Now…. is this because it’s a Single Jig… or because Willie’s a bachelor?
Willie Clancy’s Single Jig
The title refers to the fact that it’s a single jig. Willy Clancy introduced this tune, but he may have gotten it from Levey’s Dance Music of Ireland second collection (1873) where a similar tune is listed as "Untitled".
The Chieftains played this jig in their song The Donegal Set on the Water From the Well album. It is followed by King of the Pipers and The Glen Road to Carrick
Willy’s Single, X:2
A lovely piping jig.
It’s normally spelt "Willie’s single". It features as Track 1, Side 2 of Pat Mitchell’s album "Uilleann Pipes", and Pat can probably be credited with popularising it among pipers.
The sleeve note on the tune reads as follows:
"Pat starts Side Two with a tune whose name is forgotten but referred to so often as Willie’s Single that the name has stuck. The somewhat stately pace of this tune is interesting. This is the way Garrett Barry played it, entirely unlike the fast speed at which most single jigs are played today. This kind of tune and treatment may very well have been the nearest in style to the original music of the quadrille from which present-day sets evolved during the first half of the nineteenth century."
On the 1955 Peter Kennedy recordings of Willie and Bobby Casey this tune is listed as "Rowsome’s Single Jig." Leo’s grandfather Samuel knew a great number of these tunes.