Jig Of Life jig

There is 1 recording of this tune.

Jig Of Life has been added to 2 tune sets.

Jig Of Life has been added to 61 tunebooks.

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One setting

Sheet Music
Sheet Music
Sheet Music
Sheet Music

Fourteen comments

Kate Bush

This tune is from Kate Bush’s album ‘The Hounds of Love’, the sleevenotes give a credit for ‘finding’ the tune but I’ve never heard it anywhere else and I’ve no idea where it was ‘found’ …. any thoughts?

Kate Bush’s Jig of Life

I’ve just posted ‘The Jig of Life’ from Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds of Love’ album. The albums sleevenotes credit someone with ‘finding’ the tune, any idea where it was found? or was it written especially?
Great tune, sounds oddly authentic and oddly neo …..
any thoughts?

Re: Kate Bush’s Jig of Life

i’m pretty sure it was written by her brother paddy.

Re: Kate Bush’s Jig of Life

really? does he play? cos it was obviously written by someone who knows what they’re doing …. they probably celebrated celtic festivals in the Bush household growing up.

Re: Kate Bush’s Jig of Life


I think that was a joke from pavlf…..

Re: Kate Bush’s Jig of Life

No I always thought it was written by her brother too

Re: Kate Bush’s Jig of Life

no, it wasn’t a joke. Paddy Bush is on several of Kate’s albums. He plays all sorts of instruments (passably) and was apparantly the formative folky influence on her music … like he’s the bloke that got her into lunny, spillane, kevin burke and then bulgarian stuff later on. I’m more or less certain that he wrote the tune.

Re: Kate Bush’s Jig of Life

so there!

oh? this was obviously not suitable for a discussion thread? Funny? I thought it might have been. Fair enough.

yeah, we’ve been relegated to the deep dark depts of the tunes comments …. so, to discuss the tune (and not the composer) it does seem like he studied some advanced trad theory and then put it into practice, the modal shift, the syncopated run and the hangover bar at the end … hangover bar, good name for a pub!


This is great tune—and I’ve always liked side two of Hounds of Love—but I find this fiendishly tricky to play. That’s not a criticism of the tune; I think I’m just really out of practice.

Does anyone else find this one tying their fingers up in knots?

Composed by John Sheehan, I believe

As far as I know, John Sheehan composed the jig bit that is transcribed here, but I might be wrong.

I just fed < ‘John Sheehan’ ‘jig of life’ > into Google: nothing came. At any rate, the Hounds of Love was published in 1985…
Her brother or herself are the most likely composers of the tune unless it was ‘found’ or refined by the Irish instrumentists during the studio-sessions?
At any rate, most of the c’s in this tune, as played on the album, are natural except for the 1st 2 -in the 1st and 5th bar- (both #) with a tricky cut there for the whistle player: try the ‘brushing’ method: brush up and down over the top 3 holes with your left fingers…)
It is played with no repeats but an unexpected extra bar, both feature making it seem at once short and long (just like life?).
+ If you feel it needs ‘squaring’ why not try: FDA EBd | edc bag ||
as the last 2 bars instead of the last 3?

Just heard this played. The sleeve notes say:

“‘Jig of Life’: Original music discovered by Paddy Bush”.

Which might be Paddy’s way of saying he composed it, or it might not be…..

It also says:

“All Irish arrangements by Bill Whelan”.
The other musicians on the track are:

Drums - Stuart Elliott, Charlie Morgan;
Fiddles, Whistles - John Sheahan;
Bouzouki, Bodhran - Donal Lunny;
Uilleann Pipes - Liam O’Flynn;
Bass - Del Palmer;
Dijeridu [sic] - Paddy Bush;
Narration by John Carder Bush.