Sheepskins And Beeswax reel

Also known as Aunt Jemima’s Plaster, Bee’s Wax, Bees Wax, Sheep Skin, Beeswax, Beeswax Sheepskin, The Irish, Le Reel Irlandaise, Sheepskin And Beeswax, Sheepskins Beeswax.

There are 17 recordings of a tune by this name.

Sheepskins And Beeswax has been added to 114 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: Sheepskins And Beeswax
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
EA ~A2 BAGB|AGAa gfef|(3 gfe fd efed|Beed BAAG|
EA ~A2 BAGB|AGAa gfef|(3 gfe fd efed|1 Beed BAAG:|2 Beed BAAg||
a3 g aega|bagf e3 f|(3 gfe fd efed|Beed BAAg|
a3 g aega|bagf e3 f|(3 gfe fd efed|1 Beed BAAg:|2 Beed BAAG||
ABC
X: 2
T: Sheepskins And Beeswax
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
EA (3AAA BAGB|AGFa gfef|g2fd efed|Beed BAGA|
EA (3AAA BAGB|AGFa gfef|g2fd efed|Beed BAA2:|
|:a3a- aega|bagf edef|g2fd efed|Beed BA^ce|
a3a- aega|bagf edef|g2fd efed|Beed BAA2:|
ABC

Nine comments

Canadian or Irish?

I learned this nameless tune from a Welsh fiddler some months ago. She used to play in Melbourne, so maybe she picked up this tune there.

I was informed that it’s a French Canadian tune called Reel Beatrice, but it seems she was not so sure. And then recently I noticed Scottish fiddlers’ group Session A9 recorded it as a nameless Irish tune. I really don’t know its origin, but feel somewhat different from other Irish tunes. But, anyway, it’s a simple, cool tune, so worth posting here.

Bee’s Wax, Sheep Skin

That’s the name. It’s not Reel Beatrice. That’s a different tune. It’s a tune James Fagan did with us at his bouzouki workshop at the National Folk Festival in Canberra in April 2003. We played it at the workshop concert as a group. The Scottish fiddle crowd were at the festival, and one of the Melbourne lot may have picked up the tune from Nancy Kerr or one of us zouk players, or they may have got it straight from the source, which (according to James Fagan) is the Quebec group "La Bottine Souriante". It’s on their album "La Mistrine". There’s another transcription here:
http://www.megacom.net/~dricard/musique/bottine/beeswax.html
PS I think I might know the Welsh fiddler you’re talking about.
I have a transcription of James’ setting which differs slightly, and has a nice C# in the B-part:
K: Ador
EA (3AAA BAGB|AGFa gfef|g2fd efed|Beed BAGA|
EA (3AAA BAGB|AGFa gfef|g2fd efed|Beed BAA2:|
|:a3a- aega|bagf edef|g2fd efed|Beed BA^ce|
a3a- aega|bagf edef|g2fd efed|Beed BAA2:|

Bees Wax, Bee’s Wax or Bees’ Wax? I don’t think La Bottine Souriante put an apostophe in there but I’m not sure.

Other titles seem to be "Sheepskins And Beeswax" which sounds better maybe, and "Aunt Jemima’s Plaster".

Thank you for the info. So, it’s traditional Irish, right? It’s very interesting to see how the tune circulates around the world.

I don’t know actually. It sounds a bit different to me too. It may well be North American but written in the style of an Irish reel.

Sheep skin and Bees wax

Here are the words to it from the Irish in Valcartier,Quebec Sheep skin and beeswax ,it makes a mighty plaster, the more you try to get it off the more it sticks to faster.

So now we know why "Aunt Jemima’s Plaster" is an alternative title.

Popular in Quebec and Northeastern US

This tune is heard often at contra dances in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts and I’ve heard it played in Quebec as well. If I understand it was drawn from Irish populations in Quebec where it spread to the wider French-Canadian popularity.