Here’s yet another jig that plays best as a slow air. This version is based on the playing of Eileen Ivers, with thanks to a friend of mine and fellow fiddler, Mary Angela Collins, for sharing it with me several years ago.
Though this is a fairly simple tune, it lends itself to subtle variations, a few of which I’ve noted in the transcription (and that’s why each half is written out twice, rather than using the repeat signs). It also lends itself to gentle slides into those E notes, and sometimes the Bs too. Definitely a somber tune, as befits the title.
Try replacing bars 9 & 10 (excluding pick up note bar) with GFE GFE| EFG FGA| This is a variation that Eileen used on her cut of "The Orphan" from The first Cherish The Ladies Album.
Again, I’m not familiar with the Cherish recording, but the variation I’ve heard Ivers play goes: |EFG EFG|GFG AGA|. Apparently no end to the variety this tune will accommodate….
Thanks for posting "The Orphan". Do you have it as a .gif file? Thanks again.
I don’t have it as a gif file, but Jeremy will post the sheet music soon enough I’m sure. The poor guy must be overwhelmed what with all the tunes and comments being thrown at the site. Jeremy—what do you do for a living? How can you possibly afford the time it must take to manage this virtual session? You have my deepest gratitude….
I’m sorry. I could have sworn I posted up the sheetmusic for this already - thanks for reminding me.
As for finding the time to post the sheetmusic, it’s my pleasure. I get as excited about all these tunes as the next person.
Playing the orphan on flute
do you need to transpose to play this tune on flute cos we obviously cant quite get the c’s and the rest under them. it doesnt sound quite right if I just bring it up an octave. Any ideas?
No, it suxs to play flute, sometimes. But just think of all the $ you save in strings and rosin! 🙂
Silly Wizard play and excellent version of this one on "Wild and Beautiful."
"No, it suxs to play flute, sometimes. But just think of all the $ you save in strings and rosin!"
Posted on Tuesday, September 11th 2001 by glauber
yeah and think of all the notes you save by not being able to play them
"No, it suxs to play flute, sometimes."
I blow when I play flute… I never tried sucking. Do you use the same embouchure?
The Orphan on flute
Since I posted this tune, I’ve been learning flute, and this is one of my favorite flute jigs. Here’s how I get around the notes below D.
T: Orphan, The
~E3 EDE|~G3 AGA|~B3 ABA|GE/F/G EDB|
A2 E EDE|~G3 AGA|~B3 ABA|GED E3||
~e3 dBA|GAB dBd|edB AGA|~B3 AGF|
G2 F EDE|~G3 AGA|~B3 ABA|GED E3||
I also simplify the A part by getting rid of the "B" to "A" bit going from the 4th to 5th bar. Instead, I just turn the phrase on the G: |GE/F/G EDG|EzE EDE| with the "z" being a good place for a breath (or you can roll.crann the E there).
The Orphan is singlehandedly responsible for getting my rolls working—you can roll nearly every note. Now, I wouldn’t typically play it this way, but just to show the possibilities (I’ll use ~X3 to show rolls; it’s up to you to decide where to stick long rolls (~X3) or short rolls (X~X2)):
~E3 EDE|~G3 ~A3|~B3 ~A3|~G3 EDG|
~E3 EDE|~G3 ~A3|~B3 ~A3|GED E3||
Yikes! Point is, knowing you can roll in any of those spots lets you pick and choose, varying it each time round. Much the same applies to the B part.
On flute, the Orphan works well at any speed, stripped down to the bare melody, or gussied up with rolls, cuts, triplets, smears, etc.
Mr. Whoosis, Cape Breton Fiddler Wendy McIsaac plays the almost identical version of the tune on Mary Jane Lamond’s album. It seems she learned it off Ivers’ recording and forged a flute-friendly version by herself.
I never ever heard it played in sessions, but I love its primitive feel.
Orphan in Gminor
Does anyone have the ABC’s for the Orphan in Gminor. On Up Close: track 11 Kevin Burke plays the Orphan,in Em, then Mist on the Mountain in what I think is Aminor (key of C key sig) and then goes back to the Orphan..I think in Gminor and then on to the Stolen Purse in G
Orphan in Gm
Here’s one take on the Orphan in Gm. Lots more you could do with this.
T: Orphan, The
D|~G3 GFD|BAB cBc|d2 d cdc|BAB GFD|
C2 G GFD|~B3 cBc|dcd cdc|1 BGF G2 D:|2 BGF G3||
~g3 fdc|Bcd fdfgfd cBc|~d3 cBA|
B2 A GFD|~B3 cBc|ded cdc|1 BGF G2 f:|2 BGF G2 D||
Orphan in Amin
Here’s another version for the flute:
T: Transposed Orphan, The
A3 AGE | cBc ~d3 | ~e3 ded | cAB AGE | ~D3 AGE |
cBc dcd | ege ded | [1cAG AcB :| [2 cAG A3 |
|: ac’a ged | cde g3 | (3abc’ a ged | ecA GEG |
Adc AGE | ~c3 dcd | ege ded | cAG A3 :|
This is pretty much how Kevin Burke plays it on Up Close, just transposed to fit the flute. The C nat in the second part can be left out and rolled around.
The 1st couple of bars are similar to Culcrevie https://thesession.org/tunes/1680.
Another E minor fiddler version
T: Orphan, The
~E3 EDB,|GFG A3|B3 ABA|GEF EDB,|
~A,3 EDB,|GFG AGA|B3 ABA|1 GED EGF:|2 GED E3|
efe dBA|GAB d3|efe dBA|BEF EDB,|
~A,3 EDB,|GFG AGA|~B3 ABA|1 GED E3:|2 GED EGF||
On Billy McComiskey’s album as "Miss Casey’s".
Kevin Keegan used to go into this after his Waltz: https://thesession.org/tunes/13090 Similar melodies, perhaps one inspired the other? Also K Burke plays EAG ~E3 | ~G3 ~A3 here and there which is a terrific little variation, I noticed it in the playing of one his students.
The Orphan, X:7
This is what Silly Wizard play on Wild and beautiful.
The Orphan, X:8
A flute- and whistle-friendly setting of Silly Wizard´s version (X:7).
Re: The Orphan
Damien Mullane on SoundCloud too: https://soundcloud.com/damien-mullane/the-orphan
The Orphan, X:10
This is a version from Matin Hayes Quintet (but adapted for flute/whistle)
The Orphan, X:11
Love this jig! Here’s a version with a couple of bluesy variations written into the repeats.
The Orphan, X:12
Taken from ‘A Fine Selection of Over 200 Irish Traditional Tunes for Sessions’, compiled by David Speers with a Forward by Matt Cranitch. This setting is in E dorian but I like the way the second part of the A tune seems to modulate to A minor. Nice!