The Rambling Pitchfork jig

Also known as An Píce Ar Fán, Baxter’s, Clar-claigean An Moncaí, Clár-Cloigeann An Moncaí, The Monkey’s Forehead, Ramblin’ Pitchfork, Roland’s U-Turn, The Rollicking Dandy.

There are 99 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Rambling Pitchfork has been added to 777 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: The Rambling Pitchfork
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
F2F AFF|dFF AFF|G2G ABc|ded cAG|
FEF AFF|dFF AFF|GFG BAG|FDD D3:|
d2e fed|ecA ABc|dcd fed|faf gfe|
d2e fed|ecA BAF|GFG BAG|FDD D3:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Rambling Pitchfork
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Fmaj
F2F AGF | cAG AGF | G2G A2B | d2d cAG|
F2F AGF | cAG AGF | G2A BAG | AFD D3 :|
|: ~f3 fcF | FAc fcA | G2G A2B | d2d cAG |
|[1 ~f3 fcF | FAc fcA | G2A BAG | AFD D3 :|
|[2 fef gfg | afd cAF | G2A BAG | AFD D3 ||
|| d2e fed | ede A=B^c | d2e fed | g2g gec |
| d2e fed | ede A2=B | G2A BAG | AFD D3 ||
|| d2e fed | ede A=B^c | d2e fed | afa def |
| afd gec| fed cAF | G2A BAG | AFD D3 ||
# Added by Grack .
ABC
X: 3
T: The Rambling Pitchfork
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
F3 AFF | dFF AFD | GFG ABc | ded cAG |
FAF AFF | dFF AFD | GFG BAB | AFD D2 :|
d2 e fed | ecA AFA | dcd efg | faf gfe |
[1 dcd fed | ecA AGF | GFG BAB | AFD D2 :|
[2 a2 f gfe | fed ecA | GFG BAB | AFD D2 |]
ABC
X: 4
T: The Rambling Pitchfork
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
F2F AFF|dFF AFD|GFG ABc|ded cBA|
F2F AFF|dFF AFD|GFG BAG|AFD [1D2E:| [2DFA||
dcd fed|ecA ABc|dcd efg|aba gfe|
dcd fed|ecA AGF|GFG BAG|AFD [1DFA:|[2D2E|]
ABC

Eleven comments

Here’s a lovely tune that sounds nice when it’s played with a "lilting" feeling.

The setting of the tune here includes a few slight variations on the melody. Compare the first four bars to the next four. Some of the longer notes have been replaced with triplets.

To give this tune a nice lilt, try sliding up to the long notes. This works especially well on the opening F in the first part, and the opening D of the second part.

If you’re playing the fiddle or banjo, keep your finger on the F for the first few bars, and use cross bowing/picking. This is a technique that is more often used in reels, "The Mountain Road" for example.

Roland’s U-Turn

Here’s a different setting of the tune called "Roland’s U-Turn". I transcribed it from the "Late In the Night" CD , live at O’Conner’s in Doolin. It’s a really nice version…has some extra flare…

X: 1
T: Roland’s U-Turn
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
Q: 1/8 = 400
R: jig
K: Fmaj
F2F AGF | cAG AGF | G2G A2B | d2d cAG|
F2F AGF | cAG AGF | G2A BAG | AFD D3 :|
|: ~f3 fcF | FAc fcA | G2G A2B | d2d cAG |
|[1 ~f3 fcF | FAc fcA | G2A BAG | AFD D3 :|
|[2 fef gfg | afd cAF | G2A BAG | AFD D3 ||
|| d2e fed | ede A=B^c | d2e fed | g2g gec |
| d2e fed | ede A2=B | G2A BAG | AFD D3 ||
|| d2e fed | ede A=B^c | d2e fed | afa def |
| afd gec| fed cAF | G2A BAG | AFD D3 ||

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Scottish pipes version (w flattened c)

to be heard on one of BattlefieldBand’s albums (‘wae’s me… ’ or ‘there is a buzz’ perhaps)

“The Rambling Pitchfork” ~ courtesy of Michael Dunn, Irish fiddler, Lancashire

X: 3
T: The Rambling Pitchfork
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: D Major
|: E |\
F3 AFF | dFF AFD | GFG ABc | ded cAG |
FAF AFF | dFF AFD | GFG BAB | AFD D2 :|
|: A |\
d2 e fed | ecA AFA | dcd efg | faf gfe |
[1 dcd fed | ecA AGF | GFG BAB | AFD D2 :|
[2 a2 f gfe | fed ecA | GFG BAB | AFD D2 |]

Michael Dunn is likely the current longest serving and oldest Irish fiddler in Lancashire, a great character, good craic…

Anyone know where this tune is called "The flat skulled monkey"? I’m not disputing it as a name, I always love to see the Gaelic originals (or translations) for tunes, it’s just a very unusual one.

I heard a longer version of this song that actually starts in E dorian with irish bagpipes playing a D drone…

Mary Custy’s setting of Rambling Pitchfork

Setting 4 is from Mary Custy and Stephen Flaherty’s CD "After 10:30". They play it in C, but I’ve put it in D. Mary has a more standard setting in the sheet music and ABC on her teaching website, but you can hear her recording of it on the same page: http://www.marycustymusicschool.com/#!blog/c1hby . The first jig in the set is the Caherlistrane jig thesession.org/tunes/3006 .