“The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

“The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

Mandolin/bouzouki player Karl Kersey inspired me to track down and transcribe the waltz “The Humours of Glynn” after he played it at our local session last week. I had never heard it before and thought it was really lovely.

The version he played was essentially the same as this waltz version by “Ye Vagabonds” on two mandolins:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu8DRMuA-2k


While there were several tunes here with that same name, none of them matched the tune Karl played, as far as I could tell. I added my transcription here:

https://thesession.org/tunes/22120

Looking for other recordings and trying to learn more about the origin of the tune, I was very pleased to find this piping version by Brian MacNamara, which couldn’t be more different than the mandolin version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_npkUd0nQ0


I’m very interested in Brian’s interpretation of the tune.

It’s listed as a “Jig” on his video, and his playing is much straighter than the waltz version, but it’s still in three groups of three. His version is almost like a hop jig, but not quite.

It reminds me of Brian’s recording of the single jigs “Hug the Bundle - Maloney’s - Thomas Reilly Clerk of Fore” which took me forever to hear as single jigs and not as a swung reels.

Anyone have some insight into this?

Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

Hi Michael,

Brian is playing a version of the “piece way” which can be found in the Clancy book.

It’s also in the Patsy Touhey book as a jig.

Jerry O’Sullivan plays teaches a nice pipe jig version on NPU videos with lots of backstitching on C chanter.

Here is a version from The Caledonian Pocket Companion

the Humours of Glen

http://www.campin.me.uk/Flute/Webrelease/Flute/05Jig/wide/507.gif

I wonder if it was a song originally with a rather busy melody in jig time. It reminds me of a planxty in some ways maybe it came from the harp?

See also Jackson’s Walk to Limerick for a great related jig

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Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

Fantastic info, thanks!

Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

It’s worth pointing out that it isn’t a waltz - not all tunes in three are waltzes, and this definitely isn’t one. The version in O’Farrell’s is likely from an older source, which would predate the introduction of waltzes in England and Ireland.

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Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

While it may not “be a waltz”, it certainly can be played as one with lovely results as demonstrated by the mandolin version above. Since there is some mention of this tune possibly going back as far as O’Carolan, I would gather than many of the old harp tunes that are often played today essentially as waltzes fall into the same bucket.

Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

Yes, that’s exactly it - a lot of tunes in 3 get played as waltzes even though they’re really not. You’re correct that this tune is often played as a waltz today… I just prefer it as a piece, per Willie Clancy’s playing.

By the way, here’s an old discussion on it:
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?t=88964

And the recording where a lot of people heard it from Willie is likely this one: https://thesession.org/recordings/1473

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Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

OK, Michaels transcription and Brian McNamara’s recording are essentially the same tune.

But the rest? I fail to see/hear any resemblance at all, other than the occasional E2 F2 A2|B4 (3ABc| / DFA B2A | .

The GIF tune, the entry #469, Nigel’s transcription at TuneArch and the numerous examples from Ibiblio. Or perhaps I’m reading those pages upside down? That waltzes are sometimes notated at 6/8, that 6/8 doesn’t always mean jigs, that 3/4 doesn’t always mean waltzes etc. is besides the point.

The Willie Clancy piece is linked to… also something else.

I’m all for personal interpretation, variations etc. but if someone played all the above examples, I doubt I’d think “they were all the same”. What was the question again?

Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

The link on the recording of Clancy and Casey is to the wrong tune, but it is a related one… The tunearch / ibiblio link is incomplete as far as all of the published versions, but does have good information. There are similarities between this and the jig commonly known as the Humours of Glynn (aka Cuilinn Ui Chaoimh) https://thesession.org/tunes/469 but it helps to take a look at (or preferably listen to) this version https://thesession.org/tunes/7891 and the similar air printed in the Roche Collection. There all also similarities to the Goodman Collection version (recorded by Mick O’Brien et al on the second Goodman tunes album), which is at the tunearch link https://tunearch.org/wiki/Humors_of_Glynn_(1)). The version in O’Farrell’s (recorded by Jerry O’Sullivan as I recall) is definitely related as well, and may be the closest printed version to Clancy’s.

The really interesting thing to me is that Clancy’s version doesn’t seem super close to most printed versions. He may have taken liberties with what he heard (or whoever he learned it from did).

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Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

Yes, it looks like it’s the 2nd through 4th parts of the air as written in the Grier collection (the Roche collection air is 6 parts, basically adding two in between parts 3 and 4), and played on the McNamara family album, where it has been turned into a jig. The air from the Grier collection (and Roche) is written in 6/8 so it’s a natural change to try.

Anyway, I just looked back through the thread, and I don’t see anywhere where anyone besides you said these were all the same - they’re related, that’s all. They share a common ancestor (or ancestors), most likely.

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Re: “The Humours of Glynn” tune style variants

Thanks for posting Michael, the version on Ye Vagabonds recording with Cormac Begley is very nice.

It makes a great one row melodeon tune.

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