My Wife’s My Own slip jig

Also known as Liom Féin Amháin Mo Bheansa, Liom FéinAmháin Mo Bheansa.

There is 1 recording of this tune.

My Wife’s My Own appears in 1 other tune collection.

My Wife’s My Own has been added to 26 tunebooks.

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One setting

Sheet Music
Sheet Music

Fourteen comments

In Brendan Breathnach “Ceol Rince na hEireann” IV

I used to play this tune for years and I just discover its name to day in the Breathnach’s collection.

“Ceol Rince na h”Éireann IV” (4)

Breandán Breathnach
An Gúm, Dublin, 1996
ISBN: 1-85791-143-1

Page 22, #44:
“Liom FéinAmháin Mo Bheansa” / “My Wife’s My Own”

The exact transcription given here…

Source for notated version: fiddler and uilleann piper Stephen Grier, Farnaght, County Leitrim, who wrote his manuscripts in the 1880’s… ~ Breathnach

“My Wife’s My Own” ~ another key and another way

X: 1134
T: My Wife’s My Own
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
R: slip jig
K: B Dorian
F2 B B2 c d2 B | F2 B- B2 d cBA |
F2 B B2 c d2 B | c2 A A2 d cBA :|
F2 f f2 e d2 B | F2 B- B2 d cBA |
F2 f f2 e d2 B | c2 A A2 d cBA :|

The exact transcription

The setting I wrote is the exact transcription of what I play. I learned it from a classical violin player who probably got it from a written source (she says O‘Neills 1001, but I don’t find it in this book). I use to play it in a medley with Garreg’s ’Wedding

I Ha‘e A Wife O’ My Ain

Sounds an awful lot like the Burns song:

I ha‘e a wife o’ my ain,
I’ll partake wi’ naebody,
I’ll tak cuckold frae nane,
I’ll gi’e cuckold tae naebody.
I ha’e a penny tae spend,
There, thanks tae naebody,
I ha’e naething tae lend,
I’ll borrow frae naebody.

I am naebody’s lord,
I’ll be slave tae naebody;
I ha’e a guid broad sword,
I’ll tak’ dunts frae naebody,
I’ll be merry and free,
I’ll be sad for naebody,
If naebody cares for me,
I’ll care for naebody.

Don’t know whether the tune predates that or not but it has been around for a long time this side of the Irish sea!

E minor or A dorian ?

I wrote the tune in E minor because I feel that the ending note should be E though It’s possible to finish with an A.
Anyway, both modes have an F#, so the tune is played in the scale of G.

A dorian

I wouldn’t care *what* note you ended it on - it’s still in A dorian, as written out, not E minor. And you don’t play it in the scale of G; you play it in the mode of A dorian.

I’ve noticed before that people get hung up on what the ending note is, and think that that’s what determines the mode. It isn’t. Maybe I’ll start a discussion thread … or isn’t it of enough general interest?

Ben, that’s not you getting pedantic about the rules of harmony, is it? I thought you were of the opinion that anything goes, and nothing has to resolve…

Ah, but it’s not about harmony, Dow. It’s about what mode a melody is in, irrespective of what note it ends on. I haven’t got time to search now, but you will know yourself that there are tunes on this site which are clearly in Amix but which, because they *end*, as opposed to resolve, on an E, are listed as being in Edor (!!?!) That’s just one example …

But I think I’d have to hold my hands up to pedantry on this one anyway. Largely because this is something that matters hugely to me, but I have to accept seems to matter not one jot to almost anyone else.

And guess why it matters? Well, partly, *purely* for pedantic reasons, but partly at least because it affects what guitarists and others play with the tune. For instance, I have a guitarist who seems tempermentally averse to playing Emin chords in Amix tunes. Why? They’re often the right chord. Similarly, if he thought the tune was in Emin (he wouldn’t know Edor if it bit him) he would find it hard to play an Amaj chord. Again, why?

Anyway, back to work …


A Dorian ~ another for the count, now out in the open ~ 😎

Alright you two, at least I had the courtesy to send the poor lad a email quietly. But you two, no, you have to keep up the tiff about harmony, from discussion to discussion and even in the comments of several tunes… Maybe some folks are comfortable with their ignorance? Give the lad some space, awareness and understanding can take time, more time the more stubborn we are, and for some there may be no hope, but I like to keep some faith that knowledge and understanding will in most cases wash away the contrary…

Yes Pierre, you could finish it on just about anything you chose, and the best choice after the tonic, which is A, as in A Dorian, is the dominant, or E, the fifth, but it doesn’t fully resolve on E but is left slightly haging there begging for the next step to, quess where? ~ A…


I wasn’t getting at Pierre. It’s just that it’s not in E minor, and this being a public space, I think it is right for *someone* at least to point that out. Publicly. Just so happens it was me.

And as for poor old Dow. All he did was make a small joke at my expense.

Anyway, the point I made - again - above: is it worth a new discussion?

No. Thought not. A pity.

Discussion: ~ ~ ~ 😀

Sorry Ben, I was getting at you two just as a wind-up… I’ve actually been harder on poor Dow behind the scenes. He hasn’t written me in more than 24 hours now, not since my last email. I’m worried. I wasn’t wanting to push the poor lad over the edge…

Another discussion eh? ~ alright, then come on, have at it, but word it in a way to drag Dow into the fray. It has been ages since we last dealt with key signatures and uncredited rip-offs and daft ABCing…