The Lilting Fisherman jig

By Paddy Killoran

Also known as A Bit Of Ginger, Donnybroke, The Fisherman’s Lilt, The Fishermn’s Lilt, The Ginger Bit, Joe Derrane’s.

There are 10 recordings of this tune.

The Lilting Fisherman appears in 2 other tune collections.

The Lilting Fisherman has been added to 42 tune sets.

The Lilting Fisherman has been added to 256 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

X: 1
T: The Lilting Fisherman
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B|dBG GBd|gfg ege|dBG GFG|AFD cBc|
dBG GBd|gfg ege|dBG FGA|BGF G2:|
K:D Major
B|ABA AFA|fgf f2e|dce dcB|ABA AFG|
AFA AFA|BGB Bcd|cec ABc|dfe d2:|
X: 2
T: The Lilting Fisherman
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
B/c/|dBG GBd|gfg ege|dBG GFG|AFD DFA|
dBG GBd|gfg ege|dBG FGA|BGG G2:|
F/G/|ABA AFA|fgf f2e|dfe dcB|AFF F2G|
ABA AFA|BcB Bcd|cec ABc|1 dfe dcB:|2 dfe d2||
X: 3
T: The Lilting Fisherman
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
Bc|:dBG GBd|~g3 ege|dBG GFG|AFD cBA|
dBG GBd|~g3 ege|dBG FGA|BGF Gz2:|
ABA AFA|~f3 f2e|dce dcB|AFF F2G|
AFA A2d|BGB B2d|cBc ABc|1 dfe dcB:|2 d3 zB=c||
X: 4
T: The Lilting Fisherman
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
c/d/|ecA AGA|a3 agf|ecA ABG|E3 E c/d/|
ecA AGA|a3 def|fec edB|A3 A2||
G/A/|B2 B B2 B|g3 gfe|e^de BAG|BAF F2 G/A/|
B2 B Be^d|cBc f3|BcB Bc^d|e3 e2||
E|=c3 cBA|AGA B2 E|dcd =fed|d=cB c2 e|
e2 a a2 =g|=g3 fed|=c=fe Adc|A3 A2||

Thirteen comments

Two key tune

There is a fine tune that I’m surprised hasn’t been posted yet. The A part is in G Major, but the B part switches to D Major (or there-abouts). There’s a fine whistle rendition of this with Mug of Brown Ale and The Rambling Pitchfork at

Sea Jigs in G and D (run)

I’m also surprised this hasn’t been posted. I think the Lilting Fisherman works real well squeezed between Out on the Ocean and The Carraroe. Not only do all of these jigs have kind of a nautical theme but the Lilting Fisherman is a great sequey between Out on the Ocean (G maj) and The Carraroe (D maj.

New Set

Im was thinking of puting this with the Jig of Slurs [changing keys again] and Caliope House [cause it’s a good tune].

Posted .

This was recorded by Andy McGann and Paddy Reynolds as Joe Derrane’s. There is a completely different tune in here already by that name so maybe best not to xref it.

Mainly I prefer tunes where the A and B are more connected, but this is a tune that goes somewhere else in the B but still is a great one.

Posted by .

“Lead in notes”

Very well known tune but obviously not popular in the Boston and New York sessions. 🙂
I’m not sure about the “lead in notes” here. I usually play something like “bC” in part one and “fg” in part two but I suppose that it’s a matter of taste.

This isn’t it…

Help me here. I have the album Wheels of the World, Vol. 2: Early Irish-American Music, and on it, James Morrison plays a tune called the Fisherman’s Lilt, and it is not this at all. I’m very confused. What have I been playing all this time. This recording is from the 20’s so I would think it would be correct.


Hey, yeah you’re right. Thanks Kenny.


Bit of Ginger

According to Jerry O’Brien in his Accordion Instructor, this jig was composed by Paddy Killoran of New York.

T:Bit of Ginger
C:Paddy Killoran
S:Jerry O’Brien’s Accordion Instructor (1949)
Z:Nigel Gatherer
B/c/ | dBG GBd | gfg ege | dBG GFG | AFD DFA |
dBG GBd | gfg ege | dBG FGA | BGG G2 :|
F/G/ | ABA AFA | fgf f2e | dfe dcB | AFF F2G |
ABA AFA | BcB Bcd | cec ABc |1 dfe dcB :|2 dfe d2 ||

The Lilting Fisherman, X:3

From the playing of Frances Marriott.

At our local session, this is played in a set with The Old Favourite.

The Lilting Fisherman, X:4

This setting is transcribed as a “Quadrille” in the c1900 Reilly Family fiddle MSS of Drumreilly, Co Leitrim. It was originally a light classical tune that was assimilated into the folk music tradition. This version of the original composition also contains the third part which is not played anymore.

Posted by .

Re: The Lilting Fisherman

The older version of the first two parts alone make this additional setting very interesting, then add the third minor part…very nice. I used my Easy ABC to transpose this setting to the more common G/D keys and with the minor third part, they play great.