My Wife’s A Wanton Wee Thing jig

Also known as I’ll Get Married In My Auld Claes, McCarthy’s Favorite, McCarthy’s Favourite, My Wife’s A Winsome Wee Thing.

There are 12 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Banks Of The Allan (a few times).

My Wife’s A Wanton Wee Thing has been added to 3 tune sets.

My Wife's A Wanton Wee Thing has been added to 52 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: My Wife's A Wanton Wee Thing
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|:d2 A dfe|d3 A2B|=cdc cGE|=c3 ^c3|
d2A dfe|d3 A2G|FDF E=CE|1D3 D2 A:|2D3 F2G||
ABA FDF|A3=c3|G=cG ECE|G3 B3|
AdA FDF|A3 a2g|fdf ece|d3 F2G|
AdA FDF|AdA FDF|G=cG E=CE|G=cG E=CE|
AdA FDF|A3 a2g|fdf ece |d3 A3||
X: 2
T: My Wife's A Wanton Wee Thing
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 B | cdc cGE | c3 E2^c |
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 G | FDF ECE | D3 D2 :|
ABA FDF | A3 c3 | GcG ECE | G3 B3 |
AdA FDF | A3 g3 | fdf ece | d3 D2 F/G/ |
ABA FDF | AdA FDF | GAG ECE | GcG ECE |
ABA FDF | AFA aeg | fga gfe | d3 D2 ||
d2 g faf | d3 A2 B | cdc cGE | c3 E2^c |
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 G | FDF ECE | D3 D2 :|
aba fdf | a3 g2 f | gag ece | g3 efg |
aba fdf | a3 g2 f/g/ | fdf ece | d3 D2 f/g/ |
aba fdf | aba fdf | gag ece | gag ece |
aba fdf | aba gab | fga gfe | d3 D2 |]
X: 3
T: My Wife's A Wanton Wee Thing
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
"D" d2A dfe | "D" d3 A2B | "C" =cdc cGE | "C" =c3 c2^c | !
"D" d2A dfe | "D" d3 A2G | "D" FDF "C" E=CE | "D" D3 D2 :| !
"D" ABA FDF | "D" A3 =c3 | "C" GAG E=CE | "C" G3 B3 | !
"D" ABA FDF | "D" A3 G3 | "D" FDF "C" E=CE | "D" D3 DFG | !
"D" ABA FDF | "D" AdA FDF | "C" GAG E=CE | "C" G=cG EFG | !
"D" ABA FDF | "D" A3 a2 g | "D" fdf "C" e=ce | "D" d3 d2 |]
X: 4
T: My Wife's A Wanton Wee Thing
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 B | cdc cGE | =c3 E2 ^c |
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 G | FDF ECE | D3- D2 :|
ABA FDF | A3 {B}c3 | GcG ECE | {F}G3 B3 |
AdA FDF | A3 {f}g3 | fdf e^ce | d3- d2 F/G/ |
ABA FDF | AdA FDF | GAG ECE | GcG ECE |
ABA FDF | ABA a2 g | fdf e^ce | d3- d2 |]
X: 5
T: My Wife's A Wanton Wee Thing
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
dAd efe | d3 A2 B | cdc cAF | c3 A2 F |
dAd efe | d3 a2 g | faf ece | d3 d2 :|
fgf dAd | f3 a2 f | efe cAc | e3 g2 e |
fgf dAd | f3 a2 g | fdf ece | d3 d2 :|
X: 6
T: My Wife's A Wanton Wee Thing
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amix
cB |: AEA AEB | A2E cAE | GDG GDG | gec d^GB |
AEA AEB | A2E cED | CDC DB,E |1 A,B,A, A,2A :|2 A,B,A, A, cd ||
efe cec | A/B/AE Aec | dBG g2e | dBG Bcd |
ece cAc | efd e2d | c/d/ec dcd | edB Acd |
efe cec | A/B/AE Aec | dBG g2e | dBG Bcd |
edc d^GB | AEA cED | CDC DB,E | A,B,A, A,2A ||

Nineteen comments

My Wife’s A Wanton Wee Thing

Transcribed from the playing of the Battlefield Band.

My Wife’s a wanton wee thing.

This is a very old (and very good) Borders pipe tune. It is in the Dixon manuscript from the middle of the eighteenth century. Of course, border tunes this old were themes with variations. Dixon’s go onto two fullsides of A4.You only get the merest hint of this in the version posted
Noel
Angels of the North

My Wife’s A Wanton Wee Thing

Where can I find the Dixon version?

“My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing” ~ endless variations aside

Let’s not forget the song and Robbie Burns, on the tune’s earlier title "My Wife’s a Winsome Wee Thing":

My wife’s a wanton, wee thing,
My wife’s a wanton, wee thing,
My wife’s a wanton, wee thing,
She winna be guided by me.

She play’d the loon or she was married,
She play’d the loon or she was married,
She glar’d the loon or she was married,
She’ll do it again or she die.

She sell’d her coat and she drank it,
She sell’d her coat and she drank it,
She row’d hersell in a blanket,
She winna be guided for me.

She mind’t na when I forbade her,
She mind’t na when I forbade her,
I took a rung and I claw’d her,
And a braw gude bairn was she.

Some also sing the first as a repeating chorus:

My wife’s a wanton wee thing,
My wife’s a wanton wee thing,
My wife’s a wanton wee thing,
She winna be guided by me.

“My Wife’s A Winsome Wee Thing “

Chorus:
She is a winsome wee thing,
She is a handsome wee thing,
She is a lo’esome wee thing,
This sweet wee wife o’ mine!

I never saw a fairer,
I never lo’ed a dearer,
And neist my heart I’ll wear her,
For fear my jewel tine.

The warld’s wrack, we share o’t;
The warstle and the care o’t,
Wi’ her I’ll blythely bear it,
And think my lot divine.

“My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing” ~ a la Cape Breton

"Brenda Stubbert’s Collection of Fiddle Tunes"
Edited by Paul Stewart Cranford
Cranford Publications, 1994
ISBN: 0-9691181-4-7

Page 44: "My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing"
32 bar jig in G Mixolydian ~ and a damned nice dance tune…

"Traditional Dance Music of Britain and Ireland:
The Fiddler’s Tune-Book"
Edited by Peter Kennedy
Mallinson Publications, 1994
ISBN: 1-899512-14-4

Page 49, Tune #194: "My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing"
32 bars again, though three parts, in D Mixolydian…

Key & accidental

I know a somewhat different version of this, but I have two questions about the notation. First, should the C in the 7th measure of the B part be C-natural? Second, & somewhat related: why notate this as in D major, when it seems to me it’s pretty clearly in D Mixolydian (& so should have the same key signature as G major, one sharp). (There’d still be a C# accidental in the fourth measure of the A part, of course.)

(I hasten to add that the version I know is also notated as in D major, with every C in the tune having an accidental on it.)

davecat, please give us a notation of how you play it and see it. Dafydd, who submitted this, has good intentions but may not be back here to check things out for years… ;-) And then he might not correct the ABCs, which are all that can be corrected once it goes to dots…

“My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing” ~ Athole Collection, 1884

X: 2
T: My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing
B: Stewart-Robertson: The Athole Collection, 1884
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: DMix
|: f/d/|\
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 B | cdc cGE | c3 E2^c |
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 G | FDF ECE | D3 D2 :|
F/G/ |\
ABA FDF | A3 c3 | GcG ECE | G3 B3 |
AdA FDF | A3 g3 | fdf ece | d3 D2 F/G/ |
ABA FDF | AdA FDF | GAG ECE | GcG ECE |
ABA FDF | AFA aeg | fga gfe | d3 D2 ||
|: f/g/ |\
d2 g faf | d3 A2 B | cdc cGE | c3 E2^c |
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 G | FDF ECE | D3 D2 :|
f/g/ |\
aba fdf | a3 g2 f | gag ece | g3 efg |
aba fdf | a3 g2 f/g/ | fdf ece | d3 D2 f/g/ |
aba fdf | aba fdf | gag ece | gag ece |
aba fdf | aba gab | fga gfe | d3 D2 |]

Key & accidental

The version I know is somewhat different, as I said, but not enough so that I thought it worth posting an alternative. But I’ll do so below. I’m guessing that the missing accidental I was asking about was just a transcription error. I was asking about why it was notated in D major, with all those accidentals, because I see tunes (not just this one) done that way sometimes. (Both all the C-naturals & the chord progression certainly indicate D Mix.)

The version I know is from a book of tunes collected & arranged for Scottish country dancing, Susie Petrov Her Book of Musick. I’ll post the ABCs (as entered by me from that) in a moment.

“My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing” ~ Susie Petrov Her Book of Musick

X:2
T:My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing
M:6/8
L:1/8
S:Susie Petrov Her Book of Musick, p. 16
K:D
f/e/ | \
"D" d2A dfe | "D" d3 A2B | "C" =cdc cGE | "C" =c3 c2^c | !
"D" d2A dfe | "D" d3 A2G | "D" FDF "C" E=CE | "D" D3 D2 :| !
%
F/G/ | \
"D" ABA FDF | "D" A3 =c3 | "C" GAG E=CE | "C" G3 B3 | !
"D" ABA FDF | "D" A3 G3 | "D" FDF "C" E=CE | "D" D3 DFG | !
"D" ABA FDF | "D" AdA FDF | "C" GAG E=CE | "C" G=cG EFG | !
"D" ABA FDF | "D" A3 a2 g | "D" fdf "C" e=ce | "D" d3 d2 |]

“My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing” ~ AthKerr, 1880

X: 4
T: My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing
B: “Kerr’s Second Collection of Merry Melodies”, 1880, page 35, tune #318
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: DMix
|: f/e/ |\
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 B | cdc cGE | =c3 E2 ^c |
d2 A dfe | d3 A2 G | FDF ECE | D3- D2 :|
F/G/ |\
ABA FDF | A3 {B}c3 | GcG ECE | {F}G3 B3 |
AdA FDF | A3 {f}g3 | fdf e^ce | d3- d2 F/G/ |
ABA FDF | AdA FDF | GAG ECE | GcG ECE |
ABA FDF | ABA a2 g | fdf e^ce | d3- d2 |]

Note: As with most of these early collections they tend to notate this with two sharps, F# & C#, or D Major, and then they have most of the Cs naturalized, =c or =C. Instead I have given the key signature as D Mixolydian and sharpened the rare C that is c#… Though the last couple of bars in Kerr, with the e^ce, has it ending as DMajor… It could also end with that c as natural ~ | fdf e=ce | d3- d2 |] ~ finishing D Mixolydian…

“My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing” ~ Lancashire

( Correction ~ obvious, AthKerr in the above heading should have read just ‘Kerr, 1880’ :-/ )

X: 40
T: My wife’s a wanton wee thing
B: Winder collection
A: Wyresdale, Lancashire
O: England
L: 1/8
M: 6/8
K: DMix
|: A |\
dAd efe | d3 A2 B | cdc cAF | c3 A2 F |
dAd efe | d3 a2 g | faf ece | d3 d2 :|
|: e |\
fgf dAd | f3 a2 f | efe cAc | e3 g2 e |
fgf dAd | f3 a2 g | fdf ece | d3 d2 :|

My Wife’s A Wanton Wee Thing, X:6

A setting in A, which came to me through Tom Lockney from Minnesota, who got it from Devin Shepherd, who got it from a cassette tape of various musicians from a friend in Chicago.