The Fairhaired Boy jig

Also known as An Buachaillín Bán, The Fair Haired Boy, The Fair-haired Boy, The Fair-Haired Boy.

There are 16 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Fairhaired Boy has been added to 5 tune sets.

The Fairhaired Boy has been added to 74 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: The Fairhaired Boy
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
G|E2A AGA|Bdd dBd|ege dBG|BAB GED|
E2A AGA|Bdd dBd|ege dBG|1 BAG A2:|2 BAG ABd||
e2a aba|egg gag|ege dBG|BAB GED|
e2a aba|egg gag|ege dBG|BAG ABd|
e2a aba|egg gag|ege dBG|BAB GED|
E2A AGA|Bdd dBd|ege dBG|BAG A2||
X: 2
T: The Fairhaired Boy
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
AA|EAA AGA|Bdd dBd|eae dBG|ABA GFE|EAA AGA|
Bdd dBd|eae dBG|BAA A::cd|eaa e3|eaa bag|eaa e3|
BGB dBG|eaa e3|eaa bag|eae dBG|BAA A:|]
X: 3
T: The Fairhaired Boy
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
EAA AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBA | BAB GED |
EAA AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAA A3 :|
|: eaa eaa | egg ged | ege dBA | BGG GED |
|1 eaa eaa | egg ged | ege dBG | BAA A2 z :|
2 EAA AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAA A2 z ||
X: 4
T: The Fairhaired Boy
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
EAA AGE | GAB c2 d | e/f/ge ded | BAB GED |
EAA AGE | GAB c2 d | e/f/ge ded | BAG A3 :|
|: eaa aga | bab ged | eag e2 A | BAB GED |
EAA AGE | GAB c2 d | e/f/ge ded | BAG A3 :|
X: 5
T: The Fairhaired Boy
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
EAA AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAB GED |
E2 A AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAG A- :|
e2 a aga | e2 g ged | ege dBG | BAB GED |
e2 a aga | e2 g ged | ege dBG | BAB A :|
E2 A AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAG A- |]

Fourteen comments

The Fairhaired Boy

This tune comes from John William’s first solo album, which is one of my all-time favourite recordings. He calls it Fraher’s Jig, but I’ve been thinking it’s a mistake. A bit of research shows different versions of the tune are listed as The Fairhaired Boy in Norbeck’s tune collection, so I decided to follow him.

It’s a simple, tasty tune. There are lots of possiblities for variations, but I personally like playing it as simple as possible.

I think this tune is on Harry Bradley’s debut CD. Maybe there’s a name for it there.

I should get a copy of it. He’s my hero. I like this tune.

Gan Ainm / Joe Burke’s

Harry doesn’t have a name for it on the CD. It is very similar to a jig already posted called "Joe Burke’s", which is popular in Australia. It is quite possible that "Fraher" had more than one jig named after him, but you’re right, "slainte" - it’s not the best-known "Fraher’s" jig. Strange coincidence, because I’ve been teaching this tune recently to musicians in Aberdeen, and had only last week found it quite by accident on the John Williams CD. I hadn’t recognised it as on Harry’s CD. A nice jig.

Posted by .

Thanks Kenny for the info. But I don’t think this one is *very* similar to Joe Burke’s. You know, many Ador jigs sound similar starting with the phrase EAA or E2A, so I think this is just a typical Ador tune. Lilting Banshee might be more similar. I need some more information about this tune. Yeah, maybe some people play this little jig as Fraher’s.

It’s a shame Harry Bradley doesn’t provide any information on this tune. I have played it with Charlie Piggot and he gave me a different title of it, but I can’t remember….

This version Slainte posted is in my O’Neill’s Krassen ed as The Fairhaired Boy, p.42.

This appears as an untitled jig in Amaj in Kerr’s. I think the key might have been an error.

X: 1
T: An Buachaillin Ban
T: The Fairhaired Boy
S: Philippe Varlet <philvar:EROLS.COM> irtrad-l 2001-5-21
B: Kerr’s Merry Melodies Bk.4, p25
N: Bonnie Rideout plays this on Celtic Circles’
Z: Nigel Gatherer
M: 6/8
K: Amaj
AA|EAA AGA|Bdd dBd|eae dBG|ABA GFE|EAA AGA|
Bdd dBd|eae dBG|BAA A::cd|eaa e3|eaa bag|eaa e3|
BGB dBG|eaa e3|eaa bag|eae dBG|BAA A:|]

The following version appears in the early O’Neill’s before the key was changed in the Krassen ed.

X: 1
T: The Fairhaired Boy.
B: O’Neill’s 924
N: "collected by Beamish."
Z: Transcribed by Tom Keays (htkeays@mailbox.syr.edu)
M: 6/8
R: Jig
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
EAA AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBA | BAB GED |
EAA AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAA A3 :|
|: eaa eaa | egg ged | ege dBA | BGG GED |
|1 eaa eaa | egg ged | ege dBG | BAA A2 z :|
2 EAA AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAA A2 z ||

Here’s yet another version I found @ the Fiddler’s Companion. The 2nd part reminds me a bit of Tom Billy’s Flowers Of Spring:

X: 1
T: An Buachaillín Bán (The Fair‑haired Boy) [1]
D: Jackie Daly, "Many’s a Wild Night"
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
Z: Paul de Grae
K: Ador
EAA AGE | GAB c2 d | e/f/ge ded | BAB GED |
EAA AGE | GAB c2 d | e/f/ge ded | BAG A3 :|
|: eaa aga | bab ged | eag e2 A | BAB GED |
EAA AGE | GAB c2 d | e/f/ge ded | BAG A3 :|

“John Egan’s 1” / “An Buachaillín Bán” / “The Fair Haired Boy”

Transcribed from ~
"Kitty Hayes And Peter Laban: They’ll Be Good Yet"

X: 1
T: An Buachaillín Bán
T: Fair Haired Boy, The
T: John Egan’s 1
D: "Kitty Hayes And Peter Laban: They’ll Be Good Yet"
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Ador
|: AG |\
EAA AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAB GED |
E2 A AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAG A- :|
|: Bd |\
e2 a aga | e2 g ged | ege dBG | BAB GED |
e2 a aga | e2 g ged | ege dBG | BAB A :|
E2 A AGA | Bdd dBd | ege dBG | BAG A- |]

Note: The above transcription is a transposition up from G Dorian (C instruments & as I’m hearing it on the recording) to the more common A Dorian…

An buachaillín bán

this bears a lot of similarities with the sean nós song ‘an buachaillín bán’ but obviously it is only at about a tenth of the speed of this jig. I wonder if the same thing happened here as with ‘mist covered mountains’ to ‘Chì mi na mórbheanna’ in cape breton?