The Oyster Wife’s Rant reel

Also known as Am Muileann Dubh, Black Mill, The Black Mill, Moulin Dhu, Muhlin Dhu, The Muilean Dubh, The Muileann Dhu, Muileann Dubh, The Muileann Dubh, Muillean Dubh, The Muillean Dubh, Muilleann Dubh, Mulen Dugh, Mulin Dugh, The Mulindhu, Mullean Dhu, Mullean Dubh, The Mullean Dubh, The Mullin Du, Mullindhu, The Oyster Rant, The Oyster Wive’s Rant, The Oyster Wives Rant, Oyster Wives’ Rant, The Oyster Wives’ Rant, The Oyster Woman’s Rant.

There are 31 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Miss Sarah Drummond Of Perth (lots of times), Sleepy Maggie (a few times), Toss The Feathers (a few times), The Devil In The Kitchen (a few times) and The High Drive (a few times).

The Oyster Wife’s Rant has been added to 6 tune sets.

The Oyster Wife's Rant has been added to 83 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Nine settings

X: 1
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
e2ed e~A3|dedB GABd|e2ed efge|dBgB A2ag:|
edef g2fe|dedB dedB|edef g2fe|dBgB A2ag:|
X: 2
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
edef g2fe|d2dB d2d2|edef g2fe|dBgB A2A2:|
e2ed eAAB|d2dB d2d2|e2ed eAAd|BdeB A2A2|
e2ed eAAB|d2dB d2d2|edef g2fe|dBgB A2A2||
X: 3
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
a|ede^f g2fe|dGdB dGdg|ede^f g2 fe|dGdB A2 A>a|
ede^f g2fe|dGdB dGdg|ede^f gage|dBgB A2A||
a|eAed eAAB|dGdB dGGg|eAed eAAB|dGdB A2 A>a|
eAed eAAB|dGdB dGGg|ede^f gbge|dgBg A2A||
a|edef g2fe|dGdB dGdg|edef g2 fe|dGdB A2 A>a|
edef g2fe|dGdB dGdg|edef gage|dBgB A2A||
a|eAed eAAB|dGdB dGGg|eAed eAAB|dGdB A2 A>a|
eAed eAAB|dGdB dGGg|edef gbge|dgBg A2A||
X: 4
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
e2 ed eAAB | dedB GABd | e2 ed efge | dBgB A/A/A A :|
e^def g2 fe | dedB dedB | e^def gage | dBgB A/A/A A :|
X: 5
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
edef g2 fe | dGdB dGdg | edef g2 fe | dBgB A2 A>a |
edef g2 fe | dGdB dGdg | edef gage | dBgB A2- A ||
eAed eAAB | dGdB dGGg | eAed eAAB | dGdB A2 A>a |
eAed eAAB | dGdB dGGg | edef gbge | dBgB A2- A |]
X: 6
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
B^ABc d/e/d cB | ADAF ADAd | B^ABc d2 cB | ADAF E2 eA |
B2 Bc d2 cB | AD F/E/D ADFd | B^ABc de/d/ cB | AFdF E2 ||
BEB^A BEEF | ADAF ADDd | B^AB=A BEED | ADAF E2 ed |
B2 B^A BE E2 | ADDF ADFd | B3 c deBd | AdFd E2 |]
X: 7
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
a | edef g2f<g | B<Gd>B d>GG>a | edef g2f<g | B<Gd>B A>AA>a |
edef g2f<g | B<Gd>B d>GG>a | edef gaeg | dBgB AA A ||
a | eAed eAAg | B<Gd>B d>BG>a | eAed eAAg | B<Gd>B A>AA>a |
edef g2 f>e | d<gB<g d<gB<a | edef gaeg | dBgB AA A ||
a | edef g2fg | BGdB dGGa | edef g2fg | BGdB AAAa |
edef g2fg | BGdB dGGa | edef gaeg | dBgB AA A ||
a | eAed eAAg | BGdB dBGa | eAed eAAg | BGdB AAAa |
edef g2 fe | dgBg dgBa | edef gaeg | dBgB AA A ||
X: 8
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
g | "Am"edef "Em"g2 fe | "G"d<GdB dGGg | "Am"edef "Em"g2 fe | "G"dBgB "Am"A/A/A Ag |
"Am"edef "Em"g2 fe | "G"d<GdB dGGg | "Am"edef "Em"ga{ga}ge | "G"dBgB "Am"A/A/A A ||
g | "Am"eAed eAAe | "G"d<GdB dGGg | "Am"eAed eAAe | "G"dBgB "Am"A/A/A Ag |
"Am"eAed eAAe | "G"d<GdB dGGg | "Em"edef ga{ga}ge | "G"dBgB "Am"A/A/A A |]
# Added by Tate .
X: 9
T: The Oyster Wife's Rant
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bdor
fefg a2gf|e2 ec eAAe|fefg a2gf|ec c/c/c B2Be:|
fBfe fBBf|eAec eAAe|fBfe fBBf|ecac B2Be|
fBfe fBBf|eAec eAAe|fefg a2gf|ec c/c/c B2Be|]

Eighteen comments

This is a scottish reel….I have learned it from a whistle tutor

Great tune! It hasn’t changed since the last time you posted it. It’s still called the Oyster Wife’s Rant and it’s still in Ador :-)

Mulen Dugh/ Mullindhu

Here’s another and probably older setting of the tune learned from Mary Jane Lamond’s singing:

K: Ador
edef g2fe|d2dB d2d2|edef g2fe|dBgB A2A2:|
e2ed eAAB|d2dB d2d2|e2ed eAAd|BdeB A2A2|
e2ed eAAB|d2dB d2d2|edef g2fe|dBgB A2A2||

Thanks Nigel and Dow for pointing out the connection between these melodies.

I remember Nigel informed us the translation of the gaelic title Mullindhu, or Muillean Dubh, is the Black Mill.

Muileann Dubh - Skye Collection setting

The ABCs below are for the Skye Collection setting of the Muileann Dubh. This reproduces the way it is printed in that collection. As others have pointed out the key is Ador, so I have also included below ABCs for the tune in that mode.

X:1
T:Muileann Dubh
M:C|
L:1/8
R:Reel
B:K N MacDonald – The Skye Collection (1887)
K:C
a|ede^f g2fe|dGdB dGdg|ede^f g2 fe|dGdB A2 A>a|
ede^f g2fe|dGdB dGdg|ede^f gage|dBgB A2A||
a|eAed eAAB|dGdB dGGg|eAed eAAB|dGdB A2 A>a|
eAed eAAB|dGdB dGGg|ede^f gbge|dgBg A2A||

X:1
T:Muileann Dubh
M:C|
L:1/8
R:Reel
B:K N MacDonald – The Skye Collection (1887) Key signature adjusted.
K:Ador
a|edef g2fe|dGdB dGdg|edef g2 fe|dGdB A2 A>a|
edef g2fe|dGdB dGdg|edef gage|dBgB A2A||
a|eAed eAAB|dGdB dGGg|eAed eAAB|dGdB A2 A>a|
eAed eAAB|dGdB dGGg|edef gbge|dgBg A2A||

Entry at Ceolas:

MUILEANN DUBH (The Black Mill). AKA - "Mullin Dhu (The Dark Mill)," "Mullin Du." Scottish, Reel. A Dorian (Athole, Kerr, Perlman, Skye, Williamson): A Mixolydian (Gow). Standard. One part (Skye): AB (Athole, Kerr, McGlashan): AAB (Gow, Perlman): AABB (Williamson). "Very old" (Skye, Gow). Apparently, on Cape Breton Island the tune/song was not allowed to be played in certain parts because it was so closely associated with the MacDougalls of Margaree, who apparently were extremely touchy about hearing it played within their earshot! It appears that one line of a stanza of the puirt a beul set to the melody goes "Tha nead circe fraoiche ‘s a’ mhuilean dubh." (In the black mill is the heather-hen’s nest). The offense to the Margaree MacDougalls was due to a joke that was told about hens at the expense of the clan, and they were so sensitive to any reference to the joke that they could not tolerate mention of poultry of any kind, and took the playing of the tune to be a veiled insult against the clan.

Posted by .

#11272 - a duplication just the same, now reported and gone “POOF!”

The ‘comments’ of that are to follow. ;-) It was my state of mind that committed the duplication. :-D

“The Oyster Wives’ Rant” - other possibilities

X: 5
T: Oyster Wives Rant, The
T: Muileann Dubh
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Ador
|: Bd |\
e2 ed eAAB | d>edB GA B/c/d |
e^de=d ef g/f/e | dBGB A2 :|
|: Ag |\
e2 ef g2 fe | d2 dB dedG |
e^def gage | dBgB A/A/A :|

“The Oyster Wives’ Rant” - Kerr

X: 6
T: Oyster Wives’ Rant, The
S: "Kerr’s Second Collection of Merry Melodies"; page 10, tune No. 65
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Ador
|: B |\
e2 ed eAAB | dedB GABd | e2 ed efge | dBgB A/A/A A :|
|: B |\
e^def g2 fe | dedB dedB | e^def gage | dBgB A/A/A A :|

“The Oyster Wives’ Rant” - The Athole & Skye Collections, 1884 & 1887

X: 7
T: Oyster Wives’ Rant, The
B: "The Athole Collection", James Stewart-Robertson, 1884, page 53 (47)
S: "The Skye Collection", Keith Norman MacDonald, 1887, page 110
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: ADor
|: B |\
e2 ed eAAB | dedB GABd |
e2 ed efge | dBgB A/A/A A :|
|: B |\
edef g2 fe | dedB dedB |
edef g>age | dBgB A/A/A A :|

“The Mulindhu” - Kerr

X: 8
T: Mulindhu, The
S: "Kerr’s First Collection of Merry Melodies"; page 7 - Set 9th, No. 2
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Ador
a |\
edef g2 fe | dGdB dGdg | edef g2 fe | dBgB A2 A>a |
edef g2 fe | dGdB dGdg | edef gage | dBgB A2- A ||
a |\
eAed eAAB | dGdB dGGg | eAed eAAB | dGdB A2 A>a |
eAed eAAB | dGdB dGGg | edef gbge | dBgB A2- A |]

“Am Muileann Dubh” - down low & other options

X: 9
T: Am Muilleann Dubh
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Edor
eA |\
B^ABc d/e/d cB | ADAF ADAd | B^ABc d2 cB | ADAF E2 eA |
B2 Bc d2 cB | AD F/E/D ADFd | B^ABc de/d/ cB | AFdF E2 ||
ed |\
BEB^A BEEF | ADAF ADDd | B^AB=A BEED | ADAF E2 ed |
B2 B^A BE E2 | ADDF ADFd | B3 c deBd | AdFd E2 |]

PM Donal MacLeods “The Black Mill”

Leafing through PM Donald Macleod’s book 6 I was rather taken with his arrangement of this;

X: 1
T: The Black Mill
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: HP
a | edef g2f<g | B<Gd>B d>GG>a | edef g2f<g | B<Gd>B A>AA>a |
edef g2f<g | B<Gd>B d>GG>a | edef gaeg | dBgB AA A ||
a | eAed eAAg | B<Gd>B d>BG>a | eAed eAAg | B<Gd>B A>AA>a |
edef g2 f>e | d<gB<g d<gB<a | edef gaeg | dBgB AA A ||

and smoothed out

X: 2
T: The Black Mill
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Ador
a | edef g2fg | BGdB dGGa | edef g2fg | BGdB AAAa |
edef g2fg | BGdB dGGa | edef gaeg | dBgB AA A ||
a | eAed eAAg | BGdB dBGa | eAed eAAg | BGdB AAAa |
edef g2 fe | dgBg dgBa | edef gaeg | dBgB AA A ||

The Oyster Wives’ Rant

There is a series of manuscripts in the Advocates Library in Edinburgh, and I think they’re available to download from somewhere, but I can’t remember where. Anyway, this tune is in one of them, where it is called "Jamies Reel".

The Oyster Wife’s Rant, X:9

From the playing of Wendy MacIsaac.