The Kerfunten jig

Also known as Ag Cur Funchin, Hammy Hamilton’s, Hammy’s, John & Judy Carroll’s, The Kerfeunteun, The Kerfunken, The Kerfuntan, The Kerfunteun.

There are 40 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Kerfunten appears in 2 other tune collections.

The Kerfunten has been added to 86 tune sets.

The Kerfunten has been added to 920 tunebooks.

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Ten settings

1
X: 1
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:F3 FED|FGA Bcd|A2 B BAF|~E3 EDE|
|~F3 FED|FGA Bcd|A2 B BAF|1 EFE D2 E:|2 EFE DFA||
|:d3 def|B3 BAB|d3 def|fed efe|
|d3 def|B3 BAB|A2 d dAF|1EFE DFA:|2 EFE D2 E||
# Added .
2
X: 2
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B2B BAG|dBd efg|ded edB|~A3 ABc|
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|ded gdB|AGF G3:||
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|~g3 gab|bag ~a3|
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|dBd gdB|1 AGF GBd:|2 AGF G2c||
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|dBd edB|~A3 DFA|
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|dBd edB|1 ~A3 G2A:|2 AGF GBd||
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|~g3 gab|bag ~a3|
~g3 gab|~e3 efg|dBd edB|1 AGF GBd:|2 AGF G2c||
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|~d3 gdB|BAG ABc|
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|~d3 gdB|1 AGF G2A:|2 AGF GBd||
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|~g3 gab|bag a2b|
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|dBd gdB|1 AGF GBd:|2 AGF G2c||
3
X: 3
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
~B3 BAG|Bdd efg|dBd edB|~A3 DGA|
~B3 BAG|Bdd efg|dBd edB|1 AGF G2A:|2 AGF GBd||
~g3 gab|efe edB|~g3 gab|bag a2d|
~g3 gab|efe edB|dBd edB|1 AGF GBd:|2 AGF G2c||
4
X: 4
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:B3 BAG|dB/c/d efg|dB/c/d gdB|A3 DFA|
B3 BAG|dB/c/d efg|dB/c/d gdB|1 cAF G2A:|2 cAF GB/c/d||
|:g3 gab|e3 edB|g3 gab|bag a2f|
g3 gab|efe efg|dB/c/d gdB|1 cAF GB/c/d:|2 cAF G2A||
# Added by JACKB .
5
X: 5
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:F3 FED|AF/G/A Bcd|AF/G/A dAF|E3 EFG|
F3 FED|AF/G/A Bcd|AF/G/A dAF|1 GEc D2E:|2 GEc DF/G/A||
|:dB/c/d def|B3 BAF|d3 def|fed e2c|
dB/c/d def|BcB Bcd|AF/G/A dAF|1 GEc DF/G/A:|2 GEc D2E||
# Added by JACKB .
6
X: 6
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: D | F2 F FED | FGA Bcd | A2 A BAF | E2 E EDE |
F2 F FED | FGA Bcd | A2 A BAF | EFE D2 :|
|: A | d2 d def | B2 B BAB | d2 d def | fed e2 A |
d3 def | B2 B BAB | AFA dAF | EFE D2 :|
7
X: 7
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:"D"F3 FED|FGA "G"(Bcd)|"D"A2B {/c}BAF|"A"E3 EDE|
|"D"F2F {/G}FED|FGA "G"(Bcd)|"D"A2B {/c}BAF|1 "A"EFE "D"D2E:|2 "A"EFE "D"DFA||
|:"D"d3 def|"Bm7"B2B {/c}BAB|"D"d3 def|"Em7"fed "A"(e2f)|
|"D"d3 def|"Bm7"B3 BdB|"D"AFA dAF|1"A"EFE "D"DFA:|2 "A"EFE "D"D2 E||
8
X: 8
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
BcB BAG|Bcd efg|dBd gdB|ABA AGA|
BcB BAG|Bcd efg|dBd gdB|AGF G3:|
g3 gab|ege edB|g3 gab|bag age|
g3 gab|e3 edB|dBd gdB|AGF G3:|
9
X: 9
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
~B3 BAG | dBd deg | dBd gdB | ~A3 DFA |
~B3 BAG | dBd deg | dBd gdB | ~A3 G3 :|
~g3 gab | ~e3 edB | ~g3 gab | bag ~a3 |
~g3 gab | ~e3 efg | d2d edB | ~A3 G3 :|
# Added by Mars .
10
X: 10
T: The Kerfunten
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
~B3 BAG | d3 efg | d2d edB | ~A3 ABc |
~B3 BAG | d2d efg | d3 edB | AGF G3 |
~B3 BAG | d2d efg | dcd edB | ~A3 ABc |
~B3 BAG | d2d efg | d3 edB | AGF G3 |]
|:~g3 gab | ~e3 edB | ~g3 gab | bag ~a3 |
g3 gab | ~e3 efg | d2d edB | AGF G3 :|]

Thirty-four comments

The Kerfunken Jig

This version is based on Martin Hayes’ understated approach on The Lonesome Touch. Makes a great beginner tune, yet it has plenty of potential for advanced players. Hayes spices it up each time around by rolling some of the F3s, B3s, and d3s, or by swinging them as F2 F, B2 b, or d2 d. You can also try a Hayes’ trademark moving triplet in the 2nd and 6th measures of Part A by playing: |FGA B(3Bcd)|. This tune goes well into Tell Her I Am (also on Lonesome Touch), or for a darker change, into Paddy Fahy’s Jig (from Martin Hayes’ earlier self-titled cd).

Posted .

Nice and easy

This really is a delightful little jig. I find it really easy to learn and play.

I think this would be a good tune to recommend to beginners.

Kerfunten

This tune is by Hammy Hamilton(Flute player), I believe. Deanta have recorded a good version of this tune.
It is nice to play with another tune by HH — Woodcock, which is usually played first.

Tulla Band

This tune comes from a set of jigs from the Tulla Ceilidh Band repetoir. It was recorded on their 50 celebration CD (including Martin Hayes). The set normally starts with "The Hole in the Hedge" followed by "Seamus Cooleys" and finishing with the Kerfunken. Interestingly Martin Hayes has recorded the first two as a set on the CD Under the Moon, but left the Kerfunken out.

The REAL Kerfunten

I learned this tune in 1998 from Hammy himself. He wasn’t too sure about the current "right way" to play that thing. The title comes from a village in brittany. Apparently the breton "Ker-" is something like the Irish "-kill" meaning church.

Here are some versions I’ve got. It’s basically the same version with various ornamentations.

X: 45
T:Kerfunten Jig, The
R:jig
C:Hammy Hamilton
S:1st Version from Hammy, Achill 1998
Z:Hauke Steinberg
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:G
B2B BAG|dBd efg|ded edB|~A3 ABc|
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|ded gdB|AGF G3:||
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|~g3 gab|bag ~a3|
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|dBd gdB|1 AGF GBd:|2 AGF G2c||
"Variations"
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|dBd edB|~A3 DFA|
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|dBd edB|1 ~A3 G2A:|2 AGF GBd||
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|~g3 gab|bag ~a3|
~g3 gab|~e3 efg|dBd edB|1 AGF GBd:|2 AGF G2c||
"Variations"
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|~d3 gdB|BAG ABc|
~B3 BAG|dBd efg|~d3 gdB|1 AGF G2A:|2 AGF GBd||
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|~g3 gab|bag a2b|
~g3 gab|~e3 edB|dBd gdB|1 AGF GBd:|2 AGF G2c||

There’s an interesting interview with Harry where he talks, briefly about this tune. He mentions that the tune was named after a place in Brittany, in a suburb of Quimper called Kerfuteun. You can read the whole interview online at:
http://www.firescribble.net/flute/hamilton.html

T:Kerfunten
M:6/8
L:1/8
C:H.Hamilton
S:Dan Healy & Ciaran O’Raghallaigh - "the windy turn"
R:jig
Z:g.m.p
K:G
~B3 BAG|Bdd efg|dBd edB|~A3 DGA|
~B3 BAG|Bdd efg|dBd edB|1 AGF G2A:|2 AGF GBd||
~g3 gab|efe edB|~g3 gab|bag a2d|
~g3 gab|efe edB|dBd edB|1 AGF GBd:|2 AGF G2c||

this jig is pretty interesting, well, now I finally know the name of it! yaaaaaaaaaay! I mean.. the meaning behind the name! Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

Cheers,
Armand

I find this tune a lot better in G

The Israeli band called "Black Velvet" plays it in G,
after "The Monaghan Jig", all played by Emer mayock..
I also found that people tend to play it in G at sessions too.

That’s simply because it was originally composed in G. But, I think Clare musicians play this tune in C or F.

Kerfunten

I feel Dmaj setting of this tune sounds better when played very simply while it’s fun to add many ornamentations and variations to Gmaj setting. Don’t know exactly why. Mary MacNamara plays it plainly, but it magically sounds beautiful.

Lunasa plays it in G on the first album.

Posted by .

It’s often recorded in G, but It’s played in D in some places. I remember Pat O’Connor started playing it in D when he came over to this country and joined us.

I really like the way Lunasa plays this melody. I prefer their version to the one posted here and played elsewhere. This is among my favorite tunes.

Thanks for the name of the place and the composer!

About the name

"Ker" in breton means "village", not "church". 😉 So it’s the "village of the fountain".

The Kerfunken, X:6

Setting as played at the Golden Guinea pub session, Bristol, UK.

Re: The Kerfunten

Is the original composer of this tune named Hammy Hamilton? Does anyone know when it was written? Thanks!

Re: The Kerfunten

Yes
Hammy wrote this , its often paired with the Woodcock, another of Hammy’s compositions.

Brace of excellent flute jigs.
Pat

Re: The Kerfunten, X: 7

I’ve changed the second note in measures 3 and 7 back to "B" as compared to FiddleHed’s "A". His version still works, especially for a beginner, who would like to play all the swung notes the same, but I prefer the variation from X: 1, which is also how Martin Hayes plays it.

Re: The Kerfunten

"… the name appears to be Breton for "Church (of the) fountain" … "

I could be mistaken, but I would have thought ‘ker-’ was more likely to mean someithing like ‘fort’, cognate with Welsh ‘caer’. So ‘Fort by the fountain’ is my guess. For ‘consecrated place’, Breton has ‘lann-’ (cognate with Welsh ‘llan-‘, equivakent in meaning to Irish ‘cill-‘) and for ‘church’ it has ‘iliz’ (cognate with French ‘église’, Welsh ‘eglwys’, Irish ‘eaglais’, Latin ‘ecclesia’ etc.)

The Kerfunten, X:9

Transcription of Hammy’s own playing of this gem, Bhaile Bhuirne, 2019.

Posted by .

Re: The Kerfunten

On his album ‘The Moneymusk’ Hammie tells us that he was teaching a flute workshop in this suburb of Quimper in Brittany and named the tune after the place, but says that the spelling ‘got mixed up somewhere along the way’. The correct spelling of the place is Kerfeunteun. Until 1960 it was run by a separate authority even though only a short distance from the centre of Quimper. Quimper Kerfeunteun is the name of the local Football Club.

The Kerfunten, X:10

This is how Hammy Hamilton (apologies for miss-spelling on previous comment) plays it on his solo CD ‘The Moneymusk’. There are lots of long notes, mostly with rolls but not on the high Ds for obvious reasons. He does not roll the high G at the start of the last line because he probably takes a short breath here.

Re: The Kerfunten

I noticed on the 2 videos the title is spelled with a "k", kerfunken. Great tune, but unfortunately when I hear that name I can’t help but think "turducken;" which, for those of you unschooled in haute cuisine, is a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, and then deep-fried.

Re: The Kerfunten

Kêr -with an ^- has the general meaning of ‘an inhabitated place’, a human settlement of some description. In the compound words pennkêr & kêr-benn it means village & capital city, respectively. A sizeable difference and yet both words are made of the same 2 words; penn/benn (head) and kêr (settlement).
Of course you have to remember that no two languages ever translate exactly. As well as the fact that meaningmeaning through time. The word kêr probably began its life as "townland", something like the Irish "baile"… but was eventually used to refer to much denser settlements.

https://fr.glosbe.com/br/en/kêr

Re: The Kerfunten

The link to glosbe, above, offers a handy translation service from Breton to English and many other languages..
Handy cause you don’t have to go through French… Albeit i find the French translations in it often finer, more atuned to the specificity of the Breton culturescape… so to speak.

Re: The Kerfunten

Many Irish musicians have made the trip to Brittany… perhaps they have heard how the French word for a country bumpkin, redneck, culchie : "plouc" was derogatry derived from the Breton word for a parish; "plou"…

Re: The Kerfunten …Slide

To go back to the tune itself, I think it could be as naturally classified as a slide, don’t you think?
If some reels sound more like hornpipes, other more like flings, some jigs, likewise, border on the march or on the slide side…

Re: The Kerfunten

err: *meaningmeaning…, above was meant to be ‘meaning changes through time’

Re: The Kerfunten …SLIDE

The first part of this tune is very much a version of the slide ‘My auntie had a canary’ (itself based on the march Cock of the North)…