The Praties They Grow Small hornpipe

Also known as Step By Step.

There is 1 recording of a tune by this name.

The Praties They Grow Small has been added to 12 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: The Praties They Grow Small
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
E2F2|G2F2 E2^D2|E4 E2F2|E4 E2F2|
E4 E2F2|G2F2 G2A2|B4 A2B2|c2B2 A2G2|
F4 E2F2|G2F2 E2^D2|E4 E2F2|E4 E2F2|E4|
X: 2
T: The Praties They Grow Small
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
W: with slow march feel
F2A2|B3c B2A2|F4 d2d2|d4 c2B2|(c4 c4 | c4) d2c2 |
B3c B2A2|F4 F2A2|(B4 B4 | B4) |: B2c2 |
d3A d2 e2| f4 g2f2| e3c A2c2 | e4 d2c2|
|B3c B2A2|F4 d2d2|d4 e2d2|(c4 c4 | c4) d2c2 |
B3c B2A2|F2E2 F2A2|(B4 B4 | B4) :|

Eleven comments

This is not a hornpipe. I only call it a hornpipe to get it into the proper 4/4 time signature.
I found this in a school textbook of mostly American tunes. The book says it’s an Irish folk song.

Small Potatoes

Sounds more like an Air of a tune, does it have repeats or is it played as is?

I don’t know about repeats, but it does have three verses. I guess it could be an air.
Here are the lyrics:
"Oh, the praties they grow small over here, over here, Oh, the praties they grow small, and we dig them in the fall, And we eat them coats and all, over here, over here.
Oh, I wish that we were geese, night and morn, night and morn, Oh I wish that we were geese, for they fly and take their ease, And they live and die in peace, eatin’ corn, eatin’ corn.
Oh, we’re hoping for the day over here, over here, Oh we’re hoping for the day when to others we can say, This is home and here we’ll stay, over here, over here."

Now where down into the dust, over here, over here, noe where down into the dust, over here, now where down into the dust, and the lord in whom whe trust, will repay us crumb for crust, over here, over here.

Irish Lyrics

I much prefer this version, but then I’m biased

óró, ‘s na prataí ag fás drochdhathach, drochdhathach,
bhainimis san fhómhar iad,
‘nois alpaimid a gcraiceann ‘s gach,
óró, ‘s na prataí ag fás drochdhathach, drochdhathach,

translation (as it is a little different):
oro, the potatoes are growing sickly, sickly,
we used to harvest them in the fall,
now we devour their skin and all
oro, the potatoes are growing sickly, sickly

no word on the other verses yet but I’ll see

An excellent recording

Album: Éigse DhiarmuidÍn, track 9/17, sung (in English) by The Voice Squad.

Step By Step

The tune has been used to set these words:

Step by step the longest march
can be won, can be won
Many stones can form an arch,
singly none, singly none
And by union what we will
can be accomplished still
Drops of water turn a mill,
singly none, singly none.

from the preamble to the constitution of the United Mineworkers of America (/ Ruthie Gorton)

The ambitus of this song doesn’t rich the octave.

Hence the chant quality..

Ambitus of “The Praties”

I seem to recall hearing this song to a different melody, in the song, "Ye Jacobites By Name" (lend an ear, lend an ear), as sung by (English/Scottish) Margaret Christl. I heard another fine woman singer from Inishowen, Kate Crossan, sing it as "The Praties.." with similar melody. Their melody is just posted.
Sung their way, the ambitus of the tune is perfect, ie., exactly one octave, or pluperfect, one note over. For example, they might’ve sung it in Bm, with the top & bottom notes an F#, or maybe a high G for a little more expression.
In their renditions, the melody doesn’t resolve on one of the lower two notes, so according to Wikipedia, perhaps the tune is in a Plagal mode..
(no pun intended)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_mode#Plagal_mode

<Doctor-cap on>

Though I’ve only heard the "Jacobites" & "praties they grow small over here, over here" versions, I quite like those United Mineworker lyrics, too.. Thanks for posting!

The Praties They Grow Small, X:2

1840s Famine song, long in public domain..
"Slow march" tempo captures the feel more than "hornpipe."