless don
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 08:34 AM

I'm sorry that I didn't think of it sooner, but here's what The Fiddler's Companion says about the tune:

JER THE RIGGER (Jer an Rigéara). AKA – "Ger the Rigger." AKA and see "Thadelo's." Irish; Polka, Single Reel or Hornpipe. A Mixolydian. Standard. AABB. The tune is set variously as a hornpipe, single reel, and, in the Sliabh Luachra region of southern Ireland, as a polka. The title probably refers to a man, Jer short for Jeremiah, and his occupation—a 'rigger' is a carpenter who roofs houses. Sources for notated versions: fiddler Denis Murphy, 1966 (Gneeveguilla, Co. Kerry, Ireland) [Breathnach]; accordion player Johnny O'Leary (Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border), who associated the tune with accordion player Thadelo Sullivan [Moylan]; set dance music recorded at Na Píobairí Uilleann, late 1980's [Taylor]. Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 128, pg. 67. Mallinson (100 Polkas), 1997; No. 16, pg. 7. Moylan (Johnny O'Leary), 1994; No. 113, pgs. 65-66. Sullivan (Session Tunes), Vol. 2; No. 19, pg. 8 (appears as "Ger the Rigger"). Taylor (Music for the Sets: Blue Book), 1995; pg. 16. Gael-Linn CEF 057, "Jackie Daly & Seamus Creagh." Gael-Linn CEF 132, Johnny O'Leary - "An Calmfhear/The Trooper" (1989). Green Linnet GLCD 3009, Kevin Burke - "If the Cap Fits" (1978. Learned from accordion player Jackie Daly). Kicking Mule KN‑327, "Scartaglen" (1984. Learned from Kevin Burke).


The companion seems to identify it as an Irish tune, whereas earlier posters have said that it is of Scottish origin. It wouldn't be the first (or even the third) time that a tune started as a Scottish tune but eventually became solidly part of the Irish tradition.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger - Thadelo Sullivan
From: GUEST,Rog Peek
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 02:57 PM

This is one of the 348 tunes transcribed from the playing of Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra and published in a book edited by Terry Moylan (ISBN 1 874675 42 2).

Terry says that Johnny would play this as a hornpipe, and usually paired it with Thadelos hornpipe for the final figure of The Polka Set (Sliabbh Luachra set).

Johnny, who sadly passed away in 2004, played for the set in Dan O'Connell's from c.1963 until shortly before his death. There is a recording of Johnny playing Thadelo's hornpipe for the final figure of the set in O'Connell's on the CD 'Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra' (CRCD01). Here he has is paired with Turkey in the Straw.

Thadelo Sullivan (Tim O'Sullivan) was a native of Annaghbeg,
Kilcummin. According to Johnny "He was a small farmer, a man who had five or six cows. He played the concert flute, tin whistle, a ten key accordian and a bit of the concertina."

He died in 1978 at the age of 74 years.

Rog

P.S. Can anyone tell me how Thadelo would have been pronounced?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 03:48 PM

No evidence whatsoever that it's Scottish in origin as far as I can see. I certainly never heard it played in the Scottish folk club scene before Kevin Burke's "If The Cap Fits" album, and I'm not aware of any Scottish recording on any instrument including it before that. I'm quite happy to be proved wrong.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 05:10 PM

Where did Burke say he got it?

I've always thought it was Scottish (with the same explanation of "rigger" as above), but the only place I can find in print that agrees with me is one of the Taigh na Teud books, which are no more credible a source than the Fiddler's Companion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Liberty Boy
Date: 16 Dec 11 - 06:10 AM

Johnny pronounced in Tay-Del-O.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Dec 11 - 07:17 AM

The first time I heard this tune I recognised it as one that I had learnt under another name.

I'm now racking my brains to try and remember what that name was!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: GUEST,Rog Peek
Date: 16 Dec 11 - 12:35 PM

Thanks Liberty Boy, 'straight from the horses mouth' so to speak.

Incidentally, that's how my wife said it would be pronounced, killed me to tell her she was right.

Rog


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 05:26 AM

Kevin Burke sleeve notes on "If The Cap Fits"............

"Track 6 - [ a set of 3 polkas, "Ger The Rigger" is the middle one ] - all these tunes I learned from Jackie Daly"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: mayomick
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 05:21 PM

Maybe Jer was known for playing hearty rigs ?

Down among the pigs, played some hearty rigs,
Danced some hearty jigs, the water round me bubbling


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: mayomick
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 05:38 PM

I can't find out what a rig used in The Rigs of Time context means . Maybe tricks . Jer the trickster ?
There are some 20-25 songs at the Bodleian, beginning with 'rigs;' some may be related. "The Rigs of the Races" begins "Good people draw near and listen to my ditty," so has the same form (Harding B179257a, Pitts London, between 1819-1849).

The "Rigs and Sprees of London" in an English broadside is in American Memory; the 'Rigs' songs probably got to America not long after their appearance in England.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: mayomick
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 07:08 PM

Sorry , forgot to say that all the stuff about the Bodelian library came from a post by Q on a thread about The Rigs of Time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: GUEST,fiddlefancier
Date: 18 Apr 14 - 10:22 AM

Jury Rigging and Jerry Rigging. This term was used among sailors when they did a temporary repair to the rigging and during WWII for quick and dirty fixes to keep equipment running. I'm familiar with it because my dad was a sailor. I'll put this out as a possibility. Could it be a play on words, Gerald the guy who did temporary repairs on the rigging?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Ger the Rigger
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Apr 14 - 11:11 AM

That's occurred to me too. Who knows?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 September 7:59 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.