Jim Ward’s, a.k.a. Ward’s Favourite
I’ve never met Jim (that’s a joke), but Ward’s Favourite is one of my favourites too. I first heard it at the Dora Keogh Sessions in Toronto, and it bit me immediately. There’s a lovely version of it on Danu’s All Things Considered. It’s not terribly tricky to play but a strong melody and thus very gratifying. My first submission to The Session!
—-Michael Bolton (no, not that one)
Fine tune Mr Bolton, a local publican in Rhode Island is a direct decendant of the famous musical Ward family. His pub is "Ward’s Pub" (makes sense), it’s either in East Greenwich or the Apponaug Section of Warwick (depending who you ask). If you get him started your in for a Lietrim Music history lesson. His name is Tom Ward ("Tom Ward’s Downfall" was another Tom Ward who was in his immediate family line). His pub has a good session on Sunday nights & is led by Skip Healy one week & Tom Maguire the next. I’ve had some great craic there, many lurkers on this site attend regularly.
I believe this tune was composed by Jim Ward himself. Fair play to him to be able to compose his own favourite tune. He was a tenor banjo player, so it is one of the few tunes established in the tradition which is a true ‘banjo tune’.
Jim Ward’s Jig
This jig is a great favourite in County Clare and Jim Ward was a member of the original Kilfenora Ceili Band (ie 1950s as there were also bands from Kilfenora dating back to 1905!). I believe Jim also played flute as well as the banjo.
Interesting—everyone around here (San Francisco) calls this "Tom Ward’s". Go to know it was written by Jim Ward though—thanks for the info.
I learnt this tune recently in a local workshop under the name "The Clare Jig". The version I was taught is very similar to that already posted, but with a few minor differences as follows,
G3 G2B|AGE GED|GFG AGE|GED D2E|
G3 G2B|AGE GAB|cBA BGE|1 DED DEF:|2 DED D3|
|:c2A BAG|ABA AGE|c2A BGE|DED DAB|
c2A BAG|ABA ABc|dcA AGE|1 DED D3:|2 DED DEF||
The long notes (G3, G2 etc) and repeated notes (A-A) give plenty of scope for ornamentation. This lovely lilting tune is a little out of the ordinary in that it lies entirely within the compass of one octave. Many other tunes with a first half in the lower register would have gone into a second octave for the second half.
Jim Ward’s Jig
At our sessions we normally follow this with the Blarney Pilgrim and then the Cook in the Kitchen.
see Paddy Keenan’s Long Grazing Acre album where he plays the blarney pilgrim and the clare jig (jim/tom ward’s). Took a while to find the dots- gonna see how well I learned it by ear
it’s his own favourite, it’s a class above the rest, and one of my favourites too _a similar ‘reel’ example that springs to mind is Martin Whynn who, when asked his favourite tune of all time, replied with his own ”No. 2” ( _which is of the same class and another great favourite of mine)
back now to this one, and we use this cracking G jig to end a set (_it’s a strong finisher), starting with the Yellow Wattle (D modal) into Garrett Barry’s (D), a familiar old favourite
thanks Jimmy Ward
Key of D
Lunasa does this tune in D and it sounds really cool in that key.
Capercaillie recorded this in D after Balindore on Sidewaulk calling it "Irish Jig". I added the tune not spotting it already being in here (despite having learned Jimmy Ward’s before and having a moment of stupidity and forgetfullness - oops).
Anyway here is the transcription I added as I suspect my submission will now be deleted.
T: Jim Ward’s/Irish Jig
|: d3 def | edB dBA | d3 edB | dBA A3 |
d3 def | edB def | g2 e fdB | AAA A3 :|
|: g2 e fed | efe edB | g2 e fdB | BAB def |
g2 e fed | efe efg | age edB | dBA A3 :|
I have also now added the name "Irish" to the alternative names here so it links to Sidewaulk in the recordings section.
The Ward Family
Hello, my name is Mary Ward from County Clare in Ireland. My son happened to find this board on the internet by chance. I am Tom Ward’s (of the original Kilfenora Ceili Band) daughter, Jim Ward was my uncle. I’m just wondering if there are other Wards in America there that might be decended from our family that we might not have known about! I saw the piece about Ward’s Pub above and have sent a note to the owner to see if he is in fact a newly found relative!
Heard Paddy O’Brien in concert the other night, who played this jig. He told a story that Jim Ward was a brilliant flute player, but lost his teeth so had to switch to the banjo. The concert then kinda fell into one story after another of Irish players who had to give up flute due to losing their teeth - one story of a fella who made his own set of wooden teeth he put in at sessions just to play flute!
He then added, with a great smile on his face, that the Irish are damned proud of their "dental diversity"! Cracked me up.
Jim Wards in D
Glad to know Capercaillie set the precedent for playing this tune in D. I dinna feel so bad now. Here is the setting I suggested for our local sesh:
T: Jim Ward’s
|: ~d3 def | edB dBA | ddd edB
|dBA ABc | ~d3 def | edB def |
|gfe fdB |1 ABA ABc:|2 ABA A2f||
|:g2e f2d | ~e3 edB | gfe fdB |
|Ace Aef |g2e f2d | ~e3 efg |
|agf edB |1 dBA A2f :|2 dBA ABc ||
it goes on pipes in D
I believe this is Jim Ward lilting the piece…
My Jimmy Ward’s
T: Gan Ainm
|: d>cd ede | fdB AFA | d>cd ede | fdB A2A |
d>cd ede | fed def | g>fe ded |1 BAA A2B :|2 BAA Aef |
|: g3 f3 | ede fed | g>ag fed | BAA Aef |
| g>bg faf | ede fef | g>fe ded |1 BAA Aef :| 2 BAA A3|
Your Jimmy Ward’s?? Is this your own personal setting of the tune or is it how you learned it as it is played round your way or what?
I have been been whistling and posted it as an unnamed tune. Dr. Dow pointed out that it is Jim Ward’s,so I put my abc’s here.
The mystery to me is where I ever learned it because I know I don’t have a recording of it and don’t have it in notation. I may have picked it up from TG4 since I watch hours of music on that station. So yes, as far as I know, it’s my own setting.
I’m not sure why it says that this tunes is on the Planxty Live 2004 album, because it most certainly is not.
someone has listed "The Clare Jig" as an alternative title, and a tune called "The Clare" jig is track 3 on "Planxty 2004" - the link is made automatically.
This tune can be played in D as posted above; it’s a useful version if you’re a Scottish Piper.
It can also be played in Amajor, without any 7th, on the flute:
T: Jim Ward’s
A3 ABc|BAF AFE|AAA BAF|AFE E2F|
AAA ABc|BAF ABc|dcB cAF|1 EFE EFE:|2 EFE E2E||
dcB cBA|BcB BAF|dcB cAF|EFE EFA|
dcB cBA|BBA Bcd|edB BAF|1 AFE E2c :|2 AFE EFG||
X: 7 "Jimmy Ward’s Favourite"
From the fiddling of Kevin Burke, though he does favour rolling various beats, as on G ~ |: ~G3 G2 B | ~ etc…
Pat Ward’s is elsewhere?
I changed the default name to Jimmy Ward’s (was Pat Ward’s) because the jig of that name, written by Jimmy Ward, corresponds to most (if not all) of the variants on this page. References: Andy McGann, Eileen Ivers, Lunasa, etc.
Pat Ward’s is a single jig or slide, with the same tune as the Doon Reel.
Pat Ward’s Slide
Pat Ward’s Slide is at https://thesession.org/tunes/1964
A tin whistle version here
A tin whistle version here
Paddy Glackin’s rendition
I heard this tune for the first time at a session in Saskatoon….looked it up on the web and found this charming delivery of the jig.
Jimmy Ward’s, X:9
This makes a good harmony to the version in G and D major.
Re: Jimmy Ward’s
Here’s a great version by the Will Pound band
Can anybody help me (a newbie) with identifying the key they’re playing in and the chords the guitarist is using?
Re: Jimmy Ward’s
Playing in A major, I think. Never tried it in that key, but it works well enough.
Jim Ward’s, X:12
Transcription: gian marco pietrasanta
Jim Ward’s, X:13
as learned from piper Rolf Knüsel, Munich