My Former Wife jig

Also known as An Bhean Do Bhí Cheanna Dhom.

There are 26 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Galician (a few times) and Patsy Geary’s (a few times).

My Former Wife has been added to 11 tune sets.

My Former Wife has been added to 79 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Five settings

X: 1
T: My Former Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:E | EAA ABc |BAG ccc | BGE E3 | GED DED |
EAA ABc | B3 GBd | ede gdB | BAA A2 :|
|: d | efg aaa | bag aaa | ede g3 | gba ged |
efg aaa | bag aaa | ede gdB | BAA A2 :|
X: 2
T: My Former Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:EAA ABc|BAB c2A|BGE EDE|GED DB,D|
EAA ABc|BAB GBd|ede gdB|1 BAG A2G:|2 BAG A2g||
|:efg ~a3|bag a2g|ede ~g3|gba ged|
efg ~a3|bag a2g|ede gdB|1 BAG A2g:|2 BAG A2G||
X: 3
T: My Former Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
AG|:EAA ABc|BAB c2A|BGE EFE|GED DED|
EAA ABc|BAB GBd|ede gdB|1 BAG A2G:|2 BAG A2d||
|:efg a3|bgb a2g|ede g2a|gba ged|
efg abc'|bgb a2g|edd gdB|1 BAG A2d:|2 BAG A2A||
|:BAB c2A|BAB cBA|BGE EFE|GED DED|
BAB c2A|BAB GBd|ede gdB|BAA A2A|
BAB cdA|BAB cdA|BGE EFE|GED DED|
A3 ABc|BAB GBd|ede gdB|BAG A2G:|
# Added by Nico .
X: 4
T: My Former Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:EAA ABc|BDB c2A|BGE E3|GED D3|
EAA ABc|BDB GB/c/d|ede gdB|1 BAG A2G:|2 BAG A2d||
|: efg a3 | bag a3 | ede g3 | gba ged |
efg a3 | bag a3 | ede gdB | BAG A2d |
|efg a3|bag a2g|ede g2a|gba ged|
efg abc'|bag a2g|edd gdB| BAG A3||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 5
T: My Former Wife
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
E (3.A.c.A ABd|BGG cBA|{d}BGE E(3EEE|~G2.A GED|
E (3.A.c.A ABd|BGB ABd|ece gdB| BAG .A2G||
E (3.A.c.A ABd|~B3 cBA|{d}BGE E(3EEE|~G2.A GED|
E (3.A.c.A ABd|(3 BGF B ABd|(3e.c.A e gdB| BAG .A2d||
eaa abc' | bag (3 abag | ede ~g2.a | gba ged |
eaa abc' | bag age | def gdB | B.A.A .ABd ||
eaa abc' | bag aag | ede ~g2.a | gba ged |
eaa abc' | bag age | def gdB | B.A.A A3 ||

Eleven comments

Nice jig

Nice jig played fast or slow (almost as an air). Version from "O’Neill’s Music of Ireland", revised by Miles Krassen, book version (slightly modified).

Which former Wife?

Rather than an air - I seem to think of this tune (and title) as a dirge.

This was a jig from the playing of Barney Delaney, O’Neill’s brother-in-law and a fantastic piper. Another great piper in Chicago, James Early, recorded a great version of this and his playing is transcribed in the book "Ceol an Piobarie," issued by NPU in the early 80’s. Another version is in the "Piping of Patsy Touhey," taken from the playing of that great piper. O’Flynn’s tune is another jig entirely. The second part is much like that of the Mug of Brown Ale.
O’Neill says that this was something of a pet tune of Delaney’s, so the other musicians who played before him would inevitabely include it in their sets to irritate him!

My Former Wife

Not much different, but I have another version:

K: Ador
EAA ABc|BAG c2A|BGE EDE|GED DB,D|
EAA ABc|BAB GBd|ede gdB|1 BAG A2G:|2 BAG A2g||
efg ~a3|bag a2g|ede ~g3|gba ged|
efg ~a3|bag a2g|ede gdB|1 BAG A2g:|2 BAG A2G||

I think this is a composite of "Jug of Brown Ale" and "Mug of Brown Ale."

Three part version from James Early

The third version is a three part version from a cylinder recording of James Early and possibly Billy McCormick… it could be McFadden, but it’s very hard to hear who is announced. The fiddle is also quieter than the pipes. You can hear it on Ross Anderson’s music page here: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/musicfiles/mp3s/anbheann.mp3

I started with the ABCs from the O’Neill’s ABC project http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/music/book/oneills/1850/

Here’s the header info:
X: 849
T: My Former Wife
N:"Collected by Early"
B:O’Neill’s 849
Z:Transcribed by Dan G. Petersen, dangp@post6.tele.dk

I used the above version mostly, but also listened to Tom Ennis’ version here: http://archive.org/details/TomEnnisMyFormerWife

I find it very interesting that this tune was collected by Francis O’Neill from James Early and put into his Music of Ireland (1850) book without the third part that Early played.

Please note that the ABCs reflect some of the variations played, so don’t play it exactly as written, but use the dots to get an idea of some of the variations that Early (and Ennis) used throughout. The way O’Neill wrote it really doesn’t accurately represent how Early’s "base" version goes.

Posted by .

Yep:
“The sudden popularity which (“My Former Wife”) achieved became a source of no little embarrassment to its sponsor. It was one of the ‘pet’ jigs which he liked to play at public entertainments. When (Leitrim-born James) Early and (County Mayo-born John) McFadden (a famous Chicago pipe/fiddle duo) happened to be on the same programme and came on the stage ahead of Delaney, the mischievous pair never failed to play his favorite tune” (Chief O’Neill, Irish Folk Music, pg. 96).

Posted by .

My Former Wife, X:5

Piping version I learned and notated around 1990 - source forgotten.
The vearaition in the repeated A and B parts are meant to play in later rounds….

Re: My Former Wife

The first part is identical to ‘Jackson’s Couge in the Morning’ (aka Jackson’s Coagy) in the Gunn ms, Fermanagh 1865. The second part is quite different, although there are echoes of it in the old piping versions above.

Re: My Former Wife

As I mentioned two years ago 🙂 I wonder if your version is a variant that became Delaney’s tune, and maybe shouldn’t be placed with the older version?

Another tune on this site that’s related is https://thesession.org/tunes/18614

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