Lumps Of Plum Pudding jig

There are 3 recordings of this tune.

Lumps Of Plum Pudding has been added to 2 tune sets.

Lumps Of Plum Pudding has been added to 12 tunebooks.

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Twenty-two comments

Lumps Of Plum Pudding (jig)

This tune is played on Track 7 of Methera’s new album “Methera” (see Recordings section) by the fiddler John Dipper, who also recorded it for the BBC in 2006. The version here, which differs slightly from the recording, is taken from Lionel Bacon’s “A Handbook of Morris Dances”, where it is stated that it came from a manuscript of the folk music collector Cecil Sharp. See also for further discussion.
Note that this tune is what Bacon calls an “irregular jig” - he is referring to the 3rd part in 3/4 time which has a very irregular sounding rhythm (doubtless intended to match the steps of a particular dance). If this tune is played as a normal jig in a session, in combination with another tune, it would probably be sensible to omit the 3rd and 4th parts.

A Morris dance tune

This is a Morris Dance tune and really does not have a place here unless there is a strong link with the Irish tradition and dance. The structure of this tune relates to the structure of the morris dance itself and I certainly would not consider this to be used for a general dance. It’s a good tune and the dance is very enjoyable both to do and to watch. It is a solo jig. Keep it in it’s place…Cotswold Morris.

Lumps of Plum pudding

there’s an excellent version of this from the Welsh group Pigyn Clust on their CD “Perllan”. In welsh the tune is Talpiau Pwdin. It might change your mind.
(OTOH it’s probably still not going to be heard in an Irish Session)


Do ‘Pygyn’ give any background info on it? That would interest me and might halp me modify any comments. How about putting the abc’s of ’Pigyn’s version here for comparison as well!! Or is it the same?

Lumps of Plum pudding (jig)

In my area, most sessions tend not to be too prescriptive about what should and should not be played (within reason), so some English tunes can get played in Irish sessions without objection, and the English session I go to regularly includes a handful of tunes drawn from Irish, Scottish and French sources.
In the case of this particular tune it has already attracted some attention in the Discussions forum, so it seemed appropriate to give it a little space in the Tunes section. And it’s not a bad tune, either.

Hang on, Hetty

There are LOTS of tunes on this site that are not Irish, but that’s just fine - we are the richer for them (or at least many of them!).

‘Lazy’ Trevor has posted loads of great tunes and wise comments. You have commented on tune #8642, but what say you to

I go along with both of Kenny’s comments and have already made comment about Arthur’s contribution. if Arthur wants to provide us with tone development guidelines for flute then perhaps the discussion section would be more appropriate with examples of suitable Irish tunes from what is primarily an Irish tune website. This of course implies a good understanding (and experience) of Irish tradition and a fair amount of research. However that is another issue, but back to “Lumps of Plum Pudding”.
I accept that there are LOADS of none Irish tunes here and I have benefitted from their inclusion so am not totally dismissive and would agree that we are the richer from their inclusion however in this instance I have picked up on the idea of removing parts of a tune to make it more acceptable for general dancing. it doesn’t turn it into an Irish jig. I have strong memories of this tune from both playing and dancing the jig myself many years ago so responded in the way I did. If there are links to other traditions then let us hear them. I can see a link between Welsh dancing and English dancing , including Morris, thus my request for further enlightenment. The question is still there. Is this tune also to be found in the Welsh tradition and is it associated with a Welsh dance? Further is it also associated with the Irish tradition and dancing as it stands?

What are you drinking??? 😏

Hmmmm, me thinks something’s afoot!?

“Lumps of Plum Pudding”!?

Huh? ~ hetty’s comment is already in stereo, here, and under “Das Flugelhorn”??? I am confused. Maybe we can try for surround sound? ~ 7 mystery locations?

“I go along with both of Kenny’s comments ~” ~ hetty

Come on Kenny, add a couple of somethings. Then it will be precognition…

Talpiau Pwdin


yes, I believe that Lumps of Pudding is used in Welsh dance Tradition, but unfortunately I don’t know much about it.
On the Pigyn Clust CD it’s done as a set of variations and very un-morrisy, the closest thing I found online was this playford arrangement
but I’ll have a go at transcribing Cass Meurig’s version.


Lumps of Pudding

The Playford version is great fun to play. I’ve printed it out from Sibelius. The Playford date is 1730, so that implies the tune may be a lot older, possibly 17th century..

Yes ~ to the Welsh use

We used to play it and dance to it. I was planning on doing a search to see if I can find another take on it. I also have it in several early dance tomes… I’ll be back… 😉

hI ‘spindizzy’ unfortunately cannot use the Sibelius link, not yet anyway, will have to speak to my daughter who uses Sibelius all the time.
Any chance ‘lazyhound’ for the abc’s from the Playford version. I thought I had all the Playford tunes but that one has escaped me.
I presume it is not the same as the one here.

“Talpiau Pwdin” / “Lumps of Pudding” ~ National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1785

Key signature: g minor
Submitted on June 23rd 2008 by ceolachan.

Apologies for the delay…

Lumps of Pudding

Hetty, I’d rather not do an ABC of the Sibelius version for TheSession - there appear to be copyright considerations involved. Anyway, it’s easy enough to print out the score from Sibelius Scorch (make sure you download the necessary plug-in that “c” mentioned) - all 3 pages of it.
It’s a 10-parter consisting of 80 bars, in G-minor with a repetitive bass-line. The fiddle part extends over 2-1/2 octaves, so there is a small amount of shifting involved. The tune is recognisably the same as the one I’ve posted, but the several parts are all variations on it - a common 17c type of composition known as variations on a ground (“ground” being the repetitive bass-line).
As I said in my previous post, it’s good fun to play - especially if you can find someone to play the bass-line (cello/viola/octave fiddle) - but I’d put the fiddle technique required towards the upper end of that required for most Irish fiddle music. Most of it looks straightforward, but closer inspection shows that it in fact requires a very clean baroque-type technique, especially with the bowing (cross-string jumps), familiarity with the scale of G-minor, and shifts up into the 3rd/4th position on a few occasions.
One of the variations has a series of downward scale passages. The Methera string quartet, in their recording, use this very cleverly to suggest the pealing and change-ringing of church bells - perhaps a reference to Christmas celebrations, plum pudding and all that.

Irish version

The Morris version is a morris-isation of the old G minor jig referred to above. This is ‘presumed English’ if Playford is the earliest sighting. The Irish version in A minor is called Contentment is Wealth and is in O‘Neill, the title deriving from Burns’ lyrics to it IIRC. It all goes round.

Lumps (Welsh)

I’ve now posted the version from Pigyn Clust in the comments section for Talpiau Pwdin at

ps Pigyn Clust apparently means a noise in the ear - as I’m sure you were all wondering (hope I’ve got that right)


Irish version of Lumps of Plum Pudding

The Irish A minor version “Contentment is Wealth” is #28 in O’Neill’s “1001”, and is related to the tune of the same name posted in
In view of this I think the G major version I’ve posted can now definitely be played with a clear conscience in an Irish session, but perhaps without the last 12 bars (which include the section in 3/4 time - a morris thing).

Lumps of Plum Pudding (jig) - further versions

From Lionel Bacon, two versions that I overlooked earlier:

X: 20080628-1
T: Lumps Of Plum Pudding (Bampton version)
M: 6/8
L: 1/8 R: jig
K: Gmaj d | B>AG g>fg | d>ed G2A | B>AG G>AB | A>FD D3 |
B>AG g>fg | d>ef g>dB | c>AF G>Bc | d2B G2 d |
B>dg B>dg | d>cd G2B | A>ce A>ce | B>dB G2 d |
B>dg B>dg | d>ef g>dB | c>AF G>Bc | d2B G2 d ||

X: 20080628-2
T: Lumps Of Plum Pudding (Bleddington version)
M: 6/8
L: 1/8 R: jig
K: Amaj
e | c>BA a>ga | e>fe A2B | c>BA A>GA | B>cB E2d |
c>BA a>ga | e>fg a3 | e>cA Bcd | e2c A2 z |
e>ga e>ga | e2c A>Bc |d>ef dBc | d>BB Bcd |
e>fg a3 | e>fg a3 | e>cA Bcd | e2c A3 |
M: 3/8
e2d |
M: 6/8
c2B A3 | a2g a3 | e2f e3 | A3 B3 |
c2B A3 | A2G A3 |B2c B3 |
M: 3/8
E2d |
M: 6/8
c>BA a>ga | e>fg a3 | e>cA Bcd | e2c A2 ||

As I usually do, I have checked these ABCs on an ABC player.

The version of this tune I first posted was from Field Town in Oxfordshire.