Is it about you Dow?
The Absent-minded Man
This is really old tune that dates back at least to the 1700’s and possibly earlier, I don’t know. It’s probably originally Scottish, since the earliest printed versions appear in Scottish collections. There are quite a few different versions of it under different names, as you’d expect for such an old tune. The 2nd part especially provides a lot of opportunities for variation, e.g. by smoothing |ecc fdd| patterns out into |edc fed|. It was recorded by Joe Derrane in A major. My version transposed into A goes like this:
T: The Absent-minded Man
d|cAc efg|aed c2A|dfd cec|dBB B2d|
cAc efg|aed c2A|Bba gfg|aAA A2:|
|:c|ecc Acc|ecc Acc|dBB GBB|dBB GBB|
ecc fdd|gee aff|ecc dBg|aAA A2:|
The tune appears in O’Neill’s in both keys under various titles. It also goes by the title "The Hare In The Corn", but I chose the "Absent-minded Man" title because it’s unique to this tune, and it’s also the title Joe Derrane recorded it under.
It seems the older pipers had an ancient version of this tune containing some elaborate semiquaver patterns in the B-part that would sound odd to trad musicians’ ears today. This version also has some nice F naturals in the A-part. I think it may have inspired John Riddell’s "Dumfries House" (played in Ireland as the Maho Snaps) https://thesession.org/tunes/811. It crops up in O’Neill’s under the Hare In The Corn title:
T: The Hare In The Corn
S: O’Neill – Music of Ireland (1903), No. 766
(3A/B/c|d2G d2=f|edc B2G|c2e dcB|cAA A2B/c/|
d2G d2=f|edc BAG|Aag fef|gGG G2:|
|:(3A/B/c/|dB/c/d/B/ GBc|dB/c/d/B/ GBd|ec/d/e/c/ Ace|ec/d/e/c/ ABc|
dBd ece|fef gfe|dcB Agf|gGG G2:|
A similar setting also appears in the Vickers ms. The pick-up note of the B-part has been added by me to make the bars add up properly:
T: The Hare In The Corn
S: William Vickers (1770)
G|d3- d>e=f|edc BAG|c2a B2g|aAA ABc|
d3- de=f|edc BAG|cBc Agf|gGG G2:|
|:G|dB/c/d/B/ GB/c/d/B/|dB/c/d/B/ GB/c/d/B/|cA/B/c/A/ FA/B/c/A/|cA/B/c/A/ FA/B/c/A/|
dcB edc|fed gfe|dcB Agf|gGG G2:|
Another version was recorded by Seamus Ennis on "Forty Years of Irish Piping" https://thesession.org/recordings/display/474, track 6, before the piece called "The Fox Chase". This version of Seamus Ennis’ was transcribed into the Roche Collection, (1982, vol. 2, no. 354, p.63) under the title "The Fox Chase", for want of a better one.
Seamus Ennis’ version was taken up by Matt Molloy and Sean Keane, who recorded it under the title "Seamus Ennis’"on their classic album "Contentment Is Wealth". I’m unsure whether to transcribe the Seamus Ennis version here since it is very different from the one I posted. Almost different enough to be considered to have evolved into a separate tune. You’re fairly likely to come across it in a session too, given the popularity of the Contentment is Wealth recording. I’ll ask around for a bit and find out what others think, and then I may post some other versions here or submit it separately.
LOL @ D.J.F. - could be… could be…
Sorry, looks like I posted while you were compiling the information to this tune! :-P
I like it! I seriously don’t know enough G major jigs, so cheers Dow!
I think this tune may have inspired Ed Reavy’s "Castleblaney Piper" https://thesession.org/tunes/1539.
Super good tune! I prefer the settings with the natural notes.
Go here for Seamus Ennis’ version https://thesession.org/tunes/8467