Would The Minister Not Dance? slip jig

Also known as Blind Billy, Nach Damhsadh Am Minister?, Nach Dannsadh Am Ministear.

There are 6 recordings of this tune.

Would The Minister Not Dance? has been added to 7 tune sets.

Would The Minister Not Dance? has been added to 53 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Would The Minister Not Dance?
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
e|:AAA A<Af ecA|AAA ece f2 e|AAA A<Af ecA|BBB Bce f2 e:|
a2 f ece ecA|a2 f ece f2 e|a2 f ece ecA|BBB Bce f2 e|
a2 f ece ecA|a2 f ece f2 e|a2 e f/=g/af ecA|BBB Bce f2 e||
X: 2
T: Would The Minister Not Dance?
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:a2 f ece ece|a2 f ece f2 e|a2 f ece ecA|c2 B Bce f2 e:|
|:A2 e ece ecA|c2 e ece f2 e|1 A2 e ece ecA|c2 B Bce f2 e:|
[2 A2 e ece ece|a2 f ece f2 e||

Twenty-four comments

Nach damhsadh am Minister?

Popular in Scottish sessions at the moment this slip jig follows Tending the Steer with a Heavy Heart om Finlay MacDonald’s album ‘Pressed for Time’.
Based on the setting that appears in The William Gunn Collection- first published 1848. Personally I like these two jigs played at a brisk pace.
I love the names of a lot of the tunes from this period. At a time when the church ruled Scotland with an iron fist, many of the tunes have humorous or suggestive titles.

and it’s relevance to Irish traditional music is………………..?

Posted by .

Reply to ^

oh my god it’s traditional does it matter that it’s not irish? This site has loads of tunes that aren’t irish!

Posted .

And your point is Kenny??? You live in Aberdeen - your relevence to Irish music is………..?

I find this occasional Irish trad seperatist thing very odd. There are hundreds and hundreds of Scottish tunes on the session.org. Also hundreds that nobody can say whether they are Scottish or Irish. In my experience in Scotland and Ireland the tunes have in the main been treated as more or less interchangable. In hundreds of sessions and gigs I have never come across this attitude in real life, only by the cyber pedantic.

This tune may be published under that name in 1848 but who’s to say it wasn’t originally Irish, or for that matter many famous Irish tunes, especially reels, may be originally Scottish.
At that time it was a lot easier for people from the western highlands of Scotland to go to Donegal than to Glasgow as the sea was still the main way of transport for Islanders. The two traditions are obviously joined at the hip despite this recent insular attitude.

Furthermore…many Irish tunes are heavily influenced by Norwegian folk music…listening to St Anne’s Reel reminds me of Norwegian stuff!

All the more reason to accept any un-Irish music on here ey Kenny (The scotsman who has a go at a scottish folk tune and the scotsman who puts an apostrophe on “its”)

Posted .

Norwegian? LOL.

Ah, Folkworks kid. That explains it.

Also LOL @ Kenny’s “relevance to Irish music”. It’s moments like this that make it worth coming back to this website for its entertainment value 😀

I second Kenny. No more posting of reels composed pre-1930, as they’re probably Scottish.

Ho ho

LOL I thought you were serious and barmy NameChangerRConfusing till I noticed none of your last 5 submissions have been Irish, four have been Scottish. Name Changes are not the only confusing thing on this site me thinks.
….more power to the spread of good tunes, wherever they’re from…

ha ha at bogman though Dow how how Dow does folkworks explain me saying the vikings taught the brits how to play reels??

Posted .

Don’t worry, Dan. Dow just seems to have an irrational dislike of anything Folkworks, or just anything cool for that matter. I think it’s cos he’s too old for it…

Fleeting, but…

in the second to last measure I like the sound of a G# instead of the natural.

Posted by .

Well pardon me all to hell. My relevance to Irish music, “bogman”, is I love it and play it and I resent the inference that I can’t because of where I was born. I thought we’d settled that long ago on this website, but apparently not. What about you ?
And why don’t you post us a few good Irish tunes ? - if you know any.
Irish music influenced by Norwegian music !!! - did they teach you that at “Folkworks”? I’d ask for my money back.
Sorry about the apostrophe - but it’s “Scotsman “and “Scottish” with capital letters if you insist on being a pedantic prick.

Posted by .

kenny you started this- there are a lot of great scottish tunes and this site is not called irishsession

Pardon us both to hell

I enjoyed your response Kenny. Come on now though - if you played a Scottish tune in Ireland, how would you feel if someone said ’ And the relevance to Irish music is?’ Unless you went to a really sh*tty place it just wouldn’t happen. I’ve played in Ireland many times as I’m sure you have yourself and found the Irish enthusiastic to swap tunes and hear stuff that was new to them. As you know, there are thousands of fantastic Scottish tunes and without a name or description attached, your man from Cork could be forgiven for thinking the tune was from Belfast or Mayo.

To quote Jeremy’s introduction - ‘The exchange of tunes is what keeps Irish music alive’. Same with Scottish. I’m sure Kenny that if we were in a bar behind a table with pints in front of us and armed with our instruments we could enjoy a tune without worrying about where they came from.

May I say, just for the record, that I have played with Kenny and, for those that don’t know, he is a highly accomplished player in both Irish and Scottish styles - which he keeps separate from one another. So he knows about what he speaks.

*But* where do we draw the line? If I heard the present tune in an Irish session, not having heard it before (which I haven’t), I don’t think it would strike me (or many other people) as non-Irish. So its relevance to Irish music is that it very much resembles it. According to my own lay observations, slip-jigs, being far less numerous in the repertoires of Irish musicians (although, as recent tune postings have shown us, there are many out there that seldom get played) than double jigs, hornpipes or reels, they haven’t undergone the same stylization in Ireland as the other tune forms. Countless reels have been imported to Ireland from Scotland and, owing to their popularity and the frequency wih which they have been played in Ireland, have evolved to sound characteristically Irish, often with the main clue to their origins being in their titles (Lord Gordon’s, The Perthshire Hunt etc.). Slip jigs, too, have travelled between Scotland and Ireland, but of those I have heard or seen in print, there is a large body that are not easily identifiable as belonging to either country.

But, like I said, Kenny knows what he’s talking about, so let him shoot me to the ground.

Bogman - I just looked at my profile. You’re right - none of my last 5 submissions are Irish (1 Scottish, 1 composed in Ireland by a Scotswoman, 1 from Shetland and 1 Breton). It’s not a conspiracy or anything. It’s just that i ran out of Irish tunes to post years ago, and I only submit tunes now if they’re of particular relevance to something that’s going on here (topic of discussion, relationship to another tune etc.). Perhaps I should submit a few Irish tunes just to clear my name…

Blind Billy

… is the name of what is probably the same tune in O’Neill’s 1850 (the tune is #1129). You can see the sheet music online here:


The G in the second measure of the A part sounds better to me if natural.

If others agree, I’ll add “Blind Billy” as an alternate title. There are some interesting differences to the version posted here.

Posted by .

Bodega version

Transcribed here from Bodega’s debut album.

X: 1
T: Nameless
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
R: slip jig
K: Amix
|: a2 f ece ece | a2 f ece f2 e | a2 f ece ecA | c2 B Bce f2 e :|
|: A2 e ece ecA | c2 e ece f2 e | [1 A2 e ece ecA | c2 B Bce f2 e :|
[2 A2 e ece ece | a2 f ece f2 e |]


…this certainly had a lot of debate attached…

Anyway, just found this tune with Finlay Macdonald, Julie Fowlis, Jarlath Henderson, Chris Stout, Duncan Chisholm and co. on Dà-Fhillte on BBC Alba - love it!

Robert Millar version

Very similar to Roger the Rogue, which appears in the Robert Millar MS 1830. Millar’s book has a mix of tunes for Northumbrian smallpipes and Union pipes.

Robert Millar version

The tune is in Robert Millar’s Highland manuscript, not his Union/Northumberland MS. Most of the tunes are for Highland pipes, but a few seem to be for Union pipes, including this one.

T:Rich the Rogue’s Reel
S:Robert Millar’s Highland Manuscript c.1830
d3 d2B AFD|d3 d2A B2A|d2A Bcd AFD|EEE G2A B2A:|