The Elusive Magpie jig

By Sean Ryan

There is 1 recording of this tune.

The Elusive Magpie has been added to 1 tune set.

The Elusive Magpie has been added to 20 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Elusive Magpie
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
=F|:DGG =FGA|c3 cBc|d2g fag|fdc AG=F|
DGG =FGA|c3 cBc|d2g fdc|1 AG=F G2=F:|2 AG=F G2D||
|:GBd g3|fag fdc|A=F2 c=F2|d=F2 c=F2|
DGG =FGA|c3 cBc|d2g fdc|1 AG=F G2D:|2 AG=F G2||

Seven comments

The Elusive Magpie

I had it from Brighton fiddle and banjo-player Roger Leach, who got it from Charlie Piggott.

I think it’s a West Clare tune.

I transcribed it as Major with accidentals on the Fs in the low octave rather than Mixolydian with accidentals on the Fs in the high octave; but a person could do either either. It’s a common ‘mode’, to have the minor seventh in the bottom of the tune and the major seventh in the top, but musical notation isn’t well suited for recording it 😏

The Elusive Magpie (jig)

I was about to transcribe this jig from Claire Keville’s solo album! It’s actually another of Tipperary fiddler Sean Ryan’s compositions. Claire Keville also cites Charlie Piggott as the source.

By the way, I believe this tune is in G dorian.

Dorian or not?

Thanks for that. Sean Ryan, of course!

I haven’t heard Claire Keville’s version (though I hope to - her CD has been highly recommended to me) so I can’t say what she does with the few Bs, but if they’re flats, and (as my friend Michael says) she plays F naturals throughout, then that certainly makes the tune Dorian.

Myself, I play the Bs as natural and some of the Fs as sharps (as I transcribed) which makes it either Mixolydian or Ionian depending on which Fs you believe! Isn’t it fascinating - she and I both have the tune from Charlie, yet already those variations have snuck in.

I’ve been having a crack at this, Ben, in readiness for your workshop in March. Playing it through and listening to the phrasing, there’s almost the feel of a 9/8 slip jig here and there - or is just my poor ear?

Stop press

I got the order of events a bit wrong… turns out Charlie got the tune from Roger Leach and Mandy Murray, which is where I learnt it.

Will Fly: sorry I didn’t read your comment until 7 months after you posted it! Doh…