Titletales…

Titletales…

A number of years ago i heard a radio interview with a student from Dublin,who was going to do a thesis on the origins of some of the tune names in "O’Niell’s"…I have not heard anything since or been able to find out if she completed it…I was having a mootch through O’Niells the other night in search of inspiration and maybe find a hidden gem..but got side tracked into the tunes and their alterative names.Some of them had me in tucks ,(might have been the drink!) "the priest and his boots" is also called "there are sounds of mirth"!! Maybe he loved his boots too much! One of the best ones is "huish the cat" AKA "peas on the hearth" !! maybe that’s what the cat did!
a couple of my favourites are "the gudgeon of maurices car"(i always think of him with a fish!) and "the little bogtrotter" AKA Greensleeves…I think bogtrotters better!..Although you’ll have too watch out for "the moving bog"! lol….well i think i had better stop! But let me know your thoughts’ or stories behind some of the names in "O’Niells"…On a more modern note..one of my favourite tunes at the moment is"La Polverita Fiera" (The savage little powder puff) by L.E. McCullogh…would like to know the origins of this one!?
Bye for now…

Re: Titletales…

Well, some of them aren’t so obvious - for instance "Petticoat Loose" is named after a legendary Irish Female Bandit. But my second favourite title has to be "When sick is it Tea you want". All time favourite has to be "Smash the Windows" which is a grand tune as well.

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Just to deviate slightly John McCusker has to be one of the best of the mopdern composers for bizarre and amusing tune names (all with their reasons) such as "The Bag of Plums", "Does this Train go to Bellshill?", "The Bouncing Czech" and "The Shetland Molecule" - written when he and Ian Carr were trying to think what was smaller than a Shetland Pony. 🙂

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The only one that instantly springs to mind for me is the old jig " Pay the Reckoning" alledgedly, and I’m just going on tales told to me, composed by the infamous Squire Jackson (of Jackson’s Morning Brush, and other tunes, fame —- so let’s take a guess about the Morning Brush - he was having his pre-shave lathering brush when he thought up a 4-part jig, how amazing!)….apparently he was getting mugged, but had no cash on him so he promised to write a tune to Pay the Reckoni…nah that can’t be right, maybe he didn’t have enough cash on him at a session for a round he’d just ordered so he wrote a tune to Pay the Rec..maybe he wrote tune to pay his AOL bill…nah…

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I like the title in O’Neill’s: The Day We Paid the Rent - obviously a rare occurrence worth celebrating! Reminds me of Sickert’s painting title: What Shall We Do For the Rent?

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Some are heartbreaking, if you work out what the origin of the title really is . .

The First Night in America


some are mysterious …

The Fox’s Sleep


and how about

Turn Back the Virgin Page

is this about a clean sheet of paper, or a sexually naive valet?


any offers on

The Fiery Clock Face?

Re: Titletales…

Dave maybe it’s the same type of clock-face as in the old saying "You don’t look at the clock when you’re poking the fire".

(Loose translation: looks aren’t everything)

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hmmm…

Ever read "My family and other animals"? by Gerald Durrell - he describes his sister, who had acne, as having "a face like a plate of scarlet porridge".

The Plate of Scarlet Porridge - there’s a title looking for a tune.

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Haha! I read that book some 15 years ago - one of the few English language books I could find in a Belgian library. Very funny but I don’t remember that specific description.
Very apt though - I’m sure my face looked similar at the time.

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There’s a subject I really like: the devil. I can’t remember if they’re in O’Neills, but what do you think of:
-Go to the devil and shake yourself
-The devil in the kitchen
-Devil in Dublin
-Some say the devil is dead
-Devil or not devil

Re: Fiery Clock Feace

The Fiery-Clock-Feace was a reference to Gateshead Town Hall clock - one of the first to be illuminated by gaslight. The song was about someone thinking the tower was on fire.

Unlike Slaithwaite, where they saw the moon reflected in the canal and tried to fish it out with a rake.

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Ah - tunes and titles.

At this point, as a resident of Macclesfield, I just feel the need to point out to the world in general that the story of the Congleton Bear is true, and is recorded in the annals of history.

I know its not Irish, but I just want to make it clear.

Lest we forget.

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I have been intrigued by the title of "Tell Her I Am."
Tell her I am what? Happy, sad, leaving, in love with her, marrying someone else? Kind of like that lady and the tiger story that ends before the door opens.

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You play it after "drag here found the road"

Posted .

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Not traditional Irish, but my favorite tune title is a recent country song by Rodney Crowell, et al, "It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips At Night That Chew Your A** Out All Day Long."

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Not to mention "Jesus, Won’t You Punt Me Through the Goalpost of Life", but we are not highjacking this thread with strange country songs. 🙁

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I thought it was "Drop kick me, Jesus, through the Goalposts of Life". And what about "My tears have washed your address from the Blackboard of my Heart".
Mind you, talking about Jesus, I always thought "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" was a bit strange…

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"Don’t Tell Mama I’m a Guitar Player, She Thinks I’m Just in Jail"

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Innocent, I think you’re right about that dropkick. And then there was the one I remember sitting in the car, not able to turn off the radio until it was done; "The Biggest Parakeets in Town". All I can remeber is how the chorus ends:

"Her crow is black and shiny,
Her hummingbirds are tiny,
But she’s got the biggest parakeets in town."

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*Blush*

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I’ve always wondered myself about "The Fox and the Microwave". 🙂

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Oh, Batlady, you forgot "I’ve Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Back In My Bed and Crying Over You".

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What about "The devil among the taylors".

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"The Bold Deserter" is my favo(U)rite oxymoron.
"The Kinnegad Slashers" probably doesn’t mean what I think,,,
Do they just "have one" better than most? I have been looking for something to play with "the Outdoor Relief". Think they would fit?

How about "the Hurler’s March"? Seems rather awkward…. Do they do both at the same time, or do the march out, hurl, clean up and march back in?

What’s a gudgeon, anyway, anything like a buffalo wing?

Re: Titletales…

The first time I perused O’Neill’s was in the early 1982, in one of Kalamazoo’s college libraries. Kazoo has several colleges. I was just a year into my mandolin habit. It was a small book, with about 2000 tunes crammed into it. It had old-fashioned print that was very nice. There was a tune in the "songs" section called "Curse the Laws that Give Me Cause." Words were not included. Does anybody know the song with its lyrics? When I finally decided to buy my own copy of of O’Neill’s I was disappointed by the modern edition with half the tunes and the ordinary type face.

Re: Titletales…

After having made quite an extensive search, the melody can be found in any number of places but the song remains a mystery. Perhaps there is a copy in the national archives at UCD but you would need to be a bone fide researcher to get access. Just a thought, try E-Mailing Tom Munnelly, in fact I’m intrigued, I’ll do it myself. Good luck……..

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*sigh*

Th truth can be so —- Disappointing.

*sigh*

😉

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Oh, pardon my gracelessness.

Thanks for the info, jim troy.

Well , there’s still "Fasten a Leg in Her" to ponder over.

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Hey i’m still pondering on a "waxes Dargle"!!
I thought i’d better make another comment since I started this!
having been in wales for a week this year i came back with a jig called"leek soup"…iwas going to put it together with a tune called "the whole chicken soup"…and call it the cock-a-leekie set!! but i need a third tune and a tube of superglue!!
;0)

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Hi Fiona. I returned your e-mail. Are we both who we think we are? 🙂

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Rocking Bow, re: Curse the Laws etc.
After contacting Tom Munnelly, this was his reply.

Have drawn a blank after checking every damn index I know. Nicholas Carolan was down with me and he contacted the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Once again, no luck, outside of the O’ Neill reference. We are both agreed that it comes from a ‘Goodnight’ i.e., a song wherein a condemned man is making a last testament before going to the gallows or transportation, but that’s little help.

Seems like the song has been lost unless it still remains in some obscure collection.
Ian

Re: Titletales…

Rocking Bow, surely you looked first at O’Neill’s "1850", then you have acquired the "1001".That’s why they are different.
Others may be able to tell you the differences precisely, all I know is that we have both on the shelf, and refer to them as one strand of reference when looking up a heard tune.

Re: Titletales…

fionarua, that tune is actually called "The Whole Chicken IN THE Soup" (aacording to Kevin Burke, anyway), which puts a bit of a different slant on it. Good example of how tune names can lose and acquire stories though…

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Re: Titletales…

It’s still soup though! and this is not serious! GeeZeg..chill !
the point is you knew exactly what tune i meant..Sorry for my lazy typing.
xx fiona ;0)

Re: Titletales…

Re; Waxies Dargle, the Digital Tradition has this to say:
Waxies are candlemakers; Waxies Dargle is their annual excursion to Bray.

Cheers,
Michael

Re: Titletales…

Thanks for that…I just like the way it trips of the tongue!..waxes dargle..
There is a local tune to here(Galloway)called(the)Beeswing..
There is also a small village on the edge of dumfries called by the same name…The story has it that both are named after a famous race horse of that name,i will research some more when i get a spare five minuites! HAHA! i should learn the tune too! thanks for the reply Michael.