A sweet Jig
I learned this up in a Jersey session about 11 years ago. The folks were great although I have long since forgotten their names, except for Mike. Mike played the accordian very well. I dropped out of the session playing for 20th time. I didn’t know the Trip to the Cottage. He gave me an evil eye and told me I had better start playing along. I forgot the precise words of the threat but I will always remember that session in his back yard.
This tune has a particular use, as it is the tune that goes with the ceili dance "Trip to the Cottage" (what a surprise). I’m a dancer / musician and I love the dance and the tune as well. If you ever play for ceili dancers, this tune may come in handy!
OR is it a slide!?
On Jackie Daly & Kevin Burke’s Eavesdropper album, this is played in a set with O’Keefe’s - which I think of as a slide, although I did wonder where, for sure, the accents were falling as I played along with the tape this morning. (A slide is in 12/8 time, so the bar lines, and hence the strong accents, are only half as frequent.)
I do think the version on Eavesdropper is far superior to the one here - but of course, I heard it first…
Seems like a jig to me. The first notes of the even-numbered measures feel like they want to be accented just as strongly as those in odd-numbered measures. Also, slides usually have lots of beats broken up as quarter/eighth rather than eighth/eighth/eighth. Mixing jigs and slides in a set can work pretty well, I think.
Does anybody know where the name "Trip To The Cottage" came from, and does it have any relevance to the dance?
“Trip to The Cottage” / “Turas ‘Un Toighe”
So ‘kris’, transcribe that version you like and add it here in the comments, the way you like to play it, so we can all check it out. ‘Faerie Feet’, as someone mentioned earlier, this and the dance, ceili, are boon companions ~ and that relationship is expected and required where competitions are involved. It is one of several dances from the North/Ulster, as I was lead to understand it. If you are familiar with Scottish, Welsh and English dances, for example Playford, the association of a specific tune to a specific set of steps and figures for dancing was at one time quite common, and still is amongst some groups. The practice wasn’t to play sets of tunes, in the plural, but to play the one tune repeatedly for the one dance, and this was also true for the quadrilles, one tune per figure.
If I stumble across some of my sources and find out anything more I’ll try to remember to add it here later. I’m sure I have it in some very early Irish collections, from late 19th C. to early 20th C., but I do not have all those at hand at the moment. It may also have been amongst a number of tunes and dances collected by Nan Quinn of Newry for the Irish Dance Commission’s collection “Ár Rinncide Foirne: Thirty Popular Figure Dances”… I do remember her mentioning it way back when…
“Trip to The Cottage” / “Turas ‘Un Toighe” ~ a bit of fun
There are always endless ways to twiddle a tune, those wee bits, the kippance of the music, cuts, tips, rolls, crans, trills, an endless array and much of it personal choice and style, though some can be quite dogmatic about it all, so, I don’t do that anymore, the following is a full 32 bars of possibilities just involving the melody. When you play the same tune repeatedly you find the polished stones in its riverbed, the eddies and the hiding places, the flashes of trout and crawdad, you find its seasons ~ so here are some of those water-walkers and minnows and calm pools and swirls, the laughter in the burbling, just a few possibilities:
| Bc |
d^cd BGB | cBc AFE | DGG FGA |BG/A/B ABc |
d3 BGB | c3 A>FE | D2 G F2 A | BGF GBc |
d.zd. B.zB. | c>Bc AG/F/E | DGG FAA |GzB A2 ^c |
dd/d/d BGG | cdc A>FE | DGE F.zA. | BG/G/G G2 d ||
gfe d^cd | e>cA B>cd | ecA dBG | F/G/AG FAf |
gfe dzd| edc Bzd | efg fed | ed^c def |
gfe dB/c/d | ecA BB/c/d | ecA d2 G | FAG F2 f |
gg/f/e d3 | ec/B/A Bcd | e2 g f2 d | ed^c d ||
In the ‘singular’ days, though the halls of Eire had prompter/caller and floor managers to help, there was no sound system, no amplifiers or speakers, and just a warmup phrase, one or two bars, was welcome and enough to let everyone know what the next formation and dance would be.
This particular tune was common currency in Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, and all across the lovely isle of Eire…
Not a slide
I’m pretty convinced that this tune is not a slide. At least the version I added to the session isn’t nor have I ever heard it played as a slide.
For one thing - I believe this tune would loose it’s charm if it were played at the faster slide tempo.
Second - We don’t have the signature slide rythyms. It’s hard for me to put it into words however Okeefe’s slide and Off she Goes will the deine the patterns contextually.
That was a good question.
“Trip the the Cottage” ~ a single jig, the same family as slides
"I believe this tune would loose it’s charm if it were played at the faster slide tempo." ~ Mark Cordova
Yes! ~ slides also lose their charm when ripped through… :-P
“A Trip to the Cottage” ~ a dance from Donegal
See notes for this in the comments here:
X: 9 "The Quaker’s Wife"
# Posted by ceolachan - July 23rd, 2014
A Trip To The Cottage, X:3
This version appears in O’Neill’s Dance Music of Ireland - 1001 Gems (1907), p. 28, no. 74.
A Trip To The Cottage, X:4
Here is the way I play this great jig; I truly don’t remember where I got it, some 15 years ago… Shame on me !
A Trip To The Cottage, X:5
This is the version played by Jackie Daly (melodeon ?) and Kevin Burke (fiddle of course) in their Eavesdropper album, with the change of key in the second part, more interesting then, in my opinion.
Re: A Trip To The Cottage
I often play this version in A then in D, which I feel more punchy.
A Trip To The Cottage, X:6
Source: Chris Droney
Transcription: Gian Marco Pietrasanta
A Trip To The Cottage, X:7
This setting is taken from the manuscripts of O Keeffe Fiddle which can be viewed on line.