In my view this should be in EDor and a few important notes have been omitted. Whistle and flute players can fake the low B by jumping up an octave. Matt Molloy does this and it really does trick the ear.
|: E3 GFE | DB,E DB,D | E3 GFE | ABG AFD |
E2F GFE | DB,E DEF | G2E FED | B,ED E3 :|
|: edB BAF | EDB, D3 | edB BAF | ABc def |
edB BAF | EDB, DEF | G2E FED | B,ED E3 :|
I learned this tune somewhat differently and in b minor.
B3 dcB|AFB AFA|B3 dcB|efd edc|B3 dcB|AFB ABc|dcB cBA|FBA B3:||:baf fec|efe cBA|baf fec|efg a3|baf fec|BAc ABc|dcB cBA|FBA B2A:||
There is also a variation in the last b part going into an a part that goes
baf fec|efe cBA|baf fec|efg a3|baf fec|BAc ABc|dcd ede|f3 edc|
By the way, does anyone know the story behind this tune? It has such an…interesting name.
"Yeah but if you look it up, you get:
"Breathnach (1985) suggests the title may be from a County Clare saying, which goes “Pull the knife and stick it again as the Hag of Balla said.” This refers to a black-handled knife which was a charm against fairy-folk"
Whether that’s true or not, I think it’s kind of interesting that the name comes from an actual saying, rather than it just being a random humorous name. You can learn a lot about a culture from its sayings and proverbs. " - dow
"The story goes that if you stab the hag with the knife she will beg you to pull it out and finish her off by stabbing it in again, but in fact the second stab restores the hag back to life and she will get you(!)"- ottery
i’d heard that it was almost like what ottery is quoted as saying…. but what happens is if you listen to the witch/hag, she will slip away from you once you pull out the knife (in order to stick it in for the second time). apparently you can only have control of a hag if you’ve got your knife in her.
that’s what i was told…. though i wonder if it’s really knives we’re talking about here. really.
Pull the knife: defective version?
Seems that the version in the "tunes" section is a defective version where the tune is mangled to fit on whistle, flute, and pipes, in other words instruments whose bottom note is D.
However it is not how Matt Molloy (for example) plays it on flute.
I learned it from a Matt Molloy album, and he does the flute thing where any note lower than the flute’s bottom D is still played as the correct note, but just an octave up. So the first part goes:
T: Pull the Knife and Stick It Again
K: E minor
~E3 GFE|DBE DBD|
~E3 GFE|BcA BAG|
~E3 GFE|DBE DEF|
GFE FED|BED E3|
where the B’s in lines 1, 3, and 4 would all be low B’s on the G string of the fiddle but played an octave up on the flute. So Molloy is playing all the correct notes as would be played on fiddle, accordion, banjo, etc, but just taking the low B’s an octave up.
Any way to submit a corrected version here and actually have it appear in the sheet music?
Re: Pull the knife: defective version?
Not without it being deleted. You can always submit your take on it to Concertina.Net’s “ABC Convert-A-Matic”:
That will give you the dots… I suspect, considering this is more of a ‘comment’ for the tune itself, that this may also go "POOF!"
There is already a transcription in the ‘comments’ there along the lines you’ve given, the first comment…
"Pull The Knife And Stick It Again"
Submitted on November 28th 2001 by Josh Kane.
The ‘stereo’ ~ I had moved the ‘discussion’ here because of it’s relevance to the tune and it seems that when a discussion is axed, which soon followed, it ends up being transferred here anyway. You learn something new everyday… 😏
Here’s a rehash of Richard’s A-part put together along with the fiddle take on it with the Bs being low ~ B, ~
K: e minor
P: A part
~E3 GFE | DBE DBD | ~E3 GFE | BcA BAG |
~E3 GFE | DBE DEF | GFE FED | BED E3 :|
P: A part w/ low B,
~E3 GFE | DB,E DB,D | ~E3 GFE | BcA BAG |
~E3 GFE | DB,E DEF | GFE FED | B,ED E3 :|
I’ve only heard it played in Am - or A something.
Has anybody else played it in Am? Or is that just the Co Clare key? That’s the key Jacqueline McCarthy plays it in. Matt Molloy plays it in Em and that’s the indicated key on some other sites as well (JC’s site).
Tommy Keane’s Version
T: Pull The Knife And Stick It Again
|:A2B cBA|G2A GEG|A2B cBA|d2e dBG|
A2B cBA|G2A GAB|c2A BAG|EAA A3||
|:age edB|AGE G3|age edB|def gab|
age edB|AGE GAB|c2A BAG|EAA A3||
Pull the knife: detective version?
Who done it?
Good Video of this tune
Pull the Knife and Stick It Again
It seems that George Petrie first collected this tune together with the story associated with it in Co. Clare in the 19th century.
Originally in Ador, perhaps
In the sleeve notes of Matt Molloy’s first album, Peter Browne points out Molloy plays this tune in an "unusual" key. Jacqueline McCarthy cites James Kelly as the source of the Ador version of the tune.
A tin whistle version here
Has anybody tried playing this on the pipes? I have heard it somewhere before, but have since forgotten where….
I heard this here :
Played after Mist on the Mountain, the present B part seems a near relative
My searches with Tunepal have had no success…
Re: Gan Ainm
Re: Pull The Knife And Stick It Again
The present tune begins at 47:08 of the above video
Re: Pull The Knife And Stick It Again
Dexter’s theme tune…
Pull The Knife And Stick It Again, X:8
How Matt Molloy does it, at least the first time through, on his self-titled 1976 album. To me, the G# in the A part absolutely makes this tune, and it’s what immediately made me think "I have to learn this tune!"
Pull The Knife And Stick It Again, X:9
Combination of previous settings, with a few minor variations.
A few nice recordings are on Hanz Araki’s "Little Fires", Alasdair White’s album "An Clár Geal", and Eamonn Dillon’s album "Storm the Kettle".
Pull The Knife And Stick It Again, X:11
From the playing of Hanz Araki.
Pull The Knife And Stick It Again, X:12
From the playing of Eamonn Dillon, on a low whistle.
Pull The Knife And Stick It Again, X:13
From the playing of Killarney.
A few variations from their second time through:
- A Part, Bar 4, "ABA ABA"
- A Part, Bars 1-4, "~E3 ~E3 | ~D3 DEF | ~E3 ~E3 | ABA d3"
Pull The Knife And Stick It Again, X:14
From the playing of Paul Dooley, on a harp.
Of the recordings I’ve heard, this setting is probably the one that varies from the most common (nowadays) version of the melody. Still the same tune, but, has some quite noticeable differences.
In his liner notes, Paul attributes some of the changes to his choice of setting the tune in Bmin:
"[Pull The Knife and Stick It Again] is a well known session tune, played here in Bm instead of Em. The second part is altered to suit the higher key."
The album is also from 1996, so perhaps the present incarnation of the tune has evolved his Paul’s local setting of the tune from two decades ago.
The second and third time through the tune, he instead opens the A Part with "~d3 fed | cee edc", which works well after a bar of "Bcd B3", or, "Bcd B2A".
Pull The Knife And Stick It Again, X:15
From the playing of Éilís Crean & John Mock.