The Fairy Dance reel

Also known as Arrane Queeyl-Nieuee, Car Ny Ferrishyn, Dawns Y Tylwyth Teg, Faeries’, The Faire’s, The Fairies’ Dance, Fairy, Fairy Dance, The Fairy, Gows, Largo’s Fairy Dance, Old Molly Hare, Quick Scotch, Snieu Queeyl Snieu, Snieu, Wheeyl, Snieu, Snieue-Queeyl-Snieue.

There are 94 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Fairy Dance has been added to 467 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Seven settings

X: 1
T: The Fairy Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: f2fd f2fd | f2fd cdeg | f2fd gfed | cABc defg :|
|: a2af b2bf | g2ge a2ag | f2fd gfed |1 cABc defg :|2 cABc d3 ||
ABC
X: 2
T: The Fairy Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
g|~f2dg ~f2dg|~f2dB cdeg|~f2df gfed|cABc dfag|
fAdg fAdg|fAdB cdeg| (3fga df gfed|cABc d2~f2|
aAdf bagf|(3gfe ce aeAg|fdBd gfed|cABc d2~f2|
a2 (3fga bagf|(3gfe ce Aceg|fdBd gfed|cA (3GFE D4||
ABC
X: 3
T: The Fairy Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
F>G|A2A>A (A/c/d/e/) (f/c/d/B/)|A2F>F F2d>c|\
(Acde) fcdB|A2F>F F2d>c|Bged cbac|d2d>d d2:|!
|:f>g|a2a>f b2b>a|g/f/g/a/ ge a2ag|\
D>E|F2F>F (F/A/F/A/) (d/A/B/G/)|F2D>D D2F>F|\
FAFA dABG|F2D>D D2B>A|GBcA FFGE|F2F>F F2:|!
|:d>e|f2f>d g2g>f|e/d/e/f/ ecf2fe|dcBA GA/B/ e/d/c/B/|FAFA GABc|!
d3e/d/ A3d/A/|F3A/F/ A3F/A/|FABG FD AG|F2F>F F2:|]
ABC
X: 4
T: The Fairy Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
g |: fAdg fAdg | fAde cdeg | fAdf gfed |1 cABc d4 :|2 cAbc defg ||
a2 ag b>bba | geee aaag | fadf gfed |1 cABc defg :|2 cAbc d4 ||
ABC
X: 5
T: The Fairy Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
a2af b4 | g2ge a3a | ffff gggg | edef d4 | aaaf bb2b | ggge A4 | f2f2 g2g2 | edef d4 ||
ABC
X: 6
T: The Fairy Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
a2aa fdfa|fdfa age2|a2aa fdfa|1 agec defg :|2 agec dcde|
f2f2 dBB2|g2gg eccc|a2aa fdfa|1 agec dcde :|2 agec d4||
ABC
X: 7
T: The Fairy Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f2fd f2fd | gfed cde2 | f2fd gfed | cABc d2d2 |
f2fd f2fd | gfed cde2 | f2fd gfed | cABc defg |
a2af b2ba | g2ge a2ag | f2fd gfed | cABc defg |
a2af b2ba | g2ge a2ag | f2fd gfed | cABc d2d2 ||
ABC

Twenty-four comments

Fairy Dance

This is is a realy old Scottish tune and is in Gow’s Original Collection, although there is some debate as to whether he wrote it or merely noted down an existing tune.

There are all sorts of other names

Including Old Molly Hare and Largo’s Fairy Dance

Another version

If you are looking for the version on Natalie McMaster’s ‘In My Hands’ CD, it is "a multi-part version evolved from Skinner’s set in the Harp and Claymore. Winston Fitzgerald’s setting is close…". See cranfordpub.com/natalie/Hands to find a link to Fitz. Have fun!

Another version II

You can also find a longer version at www.minarsas.demon.co.uk/harn/folksongs/fairy.htm

Here is the version played on the uilleann pipes on track 1 of The Chieftains 4.

X: 1
T:Fairy Dance
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:Reel
K:D
g|~f2dg ~f2dg|~f2dB cdeg|~f2df gfed|cABc dfag|
fAdg fAdg|fAdB cdeg| (3fga df gfed|cABc d2~f2|
aAdf bagf|(3gfe ce aeAg|fdBd gfed|cABc d2~f2|
a2 (3fga bagf|(3gfe ce Aceg|fdBd gfed|cA (3GFE D4||

Longer version

You can also find the multi-part version in a book entitled "Session Tunes for Scots Fiddlers" available at all good folk music shops. It also includes a multi-part version of Masons Apron.

Old Molly Hare

Here’s the version of the A part that I play.

d2f2gfeg|f2d2edBA|d2f2gfed|cABcd4

I guess that’s the Old Molly Hare version.

Largo’s Fairy Dance

Don’t know why I got interested in this, this morning. I’ve looked it up, and I gather that ‘Largo’s Fairy Dance’ actually consists of two Gow tunes, The Fairy Dance, as posted here, and The Fairies Advance. I’ve found two versions of the Fairies Advance, here:

http://www.village-music-project.org.uk/abc/HARRISON.ABC

To save people having to scroll down and find them, here they are:

X: 57
T:Fairies Advance,The.(primo) RH.043
M:C
L:1/8
Q:120
S:Rev.R.Harrison’s MS,c1815,Cumbria
R:March
O:England
A:Temple Sowerby,Cumbria
Z:vmp.Simon Wilson….
K:D
F>G|A2A>A (A/c/d/e/) (f/c/d/B/)|A2F>F F2d>c|\
B/A/G/F/ dA f/e/d/c/ B/A/G/F/|F2E>E E2F>G|!
(Acde) fcdB|A2F>F F2d>c|Bged cbac|d2d>d d2:|!
|:f>g|a2a>f b2b>a|g/f/g/a/ ge a2ag|\
fedc Be/f/ g/f/e/d/|dcBA Bcde|!
f3g/f/ e3f/e/|d3e/d/ c3d/c/|\
Bc/d/ e/f/g/e/ d/c/B/A/ B/d/c/e/|d2d>d d2:|]

X: 58
T:Fairies Advance,The.(secundo) The RH.043
M:C
L:1/8
Q:100
S:Rev.R.Harrison’s MS,c1815,Cumbria
R:March
O:England
A:Temple Sowerby,Cumbria
Z:vmp.Simon Wilson….
K:D
D>E|F2F>F (F/A/F/A/) (d/A/B/G/)|F2D>D D2F>F|\
G/F/E/D/ FF d/c/B/A/ G/F/E/D/|D2A>A A2D>E|!
FAFA dABG|F2D>D D2B>A|GBcA FFGE|F2F>F F2:|!
|:d>e|f2f>d g2g>f|e/d/e/f/ ecf2fe|dcBA GA/B/ e/d/c/B/|FAFA GABc|!
d3e/d/ A3d/A/|F3A/F/ A3F/A/|FABG FD AG|F2F>F F2:|]

Both seem to have B parts that are similar to The Fairy Dance B part, but which is the Gow tune? Is either one the Gow tune, or is it something else again?

Chords to Fairy Dance

|D ( F#aug )|D A7|D G(or Em)|A7 D:|
|:D B7|Em A7|D G(or Em)|A7 D:|

Danu’s Version

As written down by Nigel Gatherer

K:D
g |: fAdg fAdg | fAde cdeg | fAdf gfed |1 cABc d4 :|2 cAbc defg ||
a2 ag b>bba | geee aaag | fadf gfed |1 cABc defg :|2 cAbc d4 ||

from http://www.thesession.org/discussions/17161

The Fairies’ Advance

Has anyone tried playing the Primo and secundo Fairies Advance together? They look like clarinet and fiddle parts for the same tune.

I never liked this tune much. The G version (see link above) is nicer, or should I say, slightly less irritating!

It’s listed under miscellaneous in O’Neill’s because, I assume, it is more of a schottische than a reel.
See how for instance, the run: gfed |1 cABc defg (here in D) is also found in
The Blacksmith Schottische’s cBAG FDEF|GABc (in G)
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/7945

Depends how it’s played….

If you think you don’t like this tune, have a listen to Steph Geremia’s version. Could well change your mind.

Posted by .

I’ve heard many versions and none did ‘it’ for me, K. But it is true that ‘version’, interpretation or setting has everything to do with ‘it’.
I’ve realised today, for instance, that the 2d part of The Holy Land (see: http://www.thesession.org/tunes/616) is very similar to the 1st part of The Fairy Dance, in one of its versions at least. Yet I love the Holy Land. How uncanny!
The question is: will it make me like the Fairy Dance better or will I begin to hate The Holy Land? :-o
I’ll try not to think too hard about that one!

Rumpelstiltskin gets involved!

This tune is truly Fairy’s work!
In Moore’s Manx Ballads, Mona Douglas wrote that this tune ‘Arrane Queeyl-Nieuee’ is one of the rare surviving songs of labour and one of only two cante-fables that survived on Man. What have the fairies got to do with it then? Read ‘The Lazy Wife’ at: http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/sm1911/p062.htm (from Sophia Morrisson’s Manx Fairy Tales (1911) or in Folk Song Journal, No28)

Here’s how goes:
X: 1
T: Arrane Queeyl-Nieuee / Spinning Wheel Song / "Snieu, Wheeyl, Snieu" / ‘Snieu, Queeyl, Snieu’
M: 2/2
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Dmaj
a2af b4 | g2ge a3a | ffff gggg | edef d4 | aaaf bb2b | ggge A4 | f2f2 g2g2 | edef d4 ||

Snieu, wheeyl, snieu,
Snieu, wheeyl, snieu;
Dy chooiley vangan er y villey,
Snieu, ermyskyn,
Lesh y ree yn ollan,
As lesh my hene y snaih;
Son shenn Trit Trot
cha vow ish dybraa.

Snieu, wheeyl, snieu
’Rane wheeyl, ’rane,
As dy chooilley chlea er y thie
Snieu ermyhon.
Lesh y ree yn ollan bane
As lesh my hene y snaih;
Son shenn Trit-Trot,
cha vow ish dy-braa!

Snieu, wheeyl, snieu;
’Rane wheeyl, ’rane,
As dy chooilley tonn er y thie
Snieu ermyhon.
Lesh y ree yn ollan kkear
As lesh my hene y snaih;
Son tra bee y Fidder cheet,
Cha vow ish dy-braa!

ie:
a2 (af) b4 |
Snieu wheeyl snieu |
g2 (ge) a3 a |
Snieu wheeyl snieu; Dy
ff ff gg gg |
chooiley vangan er y villey |
(ed) ef d4 |
Snieu ermyskyn |
aa af bb2 b
Lesh y ree yn ollan, As |
gg ge A4|
lesh my ~hene~ y snaih |
f2 f2 g2 g2 |
Son shenn Trit Trot
ed ef d4||
cha vow ish dybraa ||
etc


I gleaned those interesting notes (both musical and scholarly) in The Manx National Song Book (vol 2, Compiled by Charles Guard, Shearwater Press 1980) where the melody is notated in F Major & 2/4. I transposed it in D, 2/2 for ease of comparison. NB: This song version has only one part.

A peep at the fairies

With its insistent and descending-ascending phrases, this tune reminds me strongly of this other fling-like tune, once common, I presume, all over the contredanse dancing West, known as Cochinchine in French, Den Toppede Hone in Denmark, etc…

Here’s a setting of it…

X:1
T: Cochinchine
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:
K:Dmaj
a2aa fdfa|fdfa age2|a2aa fdfa|1 agec defg :|2 agec dcde|
f2f2 dBB2|g2gg eccc|a2aa fdfa|1 agec dcde :|2 agec d4||

…and a short peep at the ‘fairy dance’ that accompanies it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM-XWURhLQU


The Fairy Dance followed by Cochinchine makes a nice set.

Manx version

Another Manx version of the tune is called Car ny Ferrishyn (Tune of the Fairies), which I’ve added above. The Dukes of Atholl ruled the Isle of Man for parts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and as they were the Gows’ patrons, it is possible that this is how the tune found its way to the Island.

Cochinchine

is this tune is the same as the version of Fairy dance posted by birlibirdie above? or have i missed something? if so apologies.