The Sailor’s Wife jig

Also known as New Shields.

There are 20 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Chorus (a few times) and Tatter Jack Walsh (a few times).

The Sailor’s Wife has been added to 16 tune sets.

The Sailor's Wife has been added to 335 tunebooks.

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Nine settings

X: 1
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B|:"Em"EFG F2E | e2f g2a | bag fed | "G"Bd"D"B AFD |
"Em"EFG F2E | e2f g2a | ba"B7"g fe^d | "Em"e3 e3 :|
|:"G"gab gab | gab bag | "D"fda fda | fg"B7"a agf |
"Em"gab bag | "D"fga agf | "Em"ef"B7"g fe^d | "Em"e3 e3 :|
X: 2
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ddor
A, |:DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | agf edc | AcA GEC |
DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | afd efe | d3 d3 :|
|: fga fga | fga agf | efg efg | efg gfe |
fga agf | efg gfe | fdf e=ce | d3 d2 :|
X: 3
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmin
E|DEF E2D|d2e f2g|agf edc |AcA GEC|
DEF E2D|d2e f2g|agf ed^c|d3 D2:|
e|f>ga fga|fga agf|ecg ecg |ecg gfe|
f>ga agf|efg gfe|def ed^c|d3 D2:|
X: 4
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ddor
|: E |DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | agf edc | A/B/cA GEA |
DD/E/F E2 D | d2 e f2 g | afd ge^c | d3 D2 :|
|: e |fga f2 a | fda agf | ecg e2 c | ee/f/g gfe |
fga agf | ecg gfe | dd/e/f ed^c | d3 D2 :|
X: 5
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmin
|:DEF E2 D | Ade f2 g | agf edc | A/B/cA GEC |
DEF E2 D | Ade f2 g | afd ge^c |1 d3 d3 :|2 d3 d2||
|: e |fga a3 | fga agf | ecg ecg | efg gfe |
fga agf | efg gfe | afd ge^c | d3 d2 :|
X: 6
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
EFG F2E | e2f g2a | bag fed | B/c/dB AFD |
EFG F2E | e2f g2a | bge af^d |1 e3 eBG :|2 e3 e2f ||
|:gab b3 | gab bag | fda fda | fda agf |
gab bag | fga aga | bge af^d |1 e3 e2f :|2 e3 eBG ||
X: 7
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ddor
A|:DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | agf edc | A/B/cA GEC |
DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | agf ed^c |1 d3 d2A :|2 d3 d2e||
|: fga fga | fga agf | ecg ecg | ecg gfe |
f2 a agf | e2 g g^fg | afd gec |1 d3 d2e :|2 d3 d2A||
X: 8
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ddor
A|:DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | agf edc | A/B/cA GEC |
DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | agf gec |1 d3 dcA :|2 d3 d2e||
|: fga fga | fga agf | ecg ecg | efg gfe |
f2 a agf | e2 g gfe | def edc |1 d3 d2e :|2 d3 dcA||
X: 9
T: The Sailor's Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ddor
A|:DEF E2D | d2e f2g | agf edc | A/B/cA GEC |
DEF E2D | d2e f2g | agf gec |1 d3 d2A :|2 d3 d2e||
|: fga fga | fga agf | ecg ecg | ecg gfe |
f2a agf | e2g gfg | afd gec |1 d3 d2e :|2 d3 d2A||

Fourteen comments

Also heard in D minor instead of E minor….

… at least that’s the way we play it at the Starry Plough in Berkeley on Sunday nights….

Great tune either way!

The Sailor’s Wife

This tune was used in Joss Whedon’s 2003 science fiction TV series ‘Firefly’ - in the episode called ‘Safe’ as a dance tune being played on a planetary colony some 500 years in the future. Nice to know traditional tunes have that kind of staying power.
:-)

Jacey Bedford

Posted by .

“The Sailor’s Wife” ~ a rescued duplication, where it was filed under ‘mazurka’ :-/

"Gan Ainm"
Key signature: d minor
Submitted on October 18th 2007 by cilla.
~ /tunes/7875

X: 1
T: Gan Ainm
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: mazurka (jig)
K: d minor
A, |:
(this transcription was identical to the one that next follows as 6/8)

This lovely unknown tune ~ I learned this sweet but sad tune in Edinburgh around 1982 when I lived there for the year. I wish I knew it’s name. I’ve been playing it ever since. It’s not really a mazurka, but it’s not a waltz either. Maybe a dirge? I’m so bad at remembering names. Hope the key is right, too, not so great at that either. But I love this tune. Also, does anyone know what type of tune it is (air, waltz?) I love this site, you all are a wealth of information, and I’m learning lots following the discussions. Well here it is, it took me all day to figure out the ABCs…

X: 2
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dm
O: Scottish
S: The Folk Song Society, Edinburgh @ 1982
A, |:
DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | agf edc | AcA GEC |
DEF E2 D | d2 e f2 g | afd efe | d3 d3 :|
|: fga fga | fga agf | efg efg | efg gfe |
fga agf | efg gfe | fdf e=ce | d3 d2 :|

# Posted on October 18th 2007 by cilla

The Sailor’s Wife
Sorry it’s already here in e minor, though Alasdair Fraser plays it in d minor as you transcribed it.

# Posted on October 18th 2007 by Pere

QUESTION ~ what exactly is copyrighted by The Folk Song Society of Edinburgh? Is this a recent compositions by someone, and if so, by who? Or, is this more of that silliness of changing a few notes and copyrighting the ‘arrangement’? :-/

“The Sailor’s Wife” - in D minor with sharp 7th

I like this version from Jack Campin’s "illustrated tutorial on modes and tonality in Scottish music" www.campin.me.uk.
It uses sharp leading notes, and has (to my ears) a more traditional Scottish B part.

X:1
T:The Sailor’s Wife
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=112
K:DMin
% hexatonic, sharpened C leading notes
E|DEF E2D|d2e f2g|agf edc |AcA GEC|
DEF E2D|d2e f2g|agf ed^c|d3 D2:|
e|f>ga fga|fga agf|ecg ecg |ecg gfe|
f>ga agf|efg gfe|def ed^c|d3 D2:|

“The Sailor’s Wife” ~ “Firefly”; Episode 6: “Safe”; 12:40; d minor 8-)

K: Dmin

Just in case anyone was wondering, but I haven’t a clue who the band is. If you play winds, flute or whistle, don’t take the supposedly ‘easy’ option of playing this on a C instrument, it is much nice played on a standard old D flute or whistle, and much cooler, especially the light slur from E to F natural… It ain’t difficult either… Have fun giving it a go, in the past and speculative future sense…

Aside from being a recent convert to "Firefly", we’ve come across this jig being played for early and Scottish country dance (Playford and RSCDS approved and regulated ~ and not), New England/American contras, and Maritime quadrilles (Cape Breton and its neighbours)…

Another take in d minor can be found here, a lovely little collection of assorted dance tunes, now in 2 volumes ~

"The Portland Collection (#1):
Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest"
Susan Songer & Clyde Curley ~ who regularly play for contra dances in Portland, Oregon and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest…

Page 171: "The Sailor’s Wife"
There are welcomed notes on all tunes, including this tune on page 272

I have yet to chase up volume 2, but going by volume 1, I’m sure it will be a valued addition to our library… ;-)

Appears as “New Shields” in 1748, Johnson’s Country Dances

An early sighting here:-
http://folkopedia.efdss.org/wiki/List_of_historical_tunebooks,_some_of_which_are_available_on_the_internet

X:189
T:New Shields. JJo4.189
M:6/4
L:1/4
B:J.Johnson Choice Collection Vol 4, 1748
Z:vmp.Mike Hicken 2014 www.village-music-project.org.uk
N:* two repeat signs are shown in the original
Q:3/4=100
K:Dm
DEF!trill!E2D |d2ef2g|agf edc|Afd cAF|
DEF!trill!E2D |d2ef2g|agf ed^c|d3D3 :|
|:fga fga|fga !trill!g2f| ecg ecg|ecg !trill!f2e|
fga agf|efg gfe|fga Ad^c|d3D3 "*":|

The Sailor’s Wife, X:6

This what I heard from Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas version.

The Sailor’s Wife, X:7

Some combination of variations from Alasdair Fraser, among others.

Other possible alternatives:
- "agf gec" in 7th bar of A Part
- "agf gfe" in 7th bar of A Part
- "e2 g gfe | def ed_d" in the 6th & 7th bars of B Part
- "e2 g gfe | fed ed_d" in the 6th & 7th bars of B Part
- "e2 g gfe | def gfc" in the 6th & 7th bars of B Part
- passing notes which were dropped for staccato effect + breathes ("fga agf" in 5th bar of B Part, "efg gfe " in 6th bar of B Part)

The Sailor’s Wife, X:8

One of the previous settings, X7, with a few different routes for the melody, as found in other settings.

The d-flat in the 7th bar of the B Part could instead be a c-natural, and the 6th and 7th bars of the B Part could also be replaced with |e2g gfe | fed edc|.

Re: The Sailor’s Wife

It’s also found in Scottish collections and used in dance arrangements. It is old.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord NH USA