White Joak jig

Also known as Gay Myra, Toast Of All The Town, Glamorgan Chalk, Gwyngalch Morgannwg, The White Joak, White Jock, White Joke, The White Joke.

There are 6 recordings of this tune.

White Joak has been added to 2 tune sets.

White Joak has been added to 25 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: White Joak
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:d2e fed|dcB AGF|B2B Bcd|
|:EEE ABc|def ecA|EEE ABc|
def edc|Bdd Add|Gdd Fdd|
X: 2
T: White Joak
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:d2d fed|dcB A2G/F/|B2B Bcd|A2F DEF|G3 BAG|FGE D3:|
|:A2A ABc|def e3|A2A ABc|def e2dc|B2d A2d|
F2d F>GA|B2B Bcd|A2F DEF|G3 BAG|FGE D3:|
X: 3
T: White Joak
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:"D"d>dd fed|"G"dcB "D"AGA|"G"B2A Bcd|
|:"A"A>AA ABc|"G"def "A"ecA|"A"A>AA ABc|
"G"def "A"edc|"G"B2d "F#m"A2d|"Em"G2d "D"FGA|
"G"B2A Bcd|"D"AFD "Bm"DEF|"G"G>GG BAG|1 "A"FGE "D"DFG:|2 "A"FGE "D"D3||

Sixteen comments

Gwyngalch Morgannwg

Unusual structure - 6 bars in the first half, and 10 in the second. Still a total of 16, as is normal for most tunes.
I think gwyngalch means something like “white chalk” or “white limestone”. Perhaps the intended meaning is “chalk face”. Anyone with a better knowledge of Welsh than my smattering of the language like to comment on this tune title?

Gwyngalch Mogannwg

“Gwyngalch Morgannwg” means “The White Limestone Of Glamorgan”. I’ve come across this tune in a couple of collections of English tunes under the name of “The White Joak”,but this is a better version.The 6 and 10 bar structure is fairly common in Welsh jigs . David Meredith

Anyone care for a dance

I’ve just played this tune on my old joanna and like it. Needs playing very steadily. Does anyone know of a dance to go with this tune. Would very much like to pass it on to caller who would consider using it.

Posted by .

Gwyngalch Morgannwg (White Joak)

Pete Cooper, in his on-line notes* to the tune “white Joak” on his CD “Englsih Fiddle Tunes says,
“… it was published in 1731 by John Walsh, in his ‘Third Book of the most celebrated Jiggs, Lancashire Hornpipes, Scotch and Highland Lilts, Northern Frisks…’ “

With that non-standard 6/10 bar arrangement it could have been written for a specific dance.

“Joak” at that time may have had a somewhat bawdy connotation.

* http://www.petecooper.com/eftnotes.htm#19

“Gwyngalch Morgannwg” ~ Glamorgan White Chalk, etc…

Gwyn = white ~
goo - win, on syllable, gwin

calch = lime, chalk (limestone more usually being ‘calchen’)
‘c’ mutated to ‘g’
gahl - ch, the ‘ch’ being as in Bach, a growl at the back of the throat

Morgannwg ~ the county, Glamorgan / Glamorganshire
more - gan - noog

goo - win, one syllable, gwin (the ‘e’ on the one didn’t register)

White Joak

I’m rather annoyed that this tune is forced to have a Welsh name. I found it in a book published in London in 1730. What evidence is there that it existed in Wales before this date?

I posted it as White Joak but the site inserted the other name.

Anyhow, it’s the same format as Black Joak, also published in the same book. Six bars in the first part and ten bars in the second. If used for a 32 bar set dance the ending of part one after 12 bars would have been disconcerting if not expected. For those who kept to the set all would have turned out well at the end of 32 bars. A joke? Who can tell by now.

Tune names

Ronald, no tune is “forced” to have any name. If you think the tune’s name is something different, you can edit the tune details using the “edit tune details” button.

But bear in mind that you can also add aliases for the tune. So the same tune can have multiple names: Welsh and English.


I’ve just tried to edit the title on my setting. The Welsh Title will not erase.

First known appearance said to be for the song “Gay Myra, The Toast of all the Town”. Words by “Mr Davis”.
The song appears in “The Windsor Medley”, c 1731:
First verse -
[The tune play’d before the King’s Guard at Windsor Castle, in honour to a certain Court Lady]

Gay Myra, Toast of all the town,
By Powder’d fops encircl’d round,
Charms ev’ry beau, yet’s charm’d by none,
Charms ev’ry beau, yet’s charm’d by none.
At park, at play, at Masquerade,
She gains the pride from wife and maid,
And when she sings, her voice so clear,
With harmony does glad the ear,
For thrilling sounds dwell on her tongue,
For thrilling sounds dwell on her tongue.

Shortly after, appears in Walsh’s third volume.
Used in play “Robin Hood” around the same time. Appears in Henry Fielding’s play of the 1730s: The Lottery, a Farce. There it is used used for a song “Oh how charming my life will be when marriage has made me a fine lady”.

Ronald, I think you’re confusing the setting with the tune.

You can edit the title (and aliases) of the tune using the “edit tune details” button in the top right corner.

bar of 7/8

Ronald, your second bar is a bit overloaded. Perhaps the A should be a quaver (1/8 note) instead of a crotchet (1/4 note) or ditch either the G or F.


Well spotted. Actually the ABC shown is not what I submitted. I submitted this

X: 1
T: White Joak
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/16
K: Dmaj
|: d4d2 f2e2d2 | d2c2B2 A4GF | B4B2 B2c2d2 | A4F2 D2E2F2 |G6 B2A2G2 | F2G2E2 D6 :|
|: A4A2 A2B2c2 | d2e2f2 e6 | A4A2 A2B2c2 | d2e2f2 e4dc |B4d2 A4d2 |
F4d2 F3GA2 | B4B2 B2c2d2 | A4F2 D2E2F2 | G6 B2A2G2 | F2G2E2 D6 :|

Note the L header in my version is 1/16 but because I was forced to use the original submission’s headers, including the title, the L header is now 1/8. I’ll message Jeremy and see what he thinks.


I’m surprised no one has mentioned that Joak is a euphimism for ladies private parts!
Yes, it is an old english tune to be found in early collections.


Ah, I see it’s there in the Black Joak entry comments, complete with some lyrics..