The tune itself
Ok…when I play up in Fall River, Massachusetts, this is how I play the tune. First in D, then G, then A (obviously). I figured I’d spread the trend and put all three versions on here.
Playing in all those different keys isn’t an unusual way of playing this tune. In fact, I’ve never heard it played any other way *except* with all those key changes.
The only thing is; I’m sure there’s another part to this tune at the very end that sort of brings it back around to the first part.
The Sniff of Punch
Yes, Jeremy. After being played in A, it usually goes back to D, but in the higher octave, then there is a bridging part which brings it back to low D, and it starts all over again.
In my experience, this version tends to be frowned ujpon by the more traditional of traditional musicians. I have a strong suspicion it was originally learned from a commercial recording. Can anyone shed any light on this?
There are a number of two- and three- part settings, one of which features in Kevin Burke’s monster 20-tune set on his 1978 album, ‘If the Cap Fits’.
Pinch of snuff
I first came across the 9-part version - that’s "low" D - G - A -"high" D and an extra part bringing it back to "low" D - played by Seamus Tansey(flute) and Andrew Davey(fiddle) on the "Music From The Coleman County" LP recorded in1972. I had assumed it was a Sligo version of a reel more commonly associated with Co.Donegal.
The "big" version is not nearly as common these days as it was in the 80s (at least in Scotland), and it’s years since I heard this version played in Ireland.
I found the missing part, which you tag onto the last "D" part. Here’s how it goes:
|: fgfe dcdB | AFDF AFD=c | BGBd =cBcG |1 ED=CD EFGe :|2 E=CEF GBAG ||
I always put this tune and The Star of Munster together, its a great little set.
Donegal and Sligo
I identified this tune as a piece of sheet music a friend had given me, in a packet of tunes a friend had transcribed from Donegal seisiuns. While Burke and a lot of other people do seem to play the "extended version", I had to argue with my friend about it. The Donegal sheet music just had it in D: the A and B parts (with a typical recurring Donegal sharp in the B part), then Josh Kane’s "missing part" as the C part. The A part up an octave was listed as an optional variation.
I sent my friend the link to this discussion, so that argument’s settled. Just thought y’all’d be interested in the stylistic discrepancy, in case anyone tries to give you the old "it’s not played that way" line.
In sum: It’s played both ways. Donegal version is 3 parts in D, Sligo goes into all the other keys.
Different fifth part
I have picked up by ear a different fifth part which is probably the one mention by quirl as "frowned on". It goes something like:
|: f6 e2 | d6 B2 | A6 F2 | D2F2 A2F2 | D2F2 A2B2 | c6 A2 | G2E2E4 | c2E2G2E2 :|
Sounds like Jimmy Shand to me. is it Jimmy Shand? I like it.
I think Gallopede’s is the commonly used one, except it’s twice that speed ie |: f3e d3B | A3F DFAF | etc
There’s an other version at;
+Check out the Crickard brothers’s version in the recordings section.
Who called this "The Wise Maid"? Come on, own up!! If I ever find you then you better run!! >:-(
BTW - that is an angry smiley - not someone wearing a christmas hat the wrong way up! :-)
There is another tune on this site called "The Wise Maid" and it is still not the one I am after. This is what happens when you revisit music you printed out a few years ago and assigned to the "be able to play when you are old and grey" pile. You find out the reason you couldn’t play it is that it is the wrong bloody tune. The piper playing the tune is not so full of magic that it sounds completely different from the dots - it is just it is a different bl**dy tune and I was too rubbish to reaise.
Never mind - I have the real "The Wise Maid" now and I may post it on here to prove a point and confuse other beginners even more!! :-D (better do a proper check first though to make sure no one has posted it under another random name like "The Stupid Butler"!!!!
Actually, as it has changed the right hand side into a smiley it looks more like an unhappy guy being stabbed in the ear - that’ll do nicely!!
The Wise Maid
While I agree that the tune commonly known as the Wise Maid is a different one, i have at least one recording that names this tune "The Wise Maid". For anyone who is searching the usual Wise Maid, which is also known as Doherty’s, here’s the link:
The Wise Maid: https://thesession.org/tunes/118
Liam O´Flynn´s version
T:Pinch of Snuff, The
D:Sean Keane, Liam O’Flynn, Matt Molloy: The Fire Aflame
D:Tommy Keane: The Piper’s Apron
afge d2dB|ADFD EFGB|AGAB =cBcd|eA (3B^cd efge:|
|:f2df afdf|~f2df efge|1 f2df afdf|eA (3B^cd efge:|2 ~f3a afdf|eA (3B^cd efge||
|:a2ge fd (3Bcd|ADFD EF~G2|~A3B =c3d|1 ed (3B^cd ef~g2:|2 ed (3B^cd efge||
|:f2~f2 afdf|~f2df efge|f2df afdf|1 ed (3B^cd efge:|2 ed (3B^cd ef~g2
// Muilleann Na Maidí
check this tune too, this might be the definitive version you are looking for:
Muilleann Na Maidí (The crushing of the twigs) https://thesession.org/tunes/3080
Could someone put up the full tune with the missing parts? I’m surprised nobody has edited the original dots or submitted new sheet music. Please not ABC notation. Thanks!
Manus McGuire setting
Here’s a setting from Manus McGuire of Sligo, now residing in County Clare. He taught this at a workshop at the 2013 Dublin Irish Fest in Dublin, Ohio, along with the other reel that’s also entitled The Pinch of Snuff, found at https://thesession.org/tunes/2610
T: The Pinch of Snuff
S: Manus Maguire (2013 Dublin Irish Fest workshop)
~F2 DF EFDF | ~F2 DF EFGE | ~F2 DF EFDF | GABG EFGE :|
DFAF BF AF | DFAF EA,CE | DFAF BFAF |1 G2 BG EFGE :|2 G2 BG EFGA |]
~f2 fe dcdB | ABAF DFAF | (3EFG AB =cBcA | ~G2 E=C G,CEA :|
~f2 df efdf | ~f2 df efge | ~f2 df efdf | gabg efge :|
dfaf bfaf | dfaf eAce | dfaf bfaf | gabg efge :|
fgfe dedB | ABAF DFAF | (3EFG AB =cBcA | ~G2 E=C G,CE A :|
The Pinch Of Snuff, X:7
My version of this cute tune.
Re: The Pinch Of Snuff
Truck driver’s gear box ultimative way :-)
Re: The Pinch Of Snuff
Naasal or oral?
Re: The Pinch Of Snuff
Joe fidkid’s setting from 2013 (X: 5) is, I believe, the common Donegal setting. If you haven’t heard it played by two or more fiddlers alternately playing in octaves, you’re really missing out!