The Caves Of Kiltanon jig

By Paddy Canny

Also known as Fingal’s Cave, Fingals Cave.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

The Caves Of Kiltanon has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Caves Of Kiltanon has been added to 95 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: The Caves Of Kiltanon
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gdor
G2 F|:DGA B2 c|dgf dcA|BDd cBA|BDG FDC|
DGA B2 c|dgf dcA|BDd cBA|1 BDF G2 F:|2 BDF G2 D||
Gga bag|afd cBA|BDd cBA|BAG AFD|
Gga bag|afd cBc|dba gfd|gdf ~g3|
dga bag|afd cBA|BDd cBA|BAG AFD|
BdB ~c3|dba gfd|BDd cBA|BDF G2 A|
BGd BGd|AFc AFA|BGd BGB|daf ~g3|
bag agf|gfd cBA|BDd cBA|BDF G2 A|
BGd BGd|AFc AFA|BGd BGB|daf ~g3|
bag agf|dgf dcA|BDd cBA|BDF G3||
X: 2
T: The Caves Of Kiltanon
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gdor
A|BGd (3BAG d2|AFc (3AGF A2|
X: 3
T: The Caves Of Kiltanon
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
A2 G|:EAB c2 d|eag edB|cEe dcB|cEA GED|
EAB c2 d|eag edB|cEe dcB|1 cEG A2 G:|2 cEG A2 E||
Aab c'ba|bge dcB|cEe dcB|cBA BGE|
Aab c'ba|bge dcd|ec'b age|aeg ~a3|
eab c'ba|bge dcB|cEe dcB|cBA BGE|
cec ~d3|ec'b age|cEe dcB|cEG A2 B|
|:cAe cAe|BGd BGB|cAe cAc|ebg ~a3|
c'ba bag|age dcB|cEe dcB|cEG A2 B:|
X: 4
T: The Caves Of Kiltanon
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmix
GF|:DGA (A_B) c|dgf dcA|_BDd c=BA|BAG FDC|
DGA (A_B) c|dgf dcA|_BDd c=BA|1 BDF G2 F:|2 BDF G2 D||
Gga bag|a^fd ~cBA|BDd cBA|BAG AFD|
Gga bag|a^fd ~cBc|dba g^fd|gd^f ~g3||
dga bag|a^fd ~cBA|BDd cBA|BAG AFD|
BDB ~cBc|dba gfd|BDd cBA|BDF G2 A||
_BGd BGd|AFc AFA|_BGd BGB|da^f ~g3|
_bag ag^f|g^fd cBA|BDd cBA|BDF G2 A|
_BGd BGd|AFc AFA|_BGd =BGB|daf ~g3|
_bag ag^f|dgf dcA|BDd cBA|BDF G2 F||

Twelve comments

Caves of Kiltanon

This is a lovely tune written by Paddy Canny (a wonderful East Clare fiddler). I learned this off his solo album, which I’ve put in the recording section. From the liner notes: (it) “epitomizes the distinct and spellbinding beauty of that style and attests to the indisputable brilliance of its finest exponent”.

The tune is in 3 parts. As I’ve written it, it is played AABC. It could have been an AABBCC but I liked the differences in the version on the CD between the repeats of the B and C parts so I wrote them out completely.

Paddy’s ornamentation adds a lot to the tune but, in keeping with the recent thread, I left most of it out (and also because I couldn’t quite figure out how to ABC notate his ornamentations 🙂. For example, in the A part, Paddy does a some of sort of slide thingys - it sounds really neat, particularly on the AB in the middle of the first (full) measure. To me, it seems different from a normal slide, kind of a lingering on the A and slowing changing to the B (flat). There are also a lot of triplets and cuts. In part A, you could do the 4th measure like this:


For the one of common phrases in the tune


You can put a cut on the B ( sort of hold the B, cut with a d then back to the B - I couldn’t figure out how to do it in ABC) - done the way that Paddy does it, it make the B take a tad bit more time, giving a nice sort of melancholy, lazy feel. You can do the same thing in the 4th measure, instead of, or in addition to, the triplet.

Another common phrase is (for example, measure 2 of part B):

D | Gga bag | afd cB

You can put a triplet in on the c like this:

D | Gga bag | afd (3cdc B

Then there are these separately-bowed triplets that go so fast you almost can’t hear them. In the 1st and 2nd measures of part C, the phrases:

A | BGd BGd | AFc AFA |

are done kind of like this:

A | BGd (3BAG d2 | AFc (3AGF A2 |

I find this tune fascinating to play, there’s just something about it that keeps me interested. I highly recommend the CD to everyone, Paddy’s playing is wonderful, I only wish he had more CDs (there is one other with him and a bunch of other players - follow the amazon link from the recording page and it will show up).

Thanks to to Will for his Modes and Key signatures chart - I think I might have even gotten the key right! (and thanks to you too, Zina, for putting it up on your web site).


Liz Carroll Version

I found a Liz Carroll version of this tune entitled “Paddy Canny’s Jig” in which she adds accidentals of F# and B natural in the B part. She Repeats the B part with a second ending going back to the key signature. She also repeats the C phrase. Glad you posted this original version. I think playing these two versions back to back will sound great and make some heads turn with the accidentals the second time through.

Steve Maurice

i think this might actually have been composed by Bobby Casey.. Does anyone know more about this lovely tune?

Paddy Canny

I found a recording of this tune on Paddy Canny’s CD Traditional Music From The East Clare Fiddler at Custy’s music in Ennis, Co. Clare. There is a website to order the CD:
The entire CD is fantastic.

The 3rd part is in the form of a Baroque variation that has been used, amongst other pieces, in Greensleeves.

Corrected spelling

Sorry… Mary Mac Namara !

The Caves Of Kiltanon, X:4

Here’s as close as I can come to Paddy Canny’s version. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a B is flat or natural or if an F is natural or sharp. Some of them might be a bit ambiguous. For example, in the 3rd measure of the 7th and 9th lines, the second B sounds flat the first time and natural the second time, but I’m not completely sure. There are slides from the A to the B flat in the first part.

I notated it in G Mix to minimize the number of accidentals, but I’m not sure if that’s helpful or misleading to accompanists. It seems to shift between Dorian and Major, but perhaps it never lands in Mixolydian on the way.