Lamb Skinnet jig

Also known as Lamb Skinnett, Lambskinnet, Lanquenet, Lansquenet.

There are 6 recordings of this tune.

Lamb Skinnet has been added to 3 tune sets.

Lamb Skinnet has been added to 29 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Lamb Skinnet
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:GBd dBG|c2e e2g|GBd dBG|F2A A2B|
GBd dBG|c2e efg|fed ed^c|1 ded =cBA:|2 d3 def||
|:gdB gdB|c2e e2g|dBG dBG|F2A ABc|
dBG dBG|c2e efg|dBG cAF|1 G3 def:|2 G3 z3||
X: 2
T: Lamb Skinnet
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:GBd dBG|c2e efg|GBd dBG|FAA A2B|
GBd dBG|c2e efg|dBG cAF|1 G3 G2B:|2 G3 G2d||
|:gdB gdB|c2e efg|dBG dBG|FAA A2d|
gdB gdB|c2e efg|dBG cAF|G3 G2d|
gdB gdB|c2e efg|dBG dBG|FAA A2B|
GBd dBG|c2e efg|dBG cAF|G3 G2B||
# Added by JACKB .

Thirteen comments

Lamb Skinnet

I think this jig is Northumbrian. Maybe, Dow, you could confirm this for me. It’s a jig I used to play with the band I played with in Newcastle. It does rely a little heavily on broken chords - so some of you may find it a little daggy, but it brings back a few memories nonetheless. 🙂

Yes I’m pretty sure it’s Northumbrian.

It’s very familiar and I learned in about 30 seconds. Maybe, I already knew it, of course.
Daggy, undoubtably but “a dag in the hand is worth two in the bush”. 🙂

It certainly is.

Lamb Skinnet

It is most certainly Northumbrian and dates to the early part of the 19th century if not before.

It sounds pants if you play it as an Irish Jig or and English Jig but if you get the Northumbrian drive right it really motors. Angels of the North play it loads with Seven Stars and Oyster Girl for an old dance called Duck for the Oyster. Another hangover from a couple ofcenturiesago that is stillvery worth doing.

A dance

It’s a scottish dance and the title is a corruption of the name of a German card game. I’ll look it up and post it later.

Scotland, keys, origins, etc.

I’m 99.97% sure that it’s a Scottish jig used for a Scottish Country Dance of the same name. I’m also 99.97% sure that it’s meant to be in A, not G.
Where does the name come from though?
I’ve heard it may be from the practice of putting the sheep of a dead lamb (from Mother A) on another lamb (from mother B) so that Mother A will think that the other lamb belongs to her (because he’s wearing the skin that smells like it). It may be wrong though–comments?

Lamb Skinnet

“It is suggested that the name alludes to the practice of tying the skin of a dead lamb to a live one in order to have it accepted by the bereaved ewe as a replacement.”
-Scotland Through Her Country Dances, George S Emmerson, London 1967

In Scotland this is almost invariably played in the key of A. According to the Scottish Country Dance Society in 1947, the dance comes from “Thompson, 1751” but whether the tune is tied to the dance I couldn’t say. The tune doesn’t seem to appear in any of the great Scottish fiddle collections.

This appears in Thompson’s Compleat Collection of Country Dances c.1770, as Lanquenet, or Lansquenet.

Lans“que*net (?), n. [F., fr. G. landsknecht a foot soldier, also a game of cards introduced by these foot soldiers; land country + knecht boy, servant. See Land, and Knight.]

1. A German foot soldier in foreign service in the 15th and 16th centuries; a soldier of fortune; – a term used in France and Western Europe.

2. A game at cards, vulgarly called lambskinnet.

[They play] their little game of lansquenet. Longfellow.]]]

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1913.

That seems to be the name sorted (Kuntz sorted it out some time back though).


I just love all this history stuff, well done