Uncle Jim’s jig

Also known as A Prayer Is Better Than A Tune, Is Fear Paidir Na Port, Minion, The Minion, The Steamboat March, Steamboat Quickstep, The Steamboat Quickstep, The Steamboat, Uncle Jim, Washington Quickstep, The Washington Quickstep March, The Washington Quickstep.

There are 20 recordings of a tune by this name.

Uncle Jim's has been added to 15 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: Uncle Jim's
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:a2e c2B|Ace a2a |agf edc|Bed cBA|
a2e c2B|Ace a2a|agf edc|1cdB A2e:|2cdB A2z||
|:Ace e2e|efe cBA|Adf f2f| fga e3|
Ace e2e|efe cBA|agf edc|edB A3:|
ABC
X: 2
T: Uncle Jim's
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: g2 d B2 G | def g3 | gfe dcB | ABc BAG |
g2 d B2 G | def g3 | gfe agd | AB^c d3 :|
B2 d dBd | dBd B2 G | c2 e ece | ece c2 A |
B2 d dBd | dBd B2 G | gfe dcB | AGF G3 :|
|: g2 d B2 G def g3 | gfe dcB ABc BAG |
ABC

Twenty-one comments

This is a popular tune in the Ottawa Valley. I’ve never seen it credited to anyone.
The B part is very like the N.F.L.D. tune ,
"Lots of Fish in Boniface Harbour"

? ~ ? ~ ? ~ very familiar ~ ! ~ ! ~ !

I know this one, but not by this name. I also know it in ‘D’… Here it is barred as a slide / single jig and as my brain is putting it together. It is late, so I’ll do a search later to see what I can find out about it. If it is so strongly lodged in my head there must be notes around here somewhere and someone must have taught it to me… For now, and for a bit of fun, here it is as it came, in a simple but interesting form. I stayed away from your transcript McMandolin after the first bar woke up the following, and then went back to see what was similar or different. Anyway, here it is:

M: 12/8
K: D Major
|: A |
d2 A F2 E DFA d2 A | dcB AGF EAG FED |
d2 A F2 E DFA d2 A | dcB AGF AGE D2 :|
|: G |
F2 A ABA ABA FED | G2 B B2 ^A B2 A Bcd |
F2 A ABA ABA FED | dcB AGF AGE D2 :|

I’ve done a quick search on site for similar ABC’s but so far nothing… I’m away for a spell but expect others will be able to shed some light on this one…

“The Kilfenora Jig” ~

~ also known as Paddy Murphy’s, Thomond Bridge, etc…
Key signature: D Major
Submitted on September 3rd 2002 by Mark Cordova.
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/947

Except this version has the A & B parts the other way around…

McMandolin ~ if it’s taken as a ‘duplication’ and goes "POOF!" ~ I’ve saved your ABC’s and comment and will transfer those to the comments of "The Kilfenora"…

You are right .Uncle Jim and Kilfenora are almost the same tune. Thanks.

The tune you’ve posted here is called “Is Fear Paidir Na Port” = “A Prayer Is Better Than A Tune”.
It was the Kilfenora Ceili Band who grafted this on to the 5-part “Kilfenora” jig. I first heard the tune with 7 parts played by Mick Moloney, on mandolin, on a “Johnstons” LP in the 1970s. Mick Moloney stated this on the record sleeve-notes. The same information is given if you look up “Kilfenora” jig at the “Fiddler’s Companion” website. Moloney thought the 2-part tune may originally have been Scottish, which would fit with it being played in certain areas of Canada.

Posted by .

The Steamboat

This was doing the rounds of the folk dance scene some thirty odd years ago as ‘The Steamboat’ & considered to be Scottish by myself and others. I have it vertually note for note with this and refer to it as a single jig. I have it in a set with two other scottish jigs: ‘The Dukes dang ower his daddy’ & ‘Hills of Glenorchy’. A good steady set ideal for dancing to.

Posted by .

I play it in ‘G’ but acknowledge the fact that ‘A’ is possibly more natural. Unfortunately I have a D/G box.

Posted by .

“The Steamboat Quickstep” ~ thanks gang

That is the name I first learned this tune as, and remember playing it high too, but not sure if that was A or G… I think we used to play it one key into the next, so probably G & D, but just guessing, and probably with other things in the set as well. I haven’t done that promised search yet, but having the name I knew it by will make that easier…

5-part & 7-part? ~ are you holding out on us Kenny? ;-)

Very Interesting

I checked into the song "lots of Fish in Boniface Harbour" and found it was collected by E .Chreighton in Halifax N.S around 1950. This adds weight to the Scottish origins.
This is such a commonplace tune around here I’m surprised and greatly edified by all your learned comments.

“The Steamboat Quickstep” ~ the bits are coming together

We used to dance and play for the dance "Sackett’s Harbour", a triple proper longways, and this was one of the tunes we played for it. Yes, and we played it in a decidedly old-time ‘single jig’ / ‘slide’ way, with that phrasing and roll to it.

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/dihome.html

"Prompter’s pocket instruction book"
by Prof. L.H. Elmwell
Boston, White-Smith Music Publishing Co., 1892

SUMMARY: This manual is devoted entirely to the art of calling figures for the quadrille and other dances. The book provides the figures for these dances and gives the calls:

"Steamboat Quickstep":

A 1 - 4 ~ Forward and back six;
5 - 8 ~ Swing three-quarters around to the left;
AA 1 - 8 ~ First couple chasse across the set, back and cast off;
B 1 - 8 ~ Turn contra corners;
BB 1 - 4 ~ Forward and back six;
5 - 8 ~ Swing around to places.

Contra Dancers of Hawai’i
http://www.sls.hawaii.edu/contra/
http://www.sls.hawaii.edu/contra/dances/sackett.html

"While there is a reel named ‘Sackett’s Harbor’, the dance is seldom danced to that tune. The jig ‘Steamboat Quickstep’ (aka ‘Washington Quickstep’) is commonly used. In Hawai’i, we have sometimes danced to a medley, beginning with the jig and ending with the reel."

“The Steamboat Quickstep” ~ G Major

"The Fiddler’s Tune-Book: Jigs & Quicksteps, Trips & Humours"
200 Traditional airs with chords edited by Peter Kennedy

Page 41, tune #174: "The Steamboat Quickstep" in G Major

“The Steamboat Quickstep” ~ G Major ~ you’re next Hetty ;-)

K: G Major
|: d |
g2 d B2 A GB/c/d g2 d | gfe dcB Adc BAG |
g2 d B3 GBd g3 | gfe dcB dcA G2 :|
|: D |
GB/c/d d>ed d>ed B2 G | c2 G e>fe e2 e d2 c |
G2 B dd/d/d d>ed B2 G | gg/f/e dcB dcA G2 :|

Kilfenora jig

Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. What Mick Moloney played was the 5-part Kilfenora jig;

http://www.thesession.org/tunes/949

followed by the tune posted here, but in the key of "D", making it a 7-part tune.

Posted by .

“The Kilfenora Jig” ~ 1, 2, 3 (& order of parts ~ AABB / BBAA)

Thanks for the clarification Kenny, and making the link… Here’s the links to the old Kilfenora Ceili Band Set, alas, that album with this set on it has not yet been released in a digital form:

"The Kilfenora Jig" ~ 2-parts
#1-of-3 in The Kilfenora Ceili Band Set, 50’s
~ also known as "Kitty Lie Over", "Paddy’s Return", "Patsy McCann’s".
Key signature: D Major
Submitted on September 3rd 2002 by Bannerman.
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/948

"The Kilfenora Jig" ~ 5-parts
#2-of-3 in Kilfenora Ceili Band Set, 50’s
Key signature: D Major
Submitted on September 4th 2002 by Bannerman.
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/949

"The Kilfenora Jig" ~ 2-parts BBAA
#3-of-3 in Kilfenora Ceili Band Set, 50’s
~ also known as "Paddy Murphy’s", "The Steamboat Quickstep", "Thomond Bridge", "Uncle Jim’s Jig", etc…
Key signature: D Major
Submitted on September 3rd 2002 by Mark Cordova.
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/947

I haven’t heard this album in a long time and would be curious to know if the 3rd tune is actually played in the order now common in the set, or BBAA, using the transcript here as AABB. As far as I know, aside from trasncriptions from that recording or influenced by it, the historical notations I’m familiar with, if memory serves me right, were as given here, starting on the high part:

K: D Major
|: A | d2 A F2 E ~

K: G Major
|: d | g2 d B2 A ~

K: A Major
|: e | a2 e c2 B ~

AABB / BBAA ~ both ways are now played and both ways obviously work…

“The Steamboat Quickstep” / “The Minion Jig” ~ rescued duplication

Key signature: G Major
Submitted on February 3rd 2008 by andy9876.
~ /tunes/8210

X: 4
T: Minion, The
T: Steamboat Quickstep, The
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Gmaj
|: g2 d B2 G | def g3 | gfe dcB | ABc BAG |
g2 d B2 G | def g3 | gfe agd | AB^c d3 :|
B2 d dBd | dBd B2 G | c2 e ece | ece c2 A |
B2 d dBd | dBd B2 G | gfe dcB | AGF G3 :|

"The Minion Jig"

Another tune from the Joshua Jackson manuscipts of 1798 (JMS 125). I was given a 1998 transcription of some of these tunes, published by the Yorkshire Dales Workshop and edited by Geoff and Liz Bowen and Robin and Rosalind Sheperd (ISBN: 1-897925-17-4). In the original manuscipt, the final note of each strain is written as a crotchet/quarter note - but the editors query this, and I’ve notated it as dotted.

# Posted on February 3rd 2008 by andy9876

Tunes, Songs & Dances from the 1798 Manuscript of Joshua Jackson’s:
North Yorkshire Cornmiller and Musician"
Geoff & Liz Bowen with Robin & Rosalind Shepherd
Yorkshire Dales Worskhops
http://www.glusburn.demon.co.uk/
ISBN: 1897-92517-4
ISBN 13: 978-1897-92517-1

A collection of tunes, dances and songs for all melody instruments from the 1798 manuscript of Joshua Jackson chosen and presented by Geoff & Liz Bowen and Robin & Rosalind Shepherd. Well known tunes which are readily available from other souces have been excluded except where Jackson has an interesting or local variant.

Here is the same transcription only given as M: 12/8, which I think gives better definition phrase-wise to this melody ~

X: 4
T: Minion, The
T: Steamboat Quickstep, The
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Gmaj
|: g2 d B2 G def g3 | gfe dcB ABc BAG |
g2 d B2 G def g3 | gfe agd AB^c d3 :|
B2 d dBd dBd B2 G | c2 e ece ece c2 A |
B2 d dBd dBd B2 G | gfe dcB AGF G3 :|

It’s a great slide (single jig)… 8-)