The Random jig

By James Hill

Also known as Random Notes.

There are 15 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Random appears in 1 other tune collection.

The Random has been added to 3 tune sets.

The Random has been added to 80 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: The Random
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A|~d3 fed|cea ecA|~B3 efg|Bed cBA|dzd fed|cea ecA|BAB efg|Bec d2:|
|:z|DFA FAd|Adf dfa|afa geg|fdf ecA|DFA FAd|Adf dfa|dcB fed|cdB A2:|
|:z|Aaa Bbb|Ggg Aaa|Ddd efg|Bed cBA|Aaa Bbb|Ggg Aaa|Ddd efg|Bec d2:|

Eight comments

Usually known as “The Random Jig”, but I prefer to call it by its alternative title. Thought to have been composed by 19th century fiddler James Hill. He was born in Scotland (Dundee I think), but spent most of his life in Tyneside, so his tunes (many of which are hornpipes) became part of the Northumbrian tradition.

This was posted in response to a recent thread entitled “POXY MELODY PLAYERS”, in which there was a discussion about the fact that a bunch of random notes does not constitute a tune.

Random Notes

One of Hills great tunes. The Angels of the North combine this with Robert Topliffe’s three-parrter version of Elsie Marlie for the innumerable 5 verse 48bar dances that exist. Its a cracking set and terribly North-eastern.
Noel Jackson
Angels of the North

There must be some mistake…

I took the ABC file to the midi player, and this just doesn’t sound at all like richard thompson’s setting on _strict tempo_. what’s up with that?

I don’t have that album, Matt, but I just had a listen to a clip of that track over at, and got enough from that. The tune I heard in that clip was the Hexham Quadrille, not the Random Jig.

thank you dow -- wasn’t sure anyone would see this query! do you mean the the track on _strict tempo_ is the hexham quadrille? richard thompson got it wrong???? i will have to rethink my universe. anyway, i may have to buy a mando, just to play that tune.

Re: The Random

According to Graham Dixon, who is something of a Hill scholar, this appears to be an earlier 3-part French cotillion.

There is an identical tune in the Collingwood manuscript, where it’s called “Rondeau”.

“Random” would be an obvious corruption of Rondeau.

The confusion arises from the Northumbrian Piper’s Tune Book, where it’s attributed to Hill.

It seems more likely that he simply popularised an existing tune, and lent it the distinctive Northumbrian hornpipe rhythm.

Re: The Random

This tune follows “Bide Ye Yet” on Ossian’s album Borders.

Dudes, this database needs editing. Please take volunteers and set it up!