I was taught this gentle rocking tune in a workshop the other day.
Sweet Jenny Jones
My Sweet Jenny Jones is the pride of Llangollen,
My sweet Jenny Jonesis the girl I love best.
This isa tune fromthe Welsh Borders and was enormously popular throughout England (I don’t know about Wales) in the Nineteenth century.It is used as a Morris tune (not gently rocking but with a a punchy upbeat three beat) in a couple of traditions.It was pinched by the Northumbrians, renamed Grace Darling after a local heroine and variations were composed..
Its a memorable tune and desreves to be played boldy.Its certainly got too much fire to tiddle about as a woosey slow waltz.
Noel, Thanks for the input and background on this tune, which I was unaware of. I’ll try it at a more robust pace, as well. Being at a workshop it was taught at a moderate speed, which of course may not be the only way to play it.
I came across the following Welsh jig in an old tin whistle tutor:
g2G Bcd|e2a fef|g2G Bcd|egf g3:|:
bag bag|bag bag|afg afg|acb a3|
g2G Bcd|e2a fef|g2G Bcd|egf g3||
It bears more than a passing resemblance to Sweet Jennie Jones, albeit to my ear a bit more primitive. Interestingly, this jig, when squeezed into a different rhythmic framework, becomes the Irish set dance tune, Hunting the Hare.
Sweet Jenny Jones AKA Cader Idris (Arthur’s Chair)
This tune is AKA Cader Idris (Arthur’s Chair and there is a Welsh Trad dance associated with it. The dance is very similar to, or the same as a dance I’ve seen done at Nashville contra dances called The Duke of Kent’s Waltz. I can recall seeing the dance done in Vermont as well, but don’t know what it was called. When I used to play Nashville dances I would use The Ash Grove for this dance. This was before I learned of the Welsh connection, so my instinct was pretty good on that one. The tunes have a similar feeling and make a nice medley. O’Carolan’s Beauty in Tears may also be based on the Ash Grove melody.
Lyrics for Jenny Jones/Cadair Idris
Welsh Lyrics and some comments on Jenny Jones/Cadair Idris can be found at:
(This is a great site! Check it out!)
“Dawnsie Twmpath: 55 o ddawnsiau gwerin cymdeithasol o ddewis”
= ‘Twmpath (ceili/ceilidh) Dances’ - Eddie Jones
Y Lolfa, 1987 - pages 22 - 23
The actual dance, a part of the Welsh Twmpath circuit, will be familiar to some as ‘The Family Waltz’, similar to ‘The Oslo Waltz’, and was something also danced in Eire… It is a mixer, 32 bars from start to finish and repeating for as long as you like or your dancers can put up with…
The jig given above ~ “Hela’r Sqwarnog” / “Hunting The Hare”
"Dawns Gŵyl Ifan" / "St. John’s Eve Dance"
Submitted on April 22nd 2005 by swarbrules.
We sometimes repeated the B-part…