I saw three ships as a jig?

I saw three ships as a jig?

Last Sunday, a handful of our session people played an hour or so of mostly Christmas music (with a few jigs and reels thrown in) at a local nursing home. After singing "I Saw Three Ships", we played it at jig tempo. I don’t recall if it happened at the gig, but the fiddler says she seems to have a B part for it, but can’t figure out where it came from.

Does anybody know a jig that uses that song’s melody as the A part? I haven’t had time to do much ABC searching, but searching for titles hasn’t helped.

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

check out the band Celtic Connection as they did a jig time version of three ships. Some great bodhran playing on it too I might add.

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

Speaking of Christmas, Jingle bells makes a great polka, by the way—tacking it to the end of a set is a fun way to mark the season!

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

Jerry O’Sullivan plays a B part on Michael W. Smith’s "Christmastime". It works great as a jig.

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Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

We do this every year in our session- that is, playing Christmas Carols as dance tunes.
The main problem is that (like Gary noted), there’s often just an ‘A’ part, and as people approach the end of the first ‘A’, they start looking desperately around like ‘I dunno.. YOU got a ‘B"? Do we just go back? Arghhh!" And we repeat the ‘A’ in dispair.

And they all pretty much work well as jigs or polkas. It’s fun to try to cast them as a reel. You often have to just toss in some notes where there aren’t any. Try "Joy to the World" as a reel… You’ll see what I mean. Hundreds of notes appear out of nowhere.

But it’s a riot. With or without the occasional Christmas ale…

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

I especially enjoy doing that in July.

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

At first I thought "of course 3 ships has a B part " Then I realised I was thinking of The 3 Sea Captains. Silly me……but then ….. that might work…..

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Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

Yes, we used to play it in a jig set for Christmas time… We had arranged a whole slew of Christmas carols from the Oxford Book of Carols and other sources into, for example, 32 bar dance tunes, something my wife’s mother frowned on. I’m pretty sure we took two different melodies for the song and made them into an A & B-part, not sure, but the A-part was the one a lot of people know… I haven’t found a transcript for it but here goes with it as I can remember it, the second part I’m not completely happy with, and I don’t have either our copy of ‘The Oxford Book of Carols’ or the transcripts for the Christmas tunes. Anyway, here goes, maybe someone out there will know the second air?:

K: G Major
|: D |
G2 G A2 B | d2 B A2 c | B2 G GAB | A2 F D2 D |
G2 G A2 B | d2 B ABc | B2 G GAB | A3 G2 :|
|: d |
gfe d2 d | gfe d2 d | gg/f/e dcB | A2 B c2 e |
dcB c2 A | BAG ABc | d2 G GAB | A3 G2 :|

I’ll see if I can chase up notes or a better memory jog and if I’m successful I will return with it here… Here’s hoping you all have a Christmas warmed with good company and good times and music and dance…

Re: I saw three ships as a jig? another 2nd part

Jerry O’Sullivan’s 2nd part from the album "Christmastime":

K: G Major ~ ish

|: g3 =fgf | ege d2 B | cde d2 G | =FGA G3 |
g3 =fgf | ege d2 B | edc dGB | AFD G3 :|

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

Thanks ceolachan! I think I like both B parts… hmm… three part jig?

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Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

Would it work to do a medley, with "Three Ships" and other potentially lively carols that either have no B part or else it’s so obscure nobody would recognize it? "Good King Wenceslas" comes to mind; there are bound to be many more.

I’m a newcomer and though of Scots-Irish ancestry on my father’s side, am very much a neophyte in Gaelic/Celtic music. So I hope this suggestion is not improper or completely tasteless. It sounds good to me!

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

we 3 kings, played in 5/4.

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

In dulci jubilo goes well with 3 ships (a la Rick Wakeman)

We also like Jesu, Joy of Mans Desiring as a slip jig - the arpeggio bit goes well into the B part of Foxhunters as a 9/8

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

We play two versions of "3 ships" but as waltzes in a set with;- "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly", "Wassail, Wassail all over the town", "we Three Kings", "the Holly & the Ivy", "We wish you a merry Christmas".
We use "In Dulce Jubilo" as a jig with "On Christmas Night"

"Deck the Halls" & "Ding-Dong Merrily on High" make good Polka’s along with "It came upon a Midnight Clear" & of course "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindear" works well as a hornpipe/schottishe.

MERRY CRIMMBLE one and all.

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Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

With some imaginative interpretation "Good King W" can also make a super hornpipe/schotteshe.

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Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

Our fiddler figured out what she was playing as the B part for "I Saw Three Ships". Turned out it was the B part of "Out on the Ocean". Maybe this belongs in the sets put together by title thread.

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

Just worked out a version of Jingle bells as a Reel or somthing similar:

X:1
T:Reel Jingles
R:Reel
K:D
f2 f2 fgfe|f2fe fgfe|fefg afde|fdge a2 af|
g2 g2 gbag|f2 fe fagf|edef gfed|e2e2 agfe|
f2 f2 fgfe|f2fe fgfe|fefg afde|fdge a2 af|
g2 g2 gbag|f2 fg afdf|abag fgec|d2 dc d2 (3dcB||
Adfd efdB|ABAG F2 FG |Adfd efdA|B2 BA ~B3 A|
Bdge fded|c2 cB cefg|a2 a^g ab=ge|f2 fe ~f3 d|
Adfd efdB|ABAG FAdB|Adfd efdA|B2 BA ~B3 A|
Bdge fg (3efg|a2 ab ag (3fga|bgaf gecA | d2 dc d4||

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

What is "On Christmas Night?" I like the idea of "In Dulci Jubilo" as a partner to "I saw three ships" - what of Greensleeves? I tried them with Greensleeves, then "I Saw Three Ships," and they didn’t sound too bad - esp. the minor-to-major change is neat.

Donough, wow, what a complicated variation! It looks cool!

Re: I saw three ships as a jig?

The Christmas sets I normally play on Scottish Pipes (Highlands and Scottish smallpipes) are 1: Angels We Have Heard on High/Hark the Herald Angels Sing/Adestes Fidelis; 2: We Three Kings (Air)/ Good King Wenceslas (March or reel)/Ding Dong Merrily on High (Jig)/I Saw Three Ships (Jig); 3: Sound of Sleet/Christmas Day in the Morning; 4: Christmas Carousing (Strathspey)/All Ale is Dear(Reel); 5: O Come O Come Emmanuel (Air)/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (March)/ God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Jig)/ Paddy’s Leather’s Breaches. I am trying to work Here We Come a Wassailing into a set as well. For any one that is interested, if you play Jingle Bells with Scotland the Brave ( at the same time) it makes a great harmony.