Ass In The Graveyard
This tune was given to me by a brilliant Scottish piper Dave Patterson. I believe it was written by T.Tully. It’s a fun tune to play.
I’ve been teaching this tune in whistle classes in Aberdeen for a few years. It was composed by Terry Tully [ who also composed "The Pumpkin’s Fancy" , and many other fine tunes ]. Terry is probably the best composer in Ireland for tunes on the Highland bagpipes.
I did hear a story about the title of this tune - don’t know if it’s true or not. Apparently the original title was to be "The Mass In The Graveyard", which makes more sense. Terry played it for his father, who asked him the tune name, but mis-heard it as "The Ass In The Graveyard", and the title stuck.
I once did a "Google" on "Ass" and "Graveyard" to try to find a transcription, and got some very strange results !
Not played much in Ireland, unfortunately, but both "Battlefield band " and "Tannahill Weavers" have recorded it, along with many others.
Phil Smillie and the "Tannies’" piper used to keep it up their sleeves for the moment in a concert when someone broke a string. They would play it on Eb and Bb whistles as a duet until the string was replaced.
with a Renaissance-like flavor. And, thanks for the interesting info!
Ass In the Graveyard
Magic on the box
I play it in G.
I have played the pipes since I was ten so that is 36 years worth and all of my family struggle to believe that this is a tune written for the big pipe.
Class tune, funny enough I heard a different story on how it got its name: Terry was on his way to a funeral via bus and when he was getting off the bus he asked the driver where the funeral was starting, to which the driver replied in a thick northern irish accent "ah’ its in the graveyard" which sounded like ass in the graveyard. Both stories could be true but both are good banter anyways!
Waltz: "The Ass in the Graveyard" ~ C: Terry Tully
"Tannahill Weavers: Mermaid Song"
track 11: The Ass in the Graveyard
"Kenny and Phil would normally reserve this tune for any of those horrendous times on stage when Roy or Les break a string. In order to give them time to make the change, this waltz, with the unusual title of The Ass in the Graveyard is slotted in as a sort of emergency number. However many people have asked us if it’s on any of our recordings. Well! Here it is, for all you people out there who love to hear the soaring sounds of the pennywhistles."
"The Ass in the Graveyard" - small pipe solo
Performed by Julie Brinklow
The Ass In The Graveyard, X:2
By Tommy Tully
Terry Tully, not Tommy. Coincidentally, I was playing this yesterday with a piper from near Aberdeen. He had heard the same origin of the tune title as I posted above 7 years ago.
Re: The Ass In The Graveyard
What make of small pipes are being played here?
Re: The Ass In The Graveyard
This is a fantastic tune. The version I have has some interesting syncopation that makes it less waltz-like and more … I dunno. It’s a recording by the band Cantrip out of Vermont.