The Swallowtail jig

Also known as The Custom House, The Dancing Master, The Dancingmaster, Drioball Na Fáinleoige, From The New Country, From The New World, From The Next Country, The Swallow Tail, The Swallow’s Nest, The Swallow’s Tail, Swallow-tail, Swallows Tail.

There are 152 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Swallowtail has been added to 1,237 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Eight settings

X: 1
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:cBA eAA|cBA edc|BGG dGG|gfe dcB|
cBA eAA|cBA e2f|gfe dcB|cBA A2d:|
efg a2b|a2b age|efg a2b|age g2d|
efg a2b|a2b age|gfe dcB|cBA A2d:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEG B2c|dcd AGF|GEE E3:|
|:Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|edB d3|
Bcd e2f|e2f edB|dcd AGF|GEE E3:||
ABC
X: 3
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
B|cAA eAA|cAA e2A|BGG dGG|gfe dcB|
ccA eAA|cAA e2f|gfe dcB|1cAA A2:|2cAA A3|:
efg a2b|a2b age-|efg a2b|age g3|
efg a2b|a2b agf|gfe dcB|Bce A3:|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEE B2c|dcd AGF|GEE E3:|
|:Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|edB d3|
Bcd e2f|e2f edB|dcd AGF|GEE E3:||
# Added by bobbi .
ABC
X: 5
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
cAA EAA | cAc edc | BGG DGG | BG/A/B d2 B |
cAA E2 A | cA/B/c e2 f | gfg dcB | cA^G A2 :|
ef^g a2 b | a2 b age | efg a2 b | age g3 |
ee/f/^g a2 b | a2 b age | gfg d2 B | cA^G A2 :|
ABC
X: 6
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
GEE BEE | GEE BAG | FDD ADD | dcd AGF |
GEE BEE | GEE B2 c | dcd AGF | GEE E2 :|
Bc^d e2 f | e2 f edB | Bc^d e2 f | edB d3 |
Bc^d e2 f | e2 f edB | dcd AGF | GEE E2 :|
ABC
X: 7
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: F | GEE BEE | GEE BAG | FEE AEE | dcd AGF |
GEE BEE | GEE B2c | dcd AGF | GEE 2E :|
E | Bcd e2f | e2f edB | Bcd e2f | edB 3d |
Bcd e2f | e2f edB | bcb AGF | GEE 2E :|
ABC
X: 8
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
E/F/|:"Em"GEE BEE|GEE BAG|"D"FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
"Em"GEE BEE|GEE B2B/c/|"D"dcd AGF|[1"Em"GEE E2E/F/:|[2"Em"GEE E2B|]
|:"Em"Bcd e2f|e2f edc|Bcd e2f|"Em"edc "D"d2c|
"Em"Bcd e2f|e2f edc|"D"dcd AGF|[1"Em"GEE E2B:|[2"Em"GEE E3|]
# Added by Bryce .
ABC

Fifteen comments

This tune has a lot of similarities with the reel of the same name. I wonder which came first.

The tune is fairly straightforward to play, except for the jig equivalent of that tricky G phrase we saw in the reel. Once again, hopping between D and G might cause some problems at first but it’s worth practicing because it’ll come in handy later. It’s all in the wrist.

I play this in Edor, a fourth lower, staring on G rather than c. Also, I play the first phrase of measures 1, 2 and 5 as GEE (here it would be cAA) rather than GFE (cBA) in order to get that ya-da-da, ya-da-da jig feel (we whistlers go slur-tongue-tongue).

I am curious what variations do people use in the second part for the constant e2f, e2f (here it is a2b, a2b)? I don’t think rolls work so well and haven’t found the perfect notes for turning. Any thoughts?

Here is a slightly different version of the tune from an old New England source. It is in E dorian.

K:Edor
GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEG B2c|dcd AGF|GEE E3:|
|:Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|edB d3|
Bcd e2f|e2f edB|dcd AGF|GEE E3:||

T:Dancing Master, The
M:6/8
L:1/8
S:Josephine Marsh
R:jig
Z:g.m.p
K:ADor
B|cAA eAA|cAA e2A|BGG dGG|gfe dcB|
ccA eAA|cAA e2f|gfe dcB|1cAA A2:|2cAA A3|:
efg a2b|a2b age-|efg a2b|age g3|
efg a2b|a2b agf|gfe dcB|Bce A3:|

Swallowtail in Edorian

You need to add the "x" and "t" line for it to
translate correctly to a pdf. from the abc file. also I changed one note in the 5th measure. this is a perfect teaching tune. Bobbi
X:1
T: Swallowtail, The
K:Edor
GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEE B2c|dcd AGF|GEE E3:|
|:Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|edB d3|
Bcd e2f|e2f edB|dcd AGF|GEE E3:||

Posted by .

“From the New Country” jig

Would anyone know an alternative title for this jig? I have found in a set with The Blackthorn Stick and the Irish Washerwoman and would like to listen to midi. Can’t find it here or on abacci.com.

Re: “From the New Country” jig

Hi Chris,

I think this tune also goes by the name of the ‘Swallowtail Jig’.

Jon

Re: “From the New Country” jig

Exactly the one, guys- many thanks. How do you get to know that extra-curricular kind of stuff? ;-)

“The Swallowtail” / “The Swallow’s Tail” ~ Nest” / “The Dancing Master” ~

X: 5
T: Swallowtail, The
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: A Dorian
|: A/B/ |\
cAA EAA | cAc edc | BGG DGG | BG/A/B d2 B |
cAA E2 A | cA/B/c e2 f | gfg dcB | cA^G A2 :|
|: e |\
ef^g a2 b | a2 b age | efg a2 b | age g3 |
ee/f/^g a2 b | a2 b age | gfg d2 B | cA^G A2 :|

O’Neill’s 1001 Gems

This is 100% the same #183, called there "The Dancingmaster"

“From The New World” / “The Swallowtail” ~ rescued duplication & notes

Key signature: E Dorian (originally posted as e minor, see the following notes.)
Submitted on January 10th 2009 by thelightisahead
~ /tunes/9249

X: 8
T: From The New World
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Edor
|: E/F/ |\
GEE BEE | GEE BAG | FDD ADD | dcd AGF |
GEE BEE | GEE B2 c | dcd AGF | GEE E2 :|
|: B |\
Bc^d e2 f | e2 f edB | Bc^d e2 f | edB d3 |
Bc^d e2 f | e2 f edB | dcd AGF | GEE E2 :|

Excellent Jig
This is an excellent all round jig for bashing out on the fiddle, with or without much ornamentation! It appears in this form in a fiddling book I have, and is similar to ‘From the New Country’ on this website (possibilities for juxtaposition in performance?), but some elements of structure and key are different, so I decided to submit it.

# Posted on January 10th 2009 by thelightisahead

Swallowtail
I copied this out from a book and not this website however. True, this tune is basically identical to The Swallowtail (a few notes and rhythmic elements differ), but a difference in key can give something a very different feel. Also, some differences make this version easier for the less experienced violinist - no jump from the G on the D string to the G on the E string, for example (unless playing in the 3rd position) and less need for the fourth finger to be thrown out (problems of intonation, speed etc.) Perhaps most so is that in my version, you don’t have to move your fingers across a fifth (fiendish!) because you can use the open A and D.
Nevertheless I had noted the existence of such pieces as The Swallowtail here already! But I’d say it’s good to have a few versions for players to choose their favourite from (without cluttering the site ofc)

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by thelightisahead

Note
I wouldn’t say it’s in E dorian though. Although I’ve only just started learning about the modes, as opposed to the keys, this has F sharp in the key signature and uses the accidentals C sharp and D sharp, all indicative of E minor.

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by thelightisahead

Another note!
I’ll try to stop filling this with comments! But I made a mistake - there is a fingered interval of a fifth, but it is the first finger in the first position, so it’s not hard.

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by thelightisahead

It’s definitely in E dorian. A couple of people have already transcribed the tune in the key:

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by slainte

E dorian it is.
All the Cs are sharp, so the key sig should really be two sharps. You could argue that the b part is in E melodic minor, but I’d still want to hear a C nat to establish that. A raised leading tone as an accidental is not really that telling.

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by muspc

O’Neill’s Dancing Master with some changes in the second part!

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by swisspiper

"I copied this out from a book ~"

Duplication and mistakes aside, it would show some respect to fully credit your sources ~ the book and its author(s)…

From the New World (jig) ~ more rescued notes ~ courtesy of Lazyhound

"you don’t have to move your fingers across a fifth (fiendish!)"

This isn’t really the right place to comment on technical difficulties (try Discussions) but I can’t let that remark pass without saying that it is not "fiendish" - just a bit strange for the beginner and nothing that can’t be sorted out by a few minutes instruction from a teacher or a more advanced player and followed up by regular practice until the technique is there.

# Posted on January 12th 2009 by lazyhound

"some differences make this version easier for the less experienced violinist"

I’m not in favour of tunes on this forum being simplified for the benefit of beginners - it detracts from the tune and can confuse other players as to whether it really is an authentic version. Simplifying a tune does not do the beginner any favours because it does not encourage them to advance their technique so as to be able to play the original version. After all, Irish fiddle music is technically remarkably straightforward compared with other genres.

If someone posting a tune believes a simpler version should be provided then that should be done in the Comments and clearly indicated for what it is, and the original version posted as the main posting.

That is obviously no longer possible in this instance so it might be a good idea to post the ABC of the original source here in the Comments.

# Posted on January 12th 2009 by lazyhound

The A dorian version can be found in Allan’s Irish Fiddler. I like to follow it with Rakes of Kildare.