The Kesh jig

Also known as The Castle, Kerrigan’s, The Kesh Mountain, The Kincora, The Mountaineers’ March.

There are 116 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Morrison’s (lots of times), The Blackthorn Stick (lots of times), Donnybrook Fair (a few times), The Famous Ballymote (a few times), The Kid On The Mountain (a few times).

The Kesh has been added to 3,595 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Six settings

X: 1
T: The Kesh
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:G3 GAB| A3 ABd|edd gdd|edB dBA|
GAG GAB|ABA ABd|edd gdd|BAF G3:|
B2B d2d|ege dBA|B2B dBG|ABA AGA|
BAB d^cd|ege dBd|gfg aga| bgg g3:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Kesh
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: {g}A{d}A{e}A {g}ABc | {g}B{d}B{e}B {g}Bce | {g}fe{A}e ae{A}e | {g}fec {g}ec{d}B |
| {g}A{d}A{e}A {g}ABc | {g}B{d}B{e}B {g}Bce | {g}fe{A}e aec | {g}B{d}A{e}A [1 {GAG}A3 :| [2 {GAG}A2 B|
|: {g}c{d}c{e}c {g}ece | {g}faf {g}ec{d}A | {g}c{d}c{e}c {g}ec{d}A | {g}B{d}B{e}B {g}B{d}A{e}B |
| {g}c{d}c{e}c {g}ece | {g}faf {g}ec{d}A | {g}ce{A}e {g}ece | {g}fa{g}a [1 A2 B :| [2 A3 |
ABC
X: 3
T: The Kesh
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: D |G2 G GAB | A2 A AB/c/d | edd gdd | edB dBA |
GAG G2 B | AA/A/A ABd |edd gdB | AGF G2 :|
|: d |B2 B dB/c/d | e/f/ge dBA | ~B3 BA^G | ~A3 FGA |
B^AB d^cd | ege dBd | g2 g a^ga | bgf g2 :|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Kesh
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A, |:"D" D3 DEF | "A" E3 EFA | "D" BAA "G" dAA | "D" BAF "A" AFE |
"D" D3 DEF | "A" E3 EFA | "D" BAA "G" dAF | "A" EDC "D" D3 :|
|: "D" {E}F3 AFA | "G" BdB BAF | "D" {E}F3 AFD | "A" EFE EDE |
"D" {E}F3 AFA | "G" BdB "D" B2B | "D" dcd "G" ede | "A" fdc "D" d3 :|
ABC
X: 5
T: The Kesh
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
A|:D3 DEF | E3 EFA | BAA dAA | BAF AFE |
D3 DEF | E3 EFA | BAA dAF | EFE D3 :||
|: F3 AFA | (3BcdB AFD |F3 AFD | EFE EDE |
F3 AFA | (3BcdB AFA | d(3Bcd ede | fdc d3 :||
# Added by JACKB .
ABC
X: 6
T: The Kesh
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
e|:A3 ABc | B3 Bce | fee aee | fec ecB |
A3 ABc | B3 Bce | fee aec | BcB A3 :||
|: c3 ece | (3fgaf ecA |c3 ecA | BcB BAB |
c3 ece | (3fgaf ece | a(3fga bab | c'ag a3 :||
# Added by JACKB .
ABC

Eighty-four comments

This tune one of the more popular jigs at sessions just about everywhere. However, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy to play.

The very last phrase of the second part can be a bit tricky because it goes up to that high B note. Try playing this phrase by itself over and over ‘till your fingers have it memorised.

Bothy

This is the tune that opens the first Bothy Band album, and it sounds incredible there.

Save the Kesh

I’m really getting tired of that trendy despise showed towards old standards. Particularly towards that poor old Kesh! I’ve learned it while listening to the first Bothy Band record in 1975 and I’ve been playing it since. And even if I’m the last one, I will keep on play it . Even if it’s not fashionable, and if the world of sessioneers is laughing at me! I’ll be the last of the Kesh players. As in other fields I don’t care about fashion in music, Long life to the Kesh!! Join the Save the Kesh World Wide Committee!

Hear, Hear

Paul …

Count me in!

And while we’re at it, let’s save "The Maid Behind The Bar" and "Harvest Home"!

Aidan

(Does this make me Deputy President of The Save The Kesh World Wide Committee?)

Re: Save the Kesh

Paul, I guess I’m not in trendy surroundings ……; no despise towards the Kesh to be heard at all…; even The Irish Washerwoman is played some times :)

Re: Save the Kesh

Maybe it’s time it came back into session fashion again, after being cast out in the wilderness for the best part of a decade.
Personally, I’ve heard it enough in the past for it to stay in the wilderness for another decade, similarly the harvest home. I don’t have quite the same contempt for the Maid or the Washerwoman though.
I have been guilty of reintroducing the hackneyed Bluebell polka, so have nothing against reinstatement initiatives in principle, but am not ready yet for the Kesh!

Danny.

Re: Save the Kesh

absolutely!!! …. and I think I

Re: Save the Kesh

Have a look at this thread: http://thesession.org/discussions/1577

I didn’t like the tune at first, but I discovered its greatness as my playing improved. It just shouldn’t be taught as a piece for beginners.

I’m personally an admirer of Trippin’ Upstairs. I didn’t know anything about ITM when it was popular. I’m fed up with Jackie Coleman’s and Mt Road, but, in my opinion, TU is eternally great tune like Connaughtman’s Rambles.

Re: Save the Kesh

i can quite understand that after having over played a tune one gets bored. For myself, back in my guitar finger picking years, i played Anji at nauseum, and i’m not ready to play it again . But what i can’t accept is the trendy side of thing!. Why should we let a bunch of pretentious truth holders tell us what we should play or not?

The Truth

Some tunes push some people’s buttons … others don’t. That’s the way it goes. If a tune grabs me, but doesn’t grab others, I’ll put it out and I’m ogten surprised at the reaction.

An example is "Bill Hart’s Favourite" which, I’ve been told was one of those done-to-death tunes which lapsed out of fashion. I freally like its drive and bounce and the fact it can slot into just about any jig set regardless of the key of the preceding tune and give new energy. However a lot of recent players have never heard of the tune and find it infectious!

Anyway … fashion, snobbishness, whatever, be damned! If it feels good, do it and never mind the begrudgers.

Re: Save the Kesh

Each of the tunes mentioned so far in this thread is an example of an ABA.
Trevor

Re: Save the Kesh

What have ABA got to do with The Music?

Paul -"Trendy" is just a word. Also I don’t know any players who’d set themselves up as "pretentious truth holders" - yet you said it yourself once you’ve played a tune ten jillion times it does get subjectively jaded…if this is an experience shared with a group of players in a session, or even a group of sessions within the same city or region, where there is cross-fertilisation occurring as players go from one session to another, then maybe the Kesh etc., does get a bit over done. But I don’t care if people want to continue to do it, or similar tunes, now and again… as long as there’s plenty scope for fresher tunes to get an airing.

Danny

Re: Save the Kesh

i think the problem begins when contempt for a tune turn into contempt for the one who plays it: " look at him the poor guy doesn’t know that this tune is not played any longer nowadays!"
Danny, the Kesh can be played on the G/D box.
By the way what is an ABA?

Re: Save the Kesh

This process is not really about the tunes, but the players defining an "in crowd", so that when you go to one of "their" sessions and play one of last years tunes they can smile smugly at each other and feel safe.

Long live the Kesh.

All the best PP

An ABA is Another Bl—-y Acronym :)
Trevor

From my observations I think that the only thing wrong with The Kesh is that it’s too frequently pushed at beginners (or early improvers) on the fiddle before they’re technically ready for it. There are some aspects of the bowing that aren’t particularly easy until the player has acquired some fluency in technique.
Trevor

Many Irish tunes are quite simple, which is very different from easy. You can play almost any tune in a wide range of levels. I could happily listen to Kevin Burke, James Kelly, Liz Carroll, Paddy Keenan, any of the greats, play the Kesh.

The Kesh is a good tune to give to beginners because it is catchy (and so they can learn it fairly easily by ear), it swings easily (so they can start learning feel), and, if you have learned well and know what you’re about, you can make it a less simple tune as your skill level rises.

Zina

Zina don’t tell that to bb - she hates it!

LOL — well, it’s her own fault then! *grin* And you can tell her I said so. That said, I don’t play it very often myself. :)

Actually, there’s a few tunes I know she hates with a passion. We could do her head in by playing them all as one big set in Helena. I should work up a daggy set and e-mail it to you ;-)

What a good idea! *grin*

Thoughts of Kesh

Having just played it for the first time not but thirty seconds ago (kid you, I’m not)… i like it.

A single Kesh thought

_after 25 odd years i’ve come back to it _along with The
Banshee and Miss McClouds … give these things time …

The Kesh Jig: this is the most well-known Fermanagh tune, isn’t it?

One of my favourite places in Ireland is Co. Fermanagh: I stayed in Enniskillen several times and enjoyed exploring around Louch Erne. The only thing I’ve always failed to do is visit a village called Kesh, which seems so trivial that Lonely Planet doesn’t mention it at all, and play the tune of the same name there. I know there’re a couple of places called Corofin, but believe there isn’t any other place called Kesh in Ireland. Have any of you ever visisted there?

An set of ‘over-played’

I love the Kesh and I’ve played in since I first started learning fiddle, and it’s just gotten more interesting. We don’t play the Kesh jig that much in sessions anymoreas it used to be over-played, but I’ve been trying. My dad and I play this in a set starting with Morrison’s, Road to Lisdoonvarna, and then the Kesh. The first two also are classed as overplayed old tunes, but it’s fun to bring them out again all in a set and remind people what good tunes they really are.

RE: Save The Kesh

well actually, i love this tune and i play it a lot.
My teacher also just taught me the Harvest Home, which i hear a lot on
NPR, being played by a great band!
just wanted to let you know

A scottish smallpipe version

X:1
T:The Kesh Jig
C:Traditional
M:6/6
K:D
|: {g}A{d}A{e}A {g}ABc | {g}B{d}B{e}B {g}Bce | {g}fe{A}e ae{A}e | {g}fec {g}ec{d}B |
%
| {g}A{d}A{e}A {g}ABc | {g}B{d}B{e}B {g}Bce | {g}fe{A}e aec | {g}B{d}A{e}A [1 {GAG}A3 :| [2 {GAG}A2 B|
%
|: {g}c{d}c{e}c {g}ece | {g}faf {g}ec{d}A | {g}c{d}c{e}c {g}ec{d}A | {g}B{d}B{e}B {g}B{d}A{e}B |
%
| {g}c{d}c{e}c {g}ece | {g}faf {g}ec{d}A | {g}ce{A}e {g}ece | {g}fa{g}a [1 A2 B :| [2 A3 |

Always loved it

I’ve always loved this jig, but didn’t know the name (or couldn’t remember the name) until I found it here…it’s great in sessions, but also everywhere else, it really always makes me feel like dancing.

Great tune

I love this tune, i can never play it enough! I also like going into this song from Blarney Pilgrim. Just my opinion, but i think they sound great together. Also, i think the best way to play The Kesh is at lightning speed, or faster! LOL

The Kesh Jig

Who, if anyone, played /recorded this tune before the Bothies made it a hit round 1975? Its earlier history remains unknown to me.

"…but believe there isn’t any other place called Kesh in Ireland. Have any of you ever visisted there?"

Yes, it’s just outside Ballymote, in Sligo Co. Sometimes spelled Keash it seems.

Yep… it’s a townland. Basically a few houses and a barn maybe as I recall it having stumbled upon it when I was lost on the roads in that part of Sligo once. I asked an older flute player at a session in Gurteen where the Shaskeen got it’s name. He told me a piper who lived there used to play it. I suspect that’s how a lot of these tunes got their names.

“The Kesh Jig” ~ another take on it and a few more choices

X: 1134
T: The Kesh Jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: G Major
|: D |
G2 G GAB | A2 A AB/c/d | edd gdd | edB dBA |
GAG G2 B | AA/A/A ABd |edd gdB | AGF G2 :|
|: d |
B2 B dB/c/d | e/f/ge dBA | ~B3 BA^G | ~A3 FGA |
B^AB d^cd | ege dBd | g2 g a^ga | bgf g2 :|

This is not "The Castle" in Music at Matt Molloy’s.

Luka Bloom uses the Kesh Jig

Hey, My Irish band, The Langer’s Ball, was just learing Luka Blooms "You Couldn’t have come at a better time" form his Riverside album, and the Kesh Jig is in there as well. Just thought I’d mention it.

THE KESH PLAYED BY THE BOTHY BAND SOUNDS INCREDIBLE…!!!!

Tune wanted

Any suggestions for a tune to go after the kesh ?

Re: Tune wanted

tee he

Posted .

the Kesh

anyone got any suggestions for a nice tune to go after the Kesh ?

Re: the Kesh

The Kincora Jig

Re: the Kesh

Isn`t that the same tune ?

Re: the Kesh

It would be a lot harder to find a nasty tune to go after the Kesh, so many nice ones fit the bill. You could try Morrison’s Jig in E dorian and come back to G major with Out On The Ocean, for example.

Re: the Kesh

Ok, tony, sorry for being silly. Try something more colourful like the Swan Among the Rushes, or the Cat’s Miaow. It’s just that I hate the kesh/kincora after playing it nearly every week for twenty odd years.

Re: the Kesh

Ha ha, maybe I will feel the same after twenty years, if I last that long !

Tune to go into

I think it goes well into "the cliffs of Moher" in Am.

I know of at least three places called kesh but always thought it was associated with keash in sligo which has a fascinating history. Every garland sunday (last one in July) there is a great gathering for sports and games that has been going on for hundreds of years maybe longer.

By the way I like this tune………

Kesh-Cooleys

It seems to me, that the Kesh Jig and Cooleys reel are some of the most well known tunes in irish traditional music.

3rd section?

could someone please post the abc for the 3 section?

Eh……..?

As far as I know - and I’ve been hearing and playing the tune since the "Boys Of The Lough" recorded it as the "Kincora" jig in 1975 [ probably only a few months before the "Bothy Band" ] - it’s never had a third "section"?

Posted by .

Kesh Jig Set

Looking for a great jig to follow the Kesh jig ….any ideas?

Posted by .

Re: Kesh Jig Set

On the pipes I might add.

Posted by .

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Morrison’s might do the trick.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Play it again in A

Posted by .

Re: Kesh Jig Set

I often play it after Morrison’s

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Didn’t Bothy Band used to play the slip jig Give Us A Drink of Water after the Kesh?
Usually, we use it to end sets, not begin sets.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Should have checked the tune database first. On this site, what the Bothy Band called Give Us a Drink of Water is called The Swaggering Jig.
And the Prof’s suggestion is a good one, although when we play it with the Kesh, Blarney Pilgrim comes first.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Cherish the Ladies would be a nice one to follow The Kesh. Never tried it, but it just popped into my head.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Or even better, play it in Gmin…

I usually play the Blarney Pilgrim first, but it works either way :)

Posted by .

Re: Kesh Jig Set

I play The Kesh, Jim Wards’, and Lost and Found in a set, and The Kesh sounds pretty cool(to me) after Jim Wards’. They both start with the same first bar but Jim Wards’ goes lower.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Our chaps do Shandon Bells/Rakes of Kildare/Kesh Jig, though one of ‘em prefers to drop Kesh and do Irish Washerwoman instead. No comment from me!

And I’ve just realised that I haven’t answered your question. ;-)

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Dia dhuit a Kess! Hi Kess!

In Liverpool, one of your great sister cities, we alawys played "The lark in the morning" after "The Kesh".

I note from your profile you like paced music. Believe me when you get a group of musicians all in the groove so to speak, "The Lark" is still one of the great jigs.

Interestingly MacC when Paddy K was out here last year he invited me up to play so I did a few sets with him, no rehearsal, just get up and play.

And what did we do? Well "The Kesh Set" it was and it was all on automatic. I hadn’t played "The Swaggering" or "Flower of the Flock" in maybe twenty odd years and it just rolled out!

All the best

Brian x

Re: Kesh Jig Set

I know of a session that plays Smash the Windows/Kesh/Swallowtail

I don’t like it, but they do it….

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Lately I’ve been following it with Banish Misfortune.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

We play Patsy Geary, Hare in the Corn, the Kesh. I know you asked for a tune to follow, but the Kesh is one of those tunes that is great to end with.

Posted by .

Re: Kesh Jig Set

a usual set of our session is Kesh Jig, Connaughtman’s Rambles, Dusty Windowsill

Re: Kesh Jig Set

We follow it with "Yes We Have No Bananas" and then "The Ride of the Valkyries".

Come back Mr Gill, all is forgiven.

Surely you don’t need advice on compiling sets.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

As a fiddler, I play The Kesh in G, so I’d go for a rhythm change and play a cracking reel in the same key - e.g. Sheehan’s Reel.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

"Come back Mr Gill, all is forgiven."

yeah, where did he go?

Posted by .

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Kess
You’ve been playing trad flute for 12 years - what would YOU put after the Kesh?

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Ha ha Domhnall, I know.

But I think the Kesh is the perfect jig in G and Im looking for the perfect follow up (yes I could play 20 others which sound good) but ‘good’ isnt good enough!!!

… yes I need to get out more :)

Posted by .

Re: Kesh Jig Set

So a bunch of random people on the internet can put together a "perfect" set?

I recommend "Puff the Magic Dragon."

Re: Kesh Jig Set

I’d second (or third) the proposal to put it at the end. It is one of this tunes that are so common that when listeners (who know tunes) hear it at the beginning of a set, they think "oh, not the Kesh again?" - on the other hand it goes well enough as a "dessert". Also, in a session, the less experienced players who might not know so many tunes will be happy when the Kesh comes up.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

The Kesh is one of those bare-bones jobbies that you can really go to work on and do a bit of variation. Tunes that get played a bit too much get played a bit too much because they’re good tunes. Buy me a pint and I’ll even do Danny Boy. Buy me two and I might even enjoy it. :-D

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Commonly known tunes do well at the end of the set because the volume goes from low to higher. Sometimes it does sound nice when everybody but a couple players drop out in the middle of a set but the last tune should be one lots of people play or the set loses it’s energy.

Re: Kesh Jig Set

i found the perfect set ……. drum roll…

The Kesh…… Cliffs of Moher…..Pay the Reckoning!


Thanks guys

now on to the reels

k

Posted by .

Re: Kesh Jig Set

Jimmy wards then Blarney Pilgrim

Kesh born again lover

Love the way Colm Gannon and Jessie Smith adopted, adapted and recorded the tune.

Kesh - a bog passgeway

For anyone interested in the origins of names, the name Kesh is found here & there in Ireland. It refers to a passageway across wet ground, bog etc. A sort of bridge of wicker matting used in older times to facilitate crossing without getting your feet too wet.