Ger The Rigger polka

Also known as Jer An Rigeara, Jer The Rigger, Jet The Rigger, Thadelo’s, Yer The Rigger.

There are 32 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

Ger The Rigger appears in 4 other tune collections.

Ger The Rigger has been added to 43 tune sets.

Ger The Rigger has been added to 370 tunebooks.

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Two settings

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Seventeen comments

One of my favorites, a tune that’s frequently played in the sessions I go to. Some people like to play it in Amix (i.e with a g nat instead of g#). It’s also known as “Jer the rigger” - I’ve no idea which name, if either, is correct.
Martin Hayes does a fine performance of it on “Live in Seattle”.
The only surprise is that this tune hasn’t appeared before on


I have doubts about the alternative name “Jet the rigger”. My sleeve notes on the Live in Seattle cd clearly say “Jer the rigger”. I wonder if there could have been a misprint in a printed programme for the live gig?

No G

There are no Gs in this tune sharp or otherwise.


I can count 2 in this version and many settings posted elsewhere on the net….?

I believe that Jackie Daly is playing it in the key of G on Music from Sliabh Luachra

Excuse me, Milesnagopaleen - 3rd bar of the A-part (and the B-part).

I’ve known it in Amix, definately suits the tune best with the G’s natural.
Also the 4th bar in both parts can be played agfge4

Whatsit mean?

Ger (or Jer, probably pronounced the same?) the Rigger - sounds vaguely nautical, but I’m clueless. Can anyone translate?

“Ger” is one of the two short forms of the name Gerard, the other one being “Gerry”. In both cases the G is pronounced soft, as in “J”.
I think a “rigger” is a job in the construction industry, maybe to do with scaffolding, but don’t quote me on that !

Or Gerald, of course !

Ger the Hornpipe

In Terry Moylan’s book of transcriptions “Johnny O‘Leary of Sliabh Luachra” this tune (number 113) is down as a hornpipe, which apparently is the way Johnny O’Leary played it. Martin Hayes plays it as a hornpipe too on “Live in Seattle”.

Ger could also be Gervase or Roger.

…"A rigger may perform the following tasks:

* examine objects to be moved, estimate their size, shape and weight and decide on the type of equipment necessary to move them
* erect a temporary jib or derrick if required, and install cables, pulleys and other tackle
* choose or make slinging equipment and attach it to the load"…etc etc

Ger the Rigger

As a kid I knew it as a little song beginning ’Oompah, oompah, stick it up your jumpah.. Good way to rember it . JD does it in G

Ger the Rigger

From Wikipedia comes the following definitions:
Rigger may refer to: One who attends to the rigging of a sailing ship
Rigger (entertainment), those who tend rigging in stage performance (theater, film, concert, etc.)
Rigger (industry), specializing in moving large/heavy objects
Parachute rigger, or Bondage rigger, one who ties up others primarily as an art form.
One who sets up a racing shell in the sport of rowing
I like the last one:“Rigger” - two liters of alcohol in a plastic PET bottle.

Re: Ger The Rigger

I love this tune a bit slower than the ultra fast Polka speed. It takes on a more classical, sublime feel, the same way you get a beautiful sound to Star Above the Garter when played considerably slower(see Cherish the Ladies version of Star).
Also, does anyone else see the similarity in the B part of the Old Time tune Flop Eared Mule with the A part of Ger the Rigger. I played “Ger” at a performance the other day and someone asked if it was Flop Eared Mule.
I’ve been playing it a lot lately with Bill Sullivan’s as a follow up number.

Re: Ger The Rigger

So if you’re to play this as a hornpipe versus a polka, do the notes change or just the the emphasis and bowing?