The Cat That Ate The Candle jig

Also known as The Cow That Ate The Blanket, Kinnegad, The Kinnegad, Kitty Come Over, Sarsfield’s.

There are 4 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Cat That Ate The Candle has been added to 91 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: The Cat That Ate The Candle
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
A|B2G AGE|GAG GBd|e/2f/2ge dBG|ABA ABc|
B2G AGE|GAG GBd|ege dBG|1 AGF G2 :|2 AGF GBd|
|:g3 efg|fag fed|g3 edB|BAG ABc|
B2G AGE|GAG GBd|ege dBG|1 AGF GBd :|2 AGF G2||

Twelve comments

I learned this tune about ten years ago from John Carty and Marcus Hernon when they used to play a session at the Fiddler’s Elbow in Kentish Town. John didn’t have a name for it at the time but has subsequently recorded it on his album with Brian McGrath under the above title. The album is mainly banjo but will appeal to all. I can’t recommend it enough


Here’s some ways you can vary the opening phrase:
B/2c/2dB AGE|~G3 G
B/2c/2BB BGE|~G3 G
etc. etc.

Nice jig from a great album.

Incidentally, the tune on the Altan cd that shows up under this name is an unrelated reel.

Posted .

I’m sure I came across this tune many years ago as "The Cow That Ate The Blanket" (strange animals!!) - the melody is also fairly similar to Willie Colemans jig.

Variation on first part

I’ve heard older generation Clare players (and indeed most players I come across) play the opening bars thus:


The Cow that Ate the Blanket

This is the tune called ‘Kitty Come Over’ on the Magic Square album. It also seems to be the same as tune #1994, also called The Cow That Ate The Blanket.

Posted .

The Cow that Ate the Candle

Actually, three slightly different versions of the tune exist on this site: another as "The Cow that Ate the Blanket" and the other as "Sarsfield’s Jig." I’ve recently posted a reel setting of the tune as "The Holloway Road Fling":

Here in Leeds, West Yorkshire, this tune is a very well-known beginners’ tune for any instrument, being affectionately called "Kinnegad Jig." The Leeds version is the same as the Clare version Pchaffee mentioned above.

Many musicians in the city are not so willing to play this fine, old-fashioned tune in the session, but I sometimes include it in a set. I’m not a native of the city anyway and so don’t care if it’s been traditionally recognised as a tune for kids.


Sorry, it’s not the cow but the cat that ate the candle.

The Cat that Ate the Candle

The Reel "The Cat that Ate the Candle" isn’t Frankie Kennedy’s composition. The notes of the recording say "the cat that ate the candle / over the water to bessie: Frankie learned the first reel from the playing of the late Larry MacDonagh, a flute player from Ballinafad, County Sligo."

Re: The Cat That Ate The Candle

I learned the "Cow that Ate the Blanket" from the album "The Lonely Stranded Band". It’s also the familiar song "The Bould Thady Quill".