The Lady Of The House reel

Also known as Annie Walsh’s, The Cows Are A-Milking, The Cows Are Milking, Lasses Keep Your Legs Together, Misstress Of The House, Mistress Of The House, The Woman Of The House.

There are 110 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Morning Dew (lots of times), The Bank Of Ireland (lots of times), The Bag Of Spuds (a few times), The Cameronian (a few times).

The Lady Of The House has been added to 65 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

X: 1
T: The Lady Of The House
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: GABG c2BA | GBdg (3ege dB | GABG A2 (3Bcd | eA~A2 eA~A2 |
GABG c2BA | GBdg (3ege dB | GABG A2Bc | dBAc BGG2 :|
|: gfeg fedf | efge dBAB | GABG A2 (3Bcd | eA~A2 eA~A2 |
gfeg fedf | efge dBAB | GABG A2Bc | dBAc BGG2 :||
ABC
X: 2
T: The Lady Of The House
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GB~B2 cBAB|GBdg e2d2|GB~B2 cBAB|eA~A2 eA~A2|
GB~B2 cBAB|GBdg e2d2|G2BG A2GA|BcAc BG~G2:|
f2fd e2ed|gfge dBGB|f2fd e2ed|eA~A2 eA~A2|
[1 f2fd e2ed|gfge dBGB|G2BG A2GA|BcAc BG~G2:|
[2 gaba gfed|efge dBAB|G2BG A2GA|BcAc BG~G2||
ABC
X: 3
T: The Lady Of The House
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G3B c2BA|GBdB e2dB|G3B cBcd|eAA2 eAA2|
DGBG c2BA|GBdg e2dB|G3B A2GA|B2Ac BGG2:|
|:gfgd e2dB|dggd e2dB|G3B cBcd|eAcA eAcA|
g2gd e2dB|dggd eBdB|GFGB AGAc|B2Ac BGG2:|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Lady Of The House
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
!fermata!g2e|: dBBA ~B3A | GABd ~e2dB | e~A3 A2Bc | dgbg aged |
e~B3 B2BA | ~G2Bd eBdB | G2GB A2dg |1 bgag efge :|2 bgag efg2 |
|: ~g3f ~e2d2 | efgf edBd | g2gf edBd | eaae fgaf |
gaba eBdB | efgf edBd | GFGB A2dg |1 bgag efg2 :|2 bgag efge |
ABC

Eight comments

Lady of the House

I first heard this tune from Mary Bergin on Feadoga Stain II, I also heard it played by Joannie Madden. It has a similar title to the "Woman of the House" which is a different reel. It’s a good reel which isn’t too hard to play.

It sounds like a relative of The Nine Points of Roguery.

Mistress Of The House, Annie Walsh’s

I asked Joe Burke about this tune and he told me he got it from his piano player whom he recorded the tune with ages ago. Her name was Annie Walsh, and so that’s the title they gave it on the recording. How Mary Bergin came up with "Woman of the House" is anyone’s guess, but people have altered the name various ways ever since in an attempt to lower the confusion factor.

I should add that Joe mentioned Annie composed this tune.

Jack, I think this tune is older than Annie Walsh, and that she can’t really be said to have composed it. The evidence is in O’Neill’s. Have a look at the tune below (I simplified the ornamentation and stuff to make it easier to read). The tune appears to be a sort of "missing link", in that it contains elements of both the common setting of Woman Of The House and this tune Brad has posted. This also explains the business with the title. I’d guess that they’re different versions of the same tune that have diverged over time.

X: 1
T: The Woman of the House
R: Reel
N: Collected by F. O’Neill
S: O’Neill’s 1300
M: C|
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GB~B2 cBAB|GBdg e2d2|GB~B2 cBAB|eA~A2 eA~A2|
GB~B2 cBAB|GBdg e2d2|G2BG A2GA|BcAc BG~G2:|
f2fd e2ed|gfge dBGB|f2fd e2ed|eA~A2 eA~A2|
1 f2fd e2ed|gfge dBGB|G2BG A2GA|BcAc BG~G2:|
2 gaba gfed|efge dBAB|G2BG A2GA|BcAc BG~G2||

The Cows Are A-Milking

Here’s another source that proves beyond doubt that your info is incorrect. I’ve changed the time sig from 2/4 to 4/4

X: 1
T: The Cow are a-Milking
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: Reel
S: Joyce – Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909)
Z: AK/Fiddler’s Companion
K: Gmaj
G3B c2BA|GBdB e2dB|G3B cBcd|eAA2 eAA2|
DGBG c2BA|GBdg e2dB|G3B A2GA|B2Ac BGG2:|
|:gfgd e2dB|dggd e2dB|G3B cBcd|eAcA eAcA|
g2gd e2dB|dggd eBdB|GFGB AGAc|B2Ac BGG2:|

Also, Breathnach (1963) writes that the reel is related to Woman of the House, according to the FC.

I quite like the title "The Cows Are A-Milking".

Lady of the House

X:4 from a John McKenna 78: https://app.box.com/s/896vv71uzr1y81idm6l6 Tommy Reck used the Mistress of the House title for his version of this tune, incidentally. All of these seem to me like distinct settings of the old Woman of the House, and not separate tunes per se.

McKenna sounds to be using an F flute on this recording, thus when played with G fingering it comes out in Bb as we hear here. Harry Bradshaw remastered the recording and would have the record playing at proper pitch, so that the record wasn’t spinning too fast and the pitch would raise up, like you might expect; it’s just that McKenna was playing one of these shorter, higher pitched flutes, at a not-untypical for him hell-for-leather tempo. I was playing along with his recordings the other day and remembered this wonderful setting, which I used to play - doubt I ever quite figured out what he played note-for-note, though. He has some subtle variations here and there, quarter note rests and such. The 2nd tune is his version of the Tubbercurry reel, for the curious.

Kevin - sorry, but I really can’t see, or hear after listening to the "midi", any relationship between your "Lady Of The House" and the tune originally posted by B.Moloney. 2 different tunes, surely ?

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