I think this comes from the pen of Patric O’Leary (Piper) from Kerry in the early part of the nineteenth century. Most of the information is in Irish, (my Irish isn’t very good I’m afraid, as I’ve forgotten most of it) but, what I can make out is, that P. O’Donovan collected it, and notated in upon this manuscript, which is dated 1833.
I wonder if ricks means to stack… we used to cut, split with an axe and stgack or "rick" firewood when I was a kid. I wonder if that is what "ricks" stands for in this tune name.
I think it refers to stacking wheat or corn at harvest time, long before they had this modern machinery that does it nowadays.
It used to be a lovely sight sight seeing these ricks of wheat or corn in the fields, compared to the big round bails they have now.
I have made a big mistake, it actually means hay or straw ricks,
The Irish that the title comes from is: "cruach fhéir an déanaim an fómhar ". Which literally translates "I havested the hay ricks" sorry about my mistake!
Interesting. So it seems "ricks" is a word that is used in Ireland. Ive only heard it used in a few states here in the USA.
The term "rick" is or was used pretty much throughout the whole of Britain, though "stack" is more common nowadays. Typically a "rick" was a regularly shaped pile of hand-gathered bunches ("bundles") of cut straw, hay, reeds or whatever. Hence a hay-rick means much the same thing as a haystack etc.
Re: Harvest Ricks
This is actually taken from Feldman and O’Doherty, where it is called "The Harvest Moon", and transcribed from the playing of Simon Doherty. It seem to be a variant in G minor of "The Harvest Moon", which is attributed to John Mhosaí McGinley, and which is normally played in A minor.
Re: Harvest Ricks
Sorry, Ceolachán! I spoke too soon! That’s not McGinley’s "Harvest Moon": in fact, it is old "Sporting Paddy" in a G minor setting.
X: 2 “Harvest Ricks”
S: Simon Doherty, Donegal fiddler
B: "The Northern Fiddler: Music and Musicians of Donegal and Tyrone"
by Allen Feldman & Eamonn O’Doherty
Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1979
page 103 - where it is given as "The Harvest Moon"