Gin Ye Kiss My Wife, I’ll Tell The Minister reel

Also known as 14.Gin Ye Kiss My Wife, I’ll Tell The Minister, By The Time You Kiss My Whife, The Minister Will Be Told, Gin Ye Kiss Ma Wife I’ll Go An’ Tell The Minister, Gin Ye Kiss My Wife I’ll Tell The Minister.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

Gin Ye Kiss My Wife, I’ll Tell The Minister has been added to 1 tune set.

Gin Ye Kiss My Wife, I’ll Tell The Minister has been added to 13 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Gin Ye Kiss My Wife, I'll Tell The Minister
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
EA A<A B2 E2|cd/c/ BA dB G2|EA A<A B2 E2|c2 BA/B/ G[B,E] [B,2E2]:|
e>f gd B2 BG|A2 A>B dBBd|e>f ge B2 BG|A<A B>A G[B,E] [B,2E2]|
e>f gd B2 BG|A2 A>B dBBd|e>f ge ae gB|A<A B>A G[B,E] [B,2E2]||

Three comments

Surprised this wasn’t already here (but knowing my luck, the usual hawk will pounce with the dreaded “Duplicated” posting very shortly!)

My posting derived from Ibiblio Fiddler’s Companion, which also has these notes:

GIN YE KISS MY WIFE, I’LL TELL THE MINISTER. Scottish, Pastoral Air (4/4 time). A Minor. Standard. AAB. “Very old air.” This was the original tune for the Sean Trews/Triubhas, an ancient Highland dance in which the dancers wear tartan trousers rather than the sporran and kilt. Source for notated version: Mr. “Old air. Communicated by Mr. John Stuart” (Keith, Banffshire, Scotland) [Skinner]. Hardie (Caledonian Companion), 1992; pg. 50. Skinner (Harp and Claymore), 1904; pg. 59. Skinner (The Scottish Violinist), pg. 21. Culburnie CUL110, Abby Newton – “Crossing to Scotland” (1997). Maggie’s Music MM107, Maggie Sansone with Ensemble Galilei - “Music in the Great Hall” (1992).


At least yours has the correct key sig (it ends on E but it’s in A minor).

There are LOADS of historical versions of this, and it’s even just discernible as the Shetland D major reel. Some of the oldest versions are in D minor. A sketchy version, which Alasdair Fraser used as the starting point for a long exploration, is one of the ‘Skye Dance’ tunes from Patrick MacDonald’s ‘Highland Vocal Airs’.

Best wishes from “not ‘the usual hawk’…”

Missing Link?

One of the alternative names for this tune is “Deil Stick the Minister” and versions can be found in many places. There is a Shetland tune of a very similar name - “Deil Stick da Minister” - which is very different, but I’ve always puzzled at two tunes shared such an unusual title. I was looking through The Roche Collection of Traditional Irish Music (1912) and came across a reel, “Stick the Minister” which I believe may be the missing link. It’s in D major, but is based upon the A minor settings (e.g. on this page).

Stick the Minister: Adde f2 ed | f2 fa ge e2 | adde f2 ef | gfed cA A2 :|
Deil Stick da Minister: Adfd e2 ce | fdfd g2 eg | fdfd e2 ce | d2 ed cA A2 :|

Stick the Minister: a2 af g2 fg | a2 af ge e2 | a2 af g2 ef | gfed cA A2 |
Deil Stick da Minister: fgaf gagf | e=cgc ecgc | fgaf gece | d2 ed cA A2 :|

Well, it’s a theory…