The Fiery Clockface jig

Also known as Fiery Clock Face, The Fiery Clock Fyece, The Fiery Clockface Highland Fling, The Firey Clockface.

There are 4 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Fiery Clockface has been added to 30 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Six settings

X: 1
T: The Fiery Clockface
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:d2d D2E|F2G A2B|=c2=c E2F|G2A B2c|
d2d D2E|F2G A2B|Bcd e2c|1d3d3:|2d3d2e||
|:f2f def|g2f e2d|c2B A2B|c2d e2^e|
f2f def|g2f e2d|cBA B2c|1d3d2e:|2d3d3||
ABC
X: 2
T: The Fiery Clockface
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
c|d>dD>E F>GA>B|=c>=cE>F G>A B>c|d>dD>E F>GA>B|(3Bcd e>c d2d:|
|:e|f>f (3def g>fe>d|c>BA>B c>de>g|f>f (3def g>fe>d|(3cBA B>c d2d:|
c|d>dD>E F>GA>B|=c>=cE>F G>A B>c|d>dD>E F>GA>B|(3Bcd e>c d2d:|
e|f>f (3def g>fe>d|c>BA>B c>de>g|f>f (3def g>fe>d|(3cBA B>c d2de|
f>f (3def g>fe>d|c>BA>B c>de>g|f>f (3def g>fg>b|a>a (3ABc d2d||
ABC
X: 3
T: The Fiery Clockface
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
dcd D2 E | F2 G A3 | B2 E EFE | G2 A B2 c |
dcd D2 E | F2 G A2 g | fed edc | d3 d2 :|
f2 d def | g2 f e2 d | c2 A ABA | c2 d e2 g |
f2 d def | g2 f efg | a2 A ABc | d3 d2 :|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Fiery Clockface
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f>d (3gge f>d (3efg | (3aaa (3ABc d2 ||
ABC
X: 5
T: The Fiery Clockface
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
d2 d D2 E | F2 G A2 B | =c2 c E2 F | G2 A B2 c |
d2 d D2 E | F2 G A2 B | Bcd edc | d3- d2 :|
f2 f def | g2 f e2 d | c2 B A2 B | c2 d e2 e |
f2 f def | g2 f e2 d | c2 c A2 c | d3- d2 :|
ABC
X: 6
T: The Fiery Clockface
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
f|:g2g G2A|B2c d2e|=f2=f =F2G|A2B c2f|
g2g G2A|B2c d2d|efg a2f|1g3g2f:|2g3g2a||
|:b2b gab|c'2b a2g|f2e d2e|f2g a2^a|
b2b gab|c'2b a2g|fed e2f|1g3g2a:|2g3g3||
ABC

Fifteen comments

From The Oyster Band.Good tune.I like the surrealistic title.

It looks like a variation of The Cumberland Reel - a tune not in reel but in jig time, and having some extra bars in its second half, unlike the tune submitted here. "The Fiery Clock Face" is apparently a NE England song about a drunk contemplating the moon’s reflection in the river (acc. Kuntz, "The Fiddler’s Companion", on-line.) The song as far as I know is normally associated with The Cumberland Reel, a tune already in the database. Because of the different numbers of bars in the tunes, the song will fit one of those tunes or the other, but not both. I’m off to look it up…

No, I was wrong; Dafydd’s tune is indeed the one associated with the song, according to Conrad Bladey’s Beuk O’ Newcassel Sangs on the web, that looks a good resource for these. So, "The Fiery Clock Face" it definitely is.

It has to be pronounced "Feace" as in "Fierce"

Fiery Clock Face

Its a Victorian music hall song. I haven’t heard it much recently although everyone who has been playing for a decent amopunt of time will know the tune, if not the words.

Its not a great tune but its worth twice round as part of a medley. I have written it into a couple of sets but newver used it in public with the Angels so far. perhaps it deserves an airing.
Noel

Origin of name

I had always understood that the title referred to the first gas-lit clock in Newcastle. It’s on the church facing the High Level Bridge.
Maybe Noel you can confirm this or not, being based in the area??

Fiery Clock Face

Sounds like a fling to me. I’d be inclined to transcribe it like this:

X: 1
T: Fiery Clockface, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland fling
K: Dmaj
c|d>dD>E F>GA>B|=c>=cE>F G>A B>c|d>dD>E F>GA>B|(3Bcd e>c d2d:|
|:e|f>f (3def g>fe>d|c>BA>B c>de>g|f>f (3def g>fe>d|(3cBA B>c d2d:|

You could put a nice flingy 2nd ending on the B-part too, if you wanted:

X: 1
T: Fiery Clockface, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland fling
K: Dmaj
c|d>dD>E F>GA>B|=c>=cE>F G>A B>c|d>dD>E F>GA>B|(3Bcd e>c d2d:|
e|f>f (3def g>fe>d|c>BA>B c>de>g|f>f (3def g>fe>d|(3cBA B>c d2de|
f>f (3def g>fe>d|c>BA>B c>de>g|f>f (3def g>fg>b|a>a (3ABc d2d||

“The Fiery Clockface” ~ from the playing of Ned Pearson, Cambo, Northumberland

Dow / Mark asked me to have a look at this, so first things first, a transcription of another fiddler I have high regards for, Ned Pearson ~

X: 1
T: The Fiery Clockface
T: The Pin Reel, a country dance
S: Ned Pearson, fiddle ~ Cambo, Northumberland
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: D Major
|: (3A/B/c/ |
dcd D2 E | F2 G A3 | B2 E EFE | G2 A B2 c |
dcd D2 E | F2 G A2 g | fed edc | d3 d2 :|
|: e |
f2 d def | g2 f e2 d | c2 A ABA | c2 d e2 g |
f2 d def | g2 f efg | a2 A ABc | d3 d2 :|

Here’s just one alternate take, bar 3 of the A-part:
~ | BcB E2 F | ~

& the initial lead-in was just ~ |: A | ~

“Folktrax-121: North Country Barn Dance”

Track 7: The Ribbon or Handkerchief Dance, danced to the tune "The Fiery Clockface" ~ Ned Pearson, fiddle

Before playing, consistent with the above transcription, he has a little introduction:

"The other, a country dance, they call it the ribbon country dance, but they do it in the village places with handkerchiefs"
~ Ned Pearson

“The Fiery Clockface” ~ another take as a fling

X: 1134
T: The Fiery Clockface
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland fling
K: D Major
|: (3ABc |
(3ddd D>E F>GA<F | B>E (3EEE G>AB>c |
(3ddd D>E F>GA<g | (3fed (3ABc d2 :|
|: d>g |
f<d (3def g2 (3fed | c>A (3AAA c>de<g |
f>d (3ddd g>fe>d | (3cBA (3ABc d2 :|
f>d (3gge f>d (3efg | (3aaa (3ABc d2 ||

“The Fiery Clockface” ~ composed by Robert Nunn (? - 1853)

"Jigs & Quicksteps, Trips & Humours:
Traditional Dance Music of Britain and Ireland"
The Fiddler’s Tune-Book Series
Edited by Peter Kennedy
ISBN: 1-899512-49-7
Mally Publications, 1997
http://www.mally.com/

Page 12, tune #44: "The Fiery Clockface"

X: 1134
T: The Fiery Clockface
C: Robert Nunn
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig / country dance
K: D Major
|: A |
d2 d D2 E | F2 G A2 B | =c2 c E2 F | G2 A B2 c |
d2 d D2 E | F2 G A2 B | Bcd edc | d3- d2 :|
|: d |
f2 f def | g2 f e2 d | c2 B A2 B | c2 d e2 e |
f2 f def | g2 f e2 d | c2 c A2 c | d3- d2 :|

According to this website http://www.geocities.com/matalzi/priests6.html, Robert Nunn was a blind fiddler/songster of Newcastle and he was 45 when he died, so his dates are 1808-1853. The name by this particular tune is Joe Wilson, though, so I don’t know what that means about source/composer.

I think the Joe Wilson thing might be an error. Another website had detailed info on both songwriters. Quick cut & paste from http://www.rolyveitch.20m.com/dialect_songwriters.html FYI:

Robert (Bobby) Nunn 1808 - 1853
Bobby was a slater by trade but lost his sight following a fall from a roof. Thereafter he used his abilities as a musician to earn a living. He played the fiddle, sang and wrote songs. He was a regular at pubs, clubs around Tyneside. Apparently many songs were rather coarse, full of innuendo - much to the delight of audiences (men and women) with the benefit of a few drinks inside them. His songs include The Pitman and the Blackin, The Newcastle Lad, Drucken Bella Roy ’O and a classic - the surreal Fiery Clock Fyece, a tale of an illusion caused by drink whilst passing St Nicholas Cathedral.

Joe Wilson 1841 - 1875
Joe is perhaps THE writer of local songs. He was certainly the most prolific by a long way. His book of ‘Songs and Drolleries’ is a feast of dialect materials. He was born in Stowell Street (now Chinatown), Newcastle, his mother a bonnet maker and father a cabinet maker. He went into the printing trade, a fact which obviously helped as regards publishing his poems and songs which was originally a hobby but which became his life. His aim was to have a place in the hearts of Tyneside folk and to do what little he could to enrich the lot of common folk. He wrote hundreds of pieces - his drolleries were quaint and humerous. An early success was ‘Cum Geordie Ha’d the Bairn’ a satirical tale based on his brother’s discomfort at nursing Joe’s little baby sister.
He performed his own materials in the clubs and concert halls until sadly TB took him, like his father before him, to an early grave. Whilst in failing health he stayed for a while with landlord and local character Rowly Harrison. This was at his pub The Commercial, in Winlaton, Blaydon which is on high ground and for the bracing air, but to no avail. He wrote several of the most enduring of our local songs including ‘Keep your feet still Geordie Hinny’, Aa hope ye’ll be kind ti me dowter, The Row upon the Stairs, Dinnet clash the door, ‘The time that me fethur was bad’ and many, many more.

Odd little note, FWIW

My learning of this tune comes from my father’s (Alan Whitaker) collection (probably from playing barn dances in West Yorks in the ’60s, but heaven knows who he picked it up from…)

His version has a variation in bars 3/4, taking the run up down a third.

X: 1
T: The Fiery Clockface
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:d2d D2E|F2G A2B|=c2=c C2D|E2F G2c|
d2d D2E|F2G A2B|Bcd e2c|1d3d3:|2d3d2e||
|:f2f def|g2f e2d|c2B A2B|c2d e2^e|
f2f def|g2f e2d|cBA B2c|1d3d2e:|2d3d3||

oops

ignore the ABC in the above comment - corrected version with right accidentals in main tune settings. (Not enough tea yet this morning)