Murphy’s Weather Eye jig

Also known as An Inverness.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

Murphy's Weather Eye has been added to 8 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Murphy's Weather Eye
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f/g/|:aba f2e|dcB A2F|DFA dcd|fee e2 f/g/|
aba f2e|dcB A2F|DFA cBc|edd d3:|
|:DFA dcB|ABG F2E|DFA dcd|fee e3|
DFA dcB|ABG F2E|1 DFA cBc|edd d3:|
[2aba f2e|dcB A2F|DFA cBc|edd d3||

Eighteen comments

A jig from Clinton’s Irish Melodies, published 1840

Or is it from Clinton’s 200 Irish Melodies for Flute, also published 1840? He seems to have flooded the market in that year. O’Neill later copy/pasted this tune into Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody. Cape Breton musicians had it, their setting differing markedly from this printed version; but modern players Morgan MacQuarrie and John Campbell used the title if not the exact melody; Johnny Wilmot and Tommy Basker recorded it as well, with the simple title "An Inverness Jig." The setting I give here is this superior one from Cape Breton; for completeness sake here is the Clinton/O’Neill tune:

T:Murphy’s Weather Eye
S:Clinton’s Irish Melodies 1840
Z:Paul Kinder
d/2e/2|fgf edc|fdB BAF|Add dcd|fee e2 d/2e/2|
fgf edc|fdB BAF|Add cde|fdd d2:|
|:A|FAA BAA|dAA BAG|FAd {f}dcd|fee e2 A|
FAA BAA|dAA BAG|FAd {f}ede|fdd d2:||

The title is a puzzler; it sounds positively steampunk to me, old but not 1840 in other words, bringing to mind some newfangled aerial barometer fashioned out of closely machined brass, et al.

"Murphy’s Weather Eye" / gan ainm?

I love this old jig, but I never had this name for it ~

X: 2
T: Murphy’s Weather Eye
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Dmaj
|: f/g/ |aba f2 e | dcB A2 F | DFA dcd | fee ee/f/g |
aba f2 e | dcB A2 F | DFA cBc | edd d2 :|
|: F/E/ |DFA dcB | ABG F2 E | DF/G/A dcd |
[1 fee e2 F/E/ | DFA dcB | ABG F2 E | DFA cBc | edd d2 :|
[2 fee e2 f/g/ |aba f2 e | dcB A2 F | DF/G/A cBc | edd d2 |]

Yes, Cape Breton no doubt! I’m surprised it’s not already here… That Clinton/O’Neill tune is that different that I’d think it deserves a place of its on in the database here.

I suspect I may have had it as "Johnny Wilmot’s"…

Title is courtesy Alan Snyder at, I should mention. But like I said the CB musicians persist in using it; did they adapt the book setting, find the book setting and slap its title on one of their trad tunes, or…? They do differ a fair amount, it’s true, although I like this setting more.

Most of ‘The Books’ I came across while there were Scottish. "Clinton’s" isn’t one I every heard tell of, and I wasn’t shy in asking about such things… Dear Paul Cranford has been there much longer and asked more questions and may know otherwise. This is that set in the blood I’d be surprised if there aren’t other names for it.

"O’Neill later copy/pasted this tune into Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody."

Even taking into consideration the original meaning of such terms, I doubt if there was much "copying" and "pasting" involved.

Copy and paste

Yes - speaking as one who did a little illustration for publication in the era before this was all computerised, you would have to have a camera in the process somewhere - unlikely for the original printing of O’Neill’s - so maybe we should say "plagiarised and laboriously re-engraved" or similar??

"An Inverness Jig"

X: 3
T: An Inverness Jig
T: Murphy’s Weather Eye
S: Johnny Wilmot
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Dmaj
|: aba f2 e | dcB A2 F | DFA dcd | fee efg |
aba f2 e | dcB A2 F | DFA cBc |[1 edd d2 f :|[2 edd d2 ||
|: F |\
DFA dcB | ABG F2 E | DFA dcd |
[1 fee e2 f | DFA dcB | ABG F2 E | DFA cBc | edd d2 :|
[2 fee efg |aba f2 e | dcB A2 F | DFA cBc | edd dfg |]

"Murphy’s Weather Eye" ~ at least the Captain credits his sources 😉

I love it, ‘cut-and-paste’… However, in between then an computers, cut-and-wax was a common practice in preparing something for print.
Here’s the ‘Waif’, identical to the one given at the start above:

X: 1
T: Murphy’s Weather Eye
B: "Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody", Captain Francis O’Neill, page 99, tune #178
S: Clinton’s Irish Melodies 1840 (& credited)
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: DMaj
|: d/e/ |\
fgf edc | fdB BAF | Add dcd | fee e2 d/e/ |
fgf edc | fdB BAF | Add cde | fdd d2 :|
|: A |\
FAA BAA | dAA BAG | FAd {f}dcd | fee e2 A |
FAA BAA | dAA BAG | FAd {f}ede | fdd d2 :|

I’m now sure that the first source for our learning this one was from Tommy Basker and his harmonica playing…

O’Neill’s massive pilfering of Ryan and Howe is a matter of record; this was nothing out of the ordinary at the time, yes, but it is puzzling that he never once deigned to mention their names in his writings while openly acknowledging Aird, Clinton, O’Farrell, with tunes like this one. Some sort of Irish American schizophrenia at work there.

"this was nothing out of the ordinary at the time,"

But our ex-Chicago cop sat behind an iMac is a strange image.

That’s figures of speech for you. Haven’t seen anyone literally hoisted by their own petard lately, either. ;)

I had an image of O’Neill with a pair of scissors and a glue pot making up his scrapbook. You mean it was a figure of speech rather than a note on his technical methods ?

O’Neill spent staggering amounts of money on old books, I can’t see him defacing them like that, if you want to be ultimately specific. He threw out some figure, thousands of dollars I believe; a dollar went a lot further back then, even $2k would equate to about $30k now, IIRC. Imagine spending $30k on books. Well, perhaps we all do that over the course of a lifetime.