Polly The Lass slip jig

Also known as Dollie’s The Girl For Me, Dolly’s The Girl For Me, The Sailor Lassie.

There is 1 recording of a tune by this name.

Polly The Lass has been added to 21 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: Polly The Lass
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
G|FAF ded c2A|BdB AFD E2G|FDD ded c2A|Bgf edc d2:|
g|f2d fag fed|c2A cec A2g|f2d fag fed|Bgf edc d2g|
f2d fag fed|c2A cec A2g|fdf ~a3 bag|fed ABc d2||
ABC
X: 2
T: Polly The Lass
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
C|EGE cdc B2G|AcA GEC D2F|EGE cdc B2G|Afe dcB c2:|
|:f|e2c egf edc|B2G BdB G2f|e2c egf edc|Afe dcB c2:|
ABC
X: 3
T: Polly The Lass
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
G|(F/G/A).F d2A d2A|(B/c/d).B AFD E2G|(F/G/A).F d2A d2g|(f/g/a).f edc d2:|
|:g|f2d (f/g/a).g fed|c2A (c/d/e).e e2g|fd (f/g/a).g fed|Tc2A (B/c/d).d d2g|
f2d (f/g/a).g fed|Tc2 A (c/d/e).e e2g|fdf afa bag|fed ABc d2:|]
ABC
X: 4
T: Polly The Lass
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
D|FAF ded c2A|BdB AFD E2G|FAF ded c2A|Bgf edc d2:|
|:g|f2d fag fed|c2A cec A2g|f2d fag fed|Bgf edc d2:|
ABC

Twelve comments

Polly The Lass

I first learnt this tune years ago from an English melodeon player who played it in Gmaj, making it unworkably high for the fiddle.

I think it must be originally Scottish, as 2 different version of the tune appear in James Aird’s Selections of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs (1782-97) under the titles The Sailor Lassie and Dollie’s The Girl For Me. One of these versions was then copied into O’Neill’s Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922). Despite this, it has never gained a foothold in the Irish repertoire, and as far as I know, it hasn’t yet been recorded by any Irish musicians, although a few English ceilidh bands/musicians have recorded it.

The earliest version I can find is this one in Cmaj from William Vickers (last bar has been corrected):

X: 1
T: Polly The Lass
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
R: slip jig
S: William Vickers MS. (1770)
K: Cmaj
C|EGE cdc B2G|AcA GEC D2F|EGE cdc B2G|Afe dcB c2:|
|:f|e2c egf edc|B2G BdB G2f|e2c egf edc|Afe dcB c2:|

Transposed into Dmaj, that becomes:

X: 1
T: Polly The Lass
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
R: slip jig
S: William Vickers MS. (1770)
K: Dmaj
D|FAF ded c2A|BdB AFD E2G|FAF ded c2A|Bgf edc d2:|
|:g|f2d fag fed|c2A cec A2g|f2d fag fed|Bgf edc d2:|

That’s very similar to my version, only mine has a 2nd time ending on the B-part, which I took from the Aird’s/O’Neill’s setting. I’ve heard the tune both ways - with and without the 2nd time ending. I think it sounds better with the nice turn-around back into the A-part. The F2D ded c2A idea of going to the low D comes from versions I’ve heard by ceilidh bands, and also the original setting I learnt.

You can find some other versions on JC’s online tune index.

“Dolly’s The Girl For Me” ~ and a very nice tune too…

X: 4
T: Dolly’s the Girl for Me
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
R: slip jig
K: D Major
|: D |
FAF ded c2 A | B/c/dB AFD E2 G |
F/G/AF ded cAA | Bgf e>dc d2 :|
|: g |
f2 d f/g/ag fed | c2 A c/d/ec Acg |
fdd f>ag fed | Bgf e>dc d2 :|

Are the origins of The Shandon Bells traceable to Scotland or England? Seeing as the double jig is played very widely in Ireland, it seems likely that the related slip jig was also played there at some time. C. - Would I be right to assume that the popularity of set dancing is partly (if not largely) responsible for the scarcity of slip jigs in the repertoires of most Irish musicians nowadays?

A dearth of slip jigs ~

No, I wouldn’t think so. Before the explosion of interest in the sets that swept over everything in the 80’s, for good and ill, slip jigs didn’t feature as a large or present percentage in sessions. Some folks and some places gave them the occasional airing. I’ve always loved them and some of the folks I played with would usually includes sets of them, including set dances or the step dance variety, as well as other less usual items of affection, like mazurkas and the slew of things that can be filed under ‘swing’, such as the hornpipe family…

They weren’t confined to stepping and slip jigs were also a small part of the large selection of ‘country dances’ that swept these isles, including having been danced in Eire / Ireland…

I’ve always wanted to work to revive them in group dancing, and I don’t mean some of the weird attempts to incorporate them and the stepping in ‘new’ sets of quadrilles, but rather something more down to earth and geared up for a wide variety of ‘regular’ folk rather than step dancers and competition / exhibition dancing. There is a selfish drive there, to have more opportunities to hear and play slip jigs, and to occassionally dance to them ~ other than just one of the several varieties of the good ol’ standard "Strip the Willow"…which we also enjoy… Slip jigs, for my wife and I, just make us want to dance…

To conclude, in my opinion, no, Sets (of quadrilles) are not responsible for lessening the presence of slip jigs being played amongst musicians. ‘Sessions’ and a long standing preference for speed, 4/4, reels ~ has been present for as long as I’ve been present… Viva la difference… I hope variety is growing with understanding and appreciation of all that this tradition is and offers… I live in hope… 8-)

Polly The Lass

X:3 Dollie’s the Girl For Me from Waifs/Aird’s. Makes for a very nice piping tune.

Polly the Lass

interesting to hear this is sometimes played in C in Ireland, there’s a version of it, in C, with the same title, in The Great Northern Tune Book, an edition of the manuscript tune book of William Vickers from the late 18th-century held by the Newcastle upon Tyne Society of Antiquaries, edited and published by Matt Seattle of Dragonfly Music. Me and Matt used to play it in a set of slips years ago - lovely tune and great to play on fiddle in either key - first time through in C, second time in D - gives each time through a different character too as the open strings come on different notes.

slip jigs

also worth noting that there’s a lot of tunes that are now slip jigs that used to be "double" hornpipes - in the 3/2 rhythm that easily transfers into the 9/8 with a bit of added swing.

I don’t think it is played in C in Ireland, if at all, Ben. The C version I posted was the one you speak of - from the Vickers manuscript.

looking again at the comments it’s a slip version of Shannon Bells posted above by Creadur Mawn Organig that’s in C. GNTB’s a fantastic collection of tunes!

No, I think you might have misread his comments. He’s saying that Polly the Lass MIGHT have been played in Ireland at one time, centuries ago, seeing as there’s a common 6/8 D major Irish jig that has some similarities. In my opinion that’s a real long shot. The similarities could well be a coincidence. But CreadurMawnOrganig knows hundreds and hundreds of tunes, so when he sees a new one he needs to make connections in his head so he can make sense of it and put it in its context, otherwise it would just add to an impossible tangled mess in his brain!

Incidentally, "C" refers to the other poster on this thread ceolachan. C is his nickname, altho’ it should really be written in lower case and surrounded by single speech marks: ‘c’ :-)