The Swallowtail jig

Also known as The Custom House, The Dancing Master, The Dancingmaster, Drioball Na Fáinleoige, From The New Country, From The New World, From The Next Country, Gigue De Barnabé, The Swallow Tail, Swallow-tail, The Swallow’s Nest, The Swallow’s Tail, Swallows Tail, The Swallowtail.

There are 74 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Swallowtail appears in 3 other tune collections.

The Swallowtail has been added to 252 tune sets.

The Swallowtail has been added to 2,275 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Nineteen settings

1
X: 1
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:cBA eAA|cBA edc|BGG dGG|gfe dcB|
cBA eAA|cBA e2f|gfe dcB|cBA A2d:|
efg a2b|a2b age|efg a2b|age g2d|
efg a2b|a2b age|gfe dcB|cBA A2d:|
2
X: 2
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEG B2c|dcd AGF|GEE E3:|
|:Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|edB d3|
Bcd e2f|e2f edB|dcd AGF|GEE E3:||
3
X: 3
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
B|cAA eAA|cAA e2A|BGG dGG|gfe dcB|
ccA eAA|cAA e2f|gfe dcB|1 cAA A2:|2 cAA A3||
efg a2b|a2b age-|efg a2b|age g3|
efg a2b|a2b agf|gfe dcB|Bce A3:|
4
X: 4
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEE B2c|dcd AGF|GEE E3:|
|:Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|edB d3|
Bcd e2f|e2f edB|dcd AGF|GEE E3:||
# Added by bobbi .
5
X: 5
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amin
AB|: cAA eAA | cBA edc | BGG dGG | gfe dcB |
cAA eAA | cBA efg | age dcB | cAA A3 :|
|: efg a3 | age dBG | GBd g3 | egd BAG |
efg a3 | age efg | age dcB | cAA A3 :|
# Added by JACKB .
6
X: 6
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
cAA EAA | cAc edc | BGG DGG | BG/A/B d2 B |
cAA E2 A | cA/B/c e2 f | gfg dcB | cA^G A2 :|
ef^g a2 b | a2 b age | efg a2 b | age g3 |
ee/f/^g a2 b | a2 b age | gfg d2 B | cA^G A2 :|
7
X: 7
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:E/2F/2|GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|d^cd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEE B2^c|d^cd AGF|GEE E2:|
|:B|B^c^d e2f|e2f edB|B^c^d e2f|edB d3|
B^c^d e2f|e2f edB|d^cd AGF|GEE E2:|
8
X: 8
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
GEE BEE | GEE BAG | FDD ADD | dcd AGF |
GEE BEE | GEE B2 c | dcd AGF | GEE E2 :|
Bc^d e2 f | e2 f edB | Bc^d e2 f | edB d3 |
Bc^d e2 f | e2 f edB | dcd AGF | GEE E2 :|
9
X: 9
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: F | GEE BEE | GEE BAG | FEE AEE | dcd AGF |
GEE BEE | GEE B2c | dcd AGF | GEE 2E :|
E | Bcd e2f | e2f edB | Bcd e2f | edB 3d |
Bcd e2f | e2f edB | bcb AGF | GEE 2E :|
10
X: 10
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
A1/2B1/2|cAA eAA|cBA eAA|BGG dGG|gfe dcB|
cAA eAA|cBA d2 f|gfe dcB|cAA A2:|
|:d|efg a2 b|a2 b age|efg a2 b|age g2 d|
efg a2 b|a2 b age|gfe dcB|cAA A2:|
11
X: 11
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
E/F/|:"Em"GEE BEE|GEE BAG|"D"FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
"Em"GEE BEE|GEE B2B/c/|"D"dcd AGF|[1 "Em"GEE E2E/F/:|[2 "Em"GEE E2B|]
|:"Em"Bcd e2f|e2f edc|Bcd e2f|"Em"edc "D"d2c|
"Em"Bcd e2f|e2f edc|"D"dcd AGF|[1 "Em"GEE E2B:|[2 "Em"GEE E3|]
# Added by Bryce .
12
X: 12
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|: GEE BEE | GEG BAG | FDD ADD | dcd AGF |
GEE BEE | GEG B2c | dcd AGF |1 GED E2F :|2 GED E2A ||
|: Bcd e2f | e2f edB | Bcd e2f | edB d2A | Bcd e2f |
[1 e2f edB | dcd AGF | GED E2A :|[2 g2f edB | dcd AGF | GED E2F ||
13
X: 13
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
A/B/|cAA EAA | cBA edc | BGG dGG | gfg dcB |
cAA eAA | cBA e2f | gfg dcB | cAA A2:|
d|efg a2b | a2b agf | efg a2 b | agf g2d |
efg a2b | a2b agf | gfg dcB | cAA A2:|
14
X: 14
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amin
A/B/|: cAA eAA | cBA edc | BGG dGG | gfe dcB |
cAA eAA | cBA efg | age dcB |1 cAA A2 A/B/ :|2 cAA A2d ||
|: efg a3 | age dBG | GBd g3 | egd BAG |
efg a3 | age efg | age dcB |1 cAA A2d :|2 cAA A2 A/B/ ||
15
X: 15
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
E/F/|: GEE BEE | GFE BAG | FDD ADD | dcB AGF |
GEE BEE | GFE Bcd | edB AGF |1 GEE E2 E/F/ :|2 GEE E2A ||
|: Bcd e3 | edB AFD | DFA d3 | BdA FED |
Bcd e3 | edB Bcd | edB AGF |1 GEE E2A :|2 GEE E2 E/F/ ||
16
X: 16
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
"Em"GEE BEE|GEE BAG||"D"FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
"Em"GEE BEE|GEE B2c|"D"dcd AGF|"Em"GEE E3:|
|:"Em"Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|"Em"edB "D"d3|
"Em"Bcd e2f|e2f edB|"D"dcd AGF|"Em"GEE E3:||
17
X: 17
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|: F | GEE BEE | GEE BAG | FDD ADD | dcd AGF |
GEE BEE | GEE B2c | dcd AGF | GEE 2E :|
A | Bcd e2f | e2f edB | Bcd e2f | edB d2A |
Bcd e2f | e2f edB | dcd AGF | GEE 2E :|
18
X: 18
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gdor
A|:BAG dGG|BAG dzB|AFF cFF|fef cBA|
BAG dGG|BAG dze|fef cBA|BAG GzA:|
|:def g2a|g2a gfd|cde f2g|fde f2z|
def g2a|g2a gfd|fef cBA|BAG GzA:||G3|]
# Added by Tule .
19
X: 19
T: The Swallowtail
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
(A/2B/2)|cAA eAA|cBA edc|BGG dGG|
gfg dcB|cAA eAA|cBA e2f|gfg dcB|cAA A2:|]
|:d|efg a2b|a2b age|efg a2b|agf g2d|
efg a2b|a2b agf|gfg dcB|cAA A2:|]

Fifty-nine comments

This tune has a lot of similarities with the reel of the same name. I wonder which came first.

The tune is fairly straightforward to play, except for the jig equivalent of that tricky G phrase we saw in the reel. Once again, hopping between D and G might cause some problems at first but it’s worth practicing because it’ll come in handy later. It’s all in the wrist.

I play this in Edor, a fourth lower, staring on G rather than c. Also, I play the first phrase of measures 1, 2 and 5 as GEE (here it would be cAA) rather than GFE (cBA) in order to get that ya-da-da, ya-da-da jig feel (we whistlers go slur-tongue-tongue).

I am curious what variations do people use in the second part for the constant e2f, e2f (here it is a2b, a2b)? I don’t think rolls work so well and haven’t found the perfect notes for turning. Any thoughts?

Here is a slightly different version of the tune from an old New England source. It is in E dorian.

K:Edor
GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEG B2c|dcd AGF|GEE E3:|
|:Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|edB d3|
Bcd e2f|e2f edB|dcd AGF|GEE E3:||

T:Dancing Master, The
M:6/8
L:1/8
S:Josephine Marsh
R:jig
Z:g.m.p
K:ADor
B|cAA eAA|cAA e2A|BGG dGG|gfe dcB|
ccA eAA|cAA e2f|gfe dcB|1cAA A2:|2cAA A3|:
efg a2b|a2b age-|efg a2b|age g3|
efg a2b|a2b agf|gfe dcB|Bce A3:|

Swallowtail in Edorian

You need to add the "x" and "t" line for it to
translate correctly to a pdf. from the abc file. also I changed one note in the 5th measure. this is a perfect teaching tune. Bobbi
X:1
T: Swallowtail, The
K:Edor
GEE BEE|GEE BAG|FDD ADD|dcd AGF|
GEE BEE|GEE B2c|dcd AGF|GEE E3:|
|:Bcd e2f|e2f edB|Bcd e2f|edB d3|
Bcd e2f|e2f edB|dcd AGF|GEE E3:||

Posted by .

"From the New Country" jig

Would anyone know an alternative title for this jig? I have found in a set with The Blackthorn Stick and the Irish Washerwoman and would like to listen to midi. Can’t find it here or on abacci.com.

Re: "From the New Country" jig

Hi Chris,

I think this tune also goes by the name of the ‘Swallowtail Jig’.

Jon

Re: "From the New Country" jig

Exactly the one, guys- many thanks. How do you get to know that extra-curricular kind of stuff? 😉

The Dancing Master

I looked for this one on the system but couldn’t fins it.

Posted by .

JACKB

Your tune is a variant of the "Swallowtail Jig"

https://thesession.org/tunes/106

You may wish to post your tune on that page as a variant, as Jeremy will almost certainly delete the tune that you have just posted as it would be considered as a duplication.

"The Swallowtail" / "The Swallow’s Tail" ~ Nest" / "The Dancing Master"

Key signature: A Dorian
Submitted on May 25th 2001 by Jeremy.
https://thesession.org/tunes/106
https://thesession.org/tunes/106/comments

No, I’m not calling it a ‘duplication’, as this is a significant and interesting variant. I started playing this and immediately took it to where we play it, which is different from both, then looked it up and found another take on it on site, courtesy of our beloved webmaster Jeremy. I’ll add out take on it there. Knowing this as an ‘old standard’, but not by the name given, I was sure something of it must be here.

Interesting version Jack, thanks…

Mix!!! ~ like minds and simultaneously… 😉

Jack, check your email…

O’Neill’s 1001 Gems

This is 100% the same #183, called there "The Dancingmaster"

Excellent Jig

This is an excellent all round jig for bashing out on the fiddle, with or without much ornamentation! It appears in this form in a fiddling book I have, and is similar to ‘From the New Country’ on this website (possibilities for juxtaposition in performance?), but some elements of structure and key are different, so I decided to submit it.

Duplicated

This seems to be an Edorian version of The Swallowtail: https://thesession.org/tunes/106

There’s no big difference between the two versions except for the keys.

Great Tune

Such a cool tune! I really like the first half. Can’t wait to play it on my fiddle! 🙂

Swallowtail

I copied this out from a book and not this website however. True, this tune is basically identical to The Swallowtail (a few notes and rhythmic elements differ), but a difference in key can give something a very different feel. Also, some differences make this version easier for the less experienced violinist - no jump from the G on the D string to the G on the E string, for example (unless playing in the 3rd position) and less need for the fourth finger to be thrown out (problems of intonation, speed etc.) Perhaps most so is that in my version, you don’t have to move your fingers across a fifth (fiendish!) because you can use the open A and D.
Nevertheless I had noted the existence of such pieces as The Swallowtail here already! But I’d say it’s good to have a few versions for players to choose their favourite from (without cluttering the site ofc)

Note

I wouldn’t say it’s in E dorian though. Although I’ve only just started learning about the modes, as opposed to the keys, this has F sharp in the key signature and uses the accidentals C sharp and D sharp, all indicative of E minor.

Another note!

I’ll try to stop filling this with comments! But I made a mistake - there is a fingered interval of a fifth, but it is the first finger in the first position, so it’s not hard.

E dorian it is.

All the Cs are sharp, so the key sig should really be two sharps. You could argue that the b part is in E melodic minor, but I’d still want to hear a C nat to establish that. A raised leading tone as an accidental is not really that telling.

Posted by .

O’Neill’s Dancing Master with some changes in the second part!

"I copied this out from a book ~"

Duplication and mistakes aside, it would show some respect to fully credit your sources ~ the book and its author(s)…

From the New World (jig)

"you don’t have to move your fingers across a fifth (fiendish!)"
This isn’t really the right place to comment on technical difficulties (try Discussions) but I can’t let that remark pass without saying that it is not "fiendish" - just a bit strange for the beginner and nothing that can’t be sorted out by a few minutes instruction from a teacher or a more advanced player and followed up by regular practice until the technique is there.

From the New World (jig)

"some differences make this version easier for the less experienced violinist"

I’m not in favour of tunes on this forum being simplified for the benefit of beginners - it detracts from the tune and can confuse other players as to whether it really is an authentic version. Simplifying a tune does not do the beginner any favours because it does not encourage them to advance their technique so as to be able to play the original version. After all, Irish fiddle music is technically remarkably straightforward compared with other genres.

If someone posting a tune believes a simpler version should be provided then that should be done in the Comments and clearly indicated for what it is, and the original version posted as the main posting.

That is obviously no longer possible in this instance so it might be a good idea to post the ABC of the original source here in the Comments.

"From The New World" / "The Swallowtail" ~ rescued duplication & notes

Key signature: E Dorian (originally posted as e minor, see the following notes.)
Submitted on January 10th 2009 by thelightisahead
~ /tunes/9249

X: 8
T: From The New World
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Edor
|: E/F/ |\
GEE BEE | GEE BAG | FDD ADD | dcd AGF |
GEE BEE | GEE B2 c | dcd AGF | GEE E2 :|
|: B |\
Bc^d e2 f | e2 f edB | Bc^d e2 f | edB d3 |
Bc^d e2 f | e2 f edB | dcd AGF | GEE E2 :|

Excellent Jig
This is an excellent all round jig for bashing out on the fiddle, with or without much ornamentation! It appears in this form in a fiddling book I have, and is similar to ‘From the New Country’ on this website (possibilities for juxtaposition in performance?), but some elements of structure and key are different, so I decided to submit it.

# Posted on January 10th 2009 by thelightisahead

Swallowtail
I copied this out from a book and not this website however. True, this tune is basically identical to The Swallowtail (a few notes and rhythmic elements differ), but a difference in key can give something a very different feel. Also, some differences make this version easier for the less experienced violinist - no jump from the G on the D string to the G on the E string, for example (unless playing in the 3rd position) and less need for the fourth finger to be thrown out (problems of intonation, speed etc.) Perhaps most so is that in my version, you don’t have to move your fingers across a fifth (fiendish!) because you can use the open A and D.
Nevertheless I had noted the existence of such pieces as The Swallowtail here already! But I’d say it’s good to have a few versions for players to choose their favourite from (without cluttering the site ofc)

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by thelightisahead

Note
I wouldn’t say it’s in E dorian though. Although I’ve only just started learning about the modes, as opposed to the keys, this has F sharp in the key signature and uses the accidentals C sharp and D sharp, all indicative of E minor.

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by thelightisahead

Another note!
I’ll try to stop filling this with comments! But I made a mistake - there is a fingered interval of a fifth, but it is the first finger in the first position, so it’s not hard.

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by thelightisahead

It’s definitely in E dorian. A couple of people have already transcribed the tune in the key:

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by slainte

E dorian it is.
All the Cs are sharp, so the key sig should really be two sharps. You could argue that the b part is in E melodic minor, but I’d still want to hear a C nat to establish that. A raised leading tone as an accidental is not really that telling.

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by muspc

O’Neill’s Dancing Master with some changes in the second part!

# Posted on January 11th 2009 by swisspiper

"I copied this out from a book ~"

Duplication and mistakes aside, it would show some respect to fully credit your sources ~ the book and its author(s)…

From the New World (jig) ~ more rescued notes ~ courtesy of Lazyhound

"you don’t have to move your fingers across a fifth (fiendish!)"

This isn’t really the right place to comment on technical difficulties (try Discussions) but I can’t let that remark pass without saying that it is not "fiendish" - just a bit strange for the beginner and nothing that can’t be sorted out by a few minutes instruction from a teacher or a more advanced player and followed up by regular practice until the technique is there.

# Posted on January 12th 2009 by lazyhound

"some differences make this version easier for the less experienced violinist"

I’m not in favour of tunes on this forum being simplified for the benefit of beginners - it detracts from the tune and can confuse other players as to whether it really is an authentic version. Simplifying a tune does not do the beginner any favours because it does not encourage them to advance their technique so as to be able to play the original version. After all, Irish fiddle music is technically remarkably straightforward compared with other genres.

If someone posting a tune believes a simpler version should be provided then that should be done in the Comments and clearly indicated for what it is, and the original version posted as the main posting.

That is obviously no longer possible in this instance so it might be a good idea to post the ABC of the original source here in the Comments.

# Posted on January 12th 2009 by lazyhound

A few clarifications

Just a few points raised here:
—- I no longer know what to think of the key! But I still think of it as E minor. I’ll try and brush-up extra on the modes before I post anything else. Either way, I’d say a key signature of one sharp, with the tune beginning and ending on E, and the accidentals of C sharp and D sharp in play (as in the melodic minor scale ascending) all suggest to me E minor, even if it could be /perceived/ as being in a mode. I would say a raised leading note is one of the hallmarks of a minor key.
—- There may well be some versions in E dorian, but that doesn’t mean we can just say this piece ‘is in’ any one key, just different versions.
—- I haven’t credited my source because I wasn’t sure if that would be allowed (and btw, there have been no mistakes in the transcription). My source was ‘The Ceilidh Collection’ by Edward Huws Jones.
—- I only posted the easiness points (ie. the jump of a fifth etc.) in retrospect when the relevance of my upload was called into question. It was not my intention to upload this for the inexperienced. (The ABC I entered /was/ the original source btw, not any simplifications on my or any one’s part).
—- I mainly decided to go ahead and upload this because it does differ from the other version in some ways and I just generally prefer this version, and therefore there will be others who do as well.

Hope this has cleared things up 🙂 please have patience with a newcomer!

Technical difficulties pertaining to a particular tune…

make sense in the comments section of that tune. At least, that’s where I find them the most interesting and useful.

Posted by .

Swallowtail

This is almost exactly how I play The Swallowtail, and indeed it is in Edor- I usually play a D natural rather than sharp.

It’s E Dorian

If there were C naturals in this tune then it wouldn’t be Dorian but Aeolian instead. However, there are C sharps which means it is Dorian

Case closed

Posted .

He’s studying Law at uni, you’d better listen.

Modes

I’m not yet practiced enough in the defining points of modes to relevantly comment further, and if people are going to continually and aggressively throw their dogmatics at me then I may as well just quit this site altogether, which is a shame cos I thought it’d be more fun and friendly when I started. All I know is that the chord symbols written to accompany the piece say ‘Em’ as in E minor, and the realised keyboard accompaniment is also in E minor. But I’m not too fussed, it’s how it sounds that matters.

😏

If you do see it as ‘dogma’, because you are convinced you’re right and everyone else here is wrong, then, just maybe, going off in a huff isn’t a bad idea, as it is likely there’s nothing much for you to learn here anyway. You wouldn’t be the first and you wouldn’t be the last. Maybe, as others have, you might even come back, possibly with a new handle. That would be cool too. I don’t think anyone is ‘attacking’ you personally, but trying to clarify some of what you contributed. If you don’t want others to comment, well, you could also choose to go ‘silent running’, or lurk mode…

‘Tis true, we do have more than our share of precious egos in this realm of interest…

Personally, I still consider this a clear ‘duplication’, little different from the contributions already made in the comments of "The Swallowtail"…

I’d stay around if I were you, if you’ve an ounce of sanity your ego will recover and you still might find something to learn here. Whatever your decision ~ best of luck…

Mode of this piece

Well, Swallowtail is in E Dorian. It should be written with two sharps in the key signature, and has C sharp but NOT D sharp. That said, you see transcriptions all the time with 1 sharp in the key sig. and the C sharp written as an accidental. That’s technically incorrect but you do see them. Besides that the implied chord progressions are clearly E dorian.

This tune uses D sharp in the B section and has a key signature of 1 sharp. The D sharp show up as the scale ascends and D natural is used when the scale descends. These are characteristics of the so called "melodic minor’ scales, and I suppose by extension this piece, or at least the B section, is in E minor.

So, that takes care of the key of the piece. But on quite another tack I think the change of mode messes up a good tune. It reminds me of some of the transcriptions that are around from the days when musicologists used to "fix" the wrong notes performers played to push the piece into a major or minor (aeolian if you must) scale. Still, as the poster says it is a legit variation of the tune. The fact that I don’t care for it doesn’t make it bad.

Perhaps

Perhaps I have been rather reactionary about it. I guess it’s only because some people were being very cold (which is why I said ‘dogmatic’ - it was as if they were uncompromising know-it-alls’) and I found it a little hurtful. However, it is in my rather weak nature (I can assure you that I unfortunately have no ego!) to forgive and forget, and I’m willing to let all issues drop, because whatever some say, or others say, I love this piece and don’t think that, as a ‘variation’ of The Swallowtail, it is irrelevant because it is still quite different and some may prefer it. It’s all about the music in the end!
Thanks also for the link - now I just face the problem of memorising it all! Major/minor is simple enough, but knowing what key signature for which mode on which tonic etc. - yikes!

Scales

thelightisahead, you should be fine, I went through years of classical so learning an extra couple of modes won’t take long coz your head will be full of theory too.

Oh and if I sounded cold, I didn’t intend to be, I just wanted to be concise and straight to the point.

Posted .

Footnote

Hi all, I know more about the modes now and just want to apologise for being defensive in the face of those who knew more!

In fact I can tell the book I got it from puts in these ‘wrong’ time signatures just to make things seem major or minor because there’s another tune which has an F# key signature but whenever F appears in the tune, it is natural and thus presented as an accidental - F# never makes an appearance!

The tune is thus in G mixolydian, not G major, and it’d be better if the book, rather than necessarily explaining the modes, at least uses the correct signature (perhaps along with a mention of the mode) and allows you to just take it on the chin that, though the key signature may be blank, it still ends on G, not C/A!

The A dorian version can be found in Allan’s Irish Fiddler. I like to follow it with Rakes of Kildare.

Wow…

Strange to come back and see what I wrote 3 years ago… how little I knew!

I’ve learnt so much in the meantime; to think I was so sure this version of The Swallowtail is in E MINOR and that I was so sure I was right!

I apologise to all I got defensive with - admittedly, my life was at a rather low ebb at that point.

However I still don’t appreciate being called a ‘precious ego’ or treated like an unknowing newbie who the experts will chuckle at from across the room…

Re: The Swallowtail

Québec fiddler Joseph Allard played this as "Gigue de Barnabé", in A dorian. I can transcribe his version if anyone wants it, although it’s really not too dissimilar to the ones already posted.

The Swallowtail, X:12

Taken from ‘A Fine Selection of Over 200 Irish Traditional Tunes for Sessions’, compiled by David Speers with a Forward by Matt Cranitch. Similar to X:5, dropping to E in the second triplet.

Re: The Swallowtail

Forgot to mention, it’s called The Swallows Nest in the ‘Fine Selection .. ’

Re: The Swallowtail

Does anyone happen to know if this plays on the bagpipes (key of A, smallpipes) and if so, how?

Re: The Swallowtail

Only if you have a c natural key and you swap the high b’s for g’s (for example)

Re: The Swallowtail

There may be lyrics to this jig, but if not and you like to sing, give these a go. Made them up stuck in traffic:

SWALLOW-TAIL JIG LYRICS

I have a coat that me grandfather gave me,
It’s old and it’s worn and it’s black and it’s smelly.
The long frayed-up coat-tails hang down to me knees,
and instead of a hankie he used both the sleeves.

The buttons are gone and the collar is tattered.
To Gramps playing fiddle was all he thought mattered.
The coat-tail is split and it looks quite absurd,
Like tail-feathers on an old barn swallow bird.

Play a fast jig and the lassies will love ye.
Play it again and they’ll buy you a beer.
Play it once more and they’ll all start in dancing.
When you get to the ending we’ll all give a cheer!

The Swallowtail, X:17

Transcribed from the playing of fiddler John Selleck from Camino, California, recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell for the WPA Folk Music Project on October 2, 1939. Selleck did not know the name and just called it "an Irish piece."

Link to recording here: https://www.loc.gov/item/2017702101/

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The Swallow’s Nest, X:18

This is the version in Allan’s Irish Fiddler.
There are similarities with the first version here, but not enough, I’d say, to make them both the same tune.
Another example of a name with multiple tunes.

Re: The Swallow’s Nest

Having looked around the tune DB a little more, I find that this tune is already here with the name ‘Swallow’s Tail.’