In checking my ABC against other versions on JC’s, I found this cited as composed by Peter Barnes. I thought it was trad! Either way, it’s a lovely jig to play.
I learned this from our flautist, no idea where she got it from… does anyone have more info. on the history?
I learned the second part a bit differently: in the fourth bar of the second part C-sharp and C-natural replace the C-sharp and A as the first and fourth notes. This gives the tune a certain piquancy. Anyone have any good ideas for tunes to play before or following this one?
This jig is played by the group Skylark on their album " All of It" with Graham Townsend`s jig and Captain White`s jig together.They call the tune "Fair Jane"
Fair Jenny’s by Peter Barnes
Peter is well and kicking. You can often hear him in the US on public radio’s quiz show "Says You" as a member of the Dactyls, providing musical interludes. I’ve heard them do trad tunes like Fisher’s Hornpipe.
So far as I know, he’s still playing contra dances regularly and has recorded tunes as part of the contra dance band Yankee Ingenuity and the English country dance band Bare Necessities.
Fair Jenny’s can be found in the wonderful compendium of contra dance tunes "The Portland Collection." Well worth the money!
"The Portland Collection:
Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest"
Compiled and edited by Susan Songer & Clyde Curley
Multnomah Printing, Portland, Oregon ~ May 1997
Page 74: "Fair Jenny’s Jig"
in D Major
I’m glad to recommend this collection, and there’s notes on all the tunes as well. Here is just a taster with regards to this particular jig:
~ " ~ the child of New England piano player Peter Barnes, a regular with Yankee Ingenuity, the band that’s been holding down the Concord, Massachusetts Scout House dance for years. Peter says this about the tune: " ~ I actually wrote this tune on the fiddle when I was trying to teach myself that instrument in the mid ‘70’s. I made it easy to play on the violin, which may account for its totally unexpected popularity. ~ Since then it’s been recorded eleven times (usually without my permission!) and has had two dances choreographed to go with it." Get the book to fill in the blanks… 😉
I love this tune. Been pairing it with that McGoldrick jig https://thesession.org/tunes/628 just for fun. The A parts are so similar in the beginning that its easy to slip from the one to the other.
A note from the author
Peter Barnes dropped me a line to say that he wrote this tune in 1977.
(C) 1977 Peter Barnes (BMI). All Rights Reserved.
is also currently touring with his fine band The Latter Day Lizards
Because it has kind of a "slide-y" quality to it I like to play it last after Blarney Pilgrim and Star Above the Garter.