The Mooncoin jig

Also known as Moon Coin, The Moon Coin, The Mooncoin, The Mooncoyne, Moonpig.

There are 39 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Apples In Winter (a few times), The High (a few times), Larry The Beer Drinker (a few times) and Tom Billy’s (a few times).

The Mooncoin has been added to 13 tune sets.

The Mooncoin has been added to 490 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Mooncoin
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amix
ed|:cBA AEA|AEA Bcd|cBA Ace|dBG Bcd|
|cBA AEA|AEA Bcd|Ace ~g3|dBG Bcd:|
|:cde efg|f/g/af ged|cde efg|f/g/aA Bcd|
cde efg|afd bge|afd gec|dBG Bcd:|
|:cBA Aaf|ecA Bcd|cBA ~g3|dBG Bcd|
|cBA Aaa|Agg Aff|Aee efg|dBG Bcd:|
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Twelve comments

The Mooncoin Jig

This three-part jig is a common session tune and can be found in many of the standard collections (O’Neill’s, etc.). It’s similar to Langstrom’s Pony, or at least shares many phrases and its modality. Goes well with the Bridal Jig or Coppers and Brass, or even Connaughtman’s Rambles.

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Mooncoin Mode

I guess this tune is actually in a myxolidian, rather than D major. Sorry.

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Don’t be sorry, Will: just go in and change it. Click "edit these details" and change the key from D major to A myxolidan.

The sheetmusic remains unaffected (two sharps are two sharps either way).

Nice

I love mixolydian tunes, and this one is real nice…but a little slippery to keep it all together on the fiddle, I am finding. I have not run into this tune in a session yet.

see https://thesession.org/tunes/61 for Langstrom’s Pony.
These tunes are probably at their best if played in a free, slightly slower style ie given more scope rather than the tight quaver gallop often heard at sessions; we’re talking moonwired mustangs here not staccatting sumpers!

"I love mixolydian tunes, and this one is real nice…"

Amen… I’m annoyed that I didn’t find out about this tune sooner!

Tune origin

The Mooncoin jig is a version of the Scotch/Border tune "The Major", which is found in several manuscripts from Cumbria and Northumberland. One version from Cumbria dated 1748 has 22 parts. It must have originally been for pipes and it sounds as if it is from Ulster/Scotland and the English border counties.

The Major and other Scottish music

There are an enormous number of tunes in manuscripts in Scotland and the North of England which are often related to Irish music. Popularity is no certain guide to quality, it is often just a result of certain traditional musicians, who could not read music, playing what they heard. O’Neils collection has been used by Irish musicians for a hundred years, though style of playing cannot be put in print, tunes can. If anyone wants to correspond about this contact me on john@muso.eclipse.co.uk or info@johnofthegreen.co.uk

Original key?

Working on this out of O’Neill’s. I have played it by ear for years but am confused now when reading it because the key is A major in O’Neill’s - the "G"s are sharp except for a few places where they are marked to be played as naturals. Completely different tune when played that way. I read here that it was related to the tune "The Major" so I dug up a digital copy of O’Farrell’s Companion that had it. The "G"s were sharp there too, except for a few naturals in one spot. Curious how it morphed into all G naturals. Anyone know?

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