The Skyeman’s jig

Also known as Skyman’s, The Skyman’s.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

The Skyeman’s has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Skyeman’s has been added to 47 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: The Skyeman's
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:e|AAA e2d|efg e2d|B2G GGG|BdG Bee|
AAA e2d|efg e2d|e2d g2G|BAA A2:|
|:e|aga g2e|edg e2d|B2G GGG|BdG Bee|
[1aga g2e|edg e2d|e2d g2G|BAA A2:|
[2AAA e2d|efg e2d|e2d g2G|BAA A2||
|:e|AAA eAe|AaA eAd|B2G GGG|BdG Bee|
AAA eAe|AgA eAd|e2d g2G|BAA A2:|
|:e|aAA egg|fdd e2f|gAA egg|e2A BGG|
[1aAA egg|fdd e2d|e2d g2G|BAA A2:|
[2AAA eAe|AgA eAd|e2d g2G|BAA A2||

Eight comments

Pipe jig

This is a Scottish pipe jig. A bagpipe setting can be found in John MacFadyen’s first collection.

As such I set it as A Mixolydian but there’s no ‘C’ in the tune so it could be A Dorian too.

I set the first beat of the B part as ‘aga’ to give some leeway. The pipe setting embellishes that with a grip between the A (like a very quick cran) that would look like a(3G/d/G/a. The higher G might be easier for other instruments.


This is in fact the way it was in the original 2-part version published in the Cowal Collection, so your instinct is sound.

My instinct is that the 2 additional parts don’t quite do what they are trying to do - there’s some funky syncopation, but the structure is very loosely followed and it gets a bit aimless, especially in the 4th strain.

Have you ever noticed the similarity in opening phrases between this one and Walking The Floor

Now you mention it, Matt, I never quite got that 4th part.

I would say it’s a translation problem guys. It actually sits quite nicely on Scottish pipes, but like some other tunes doesn’t translate to other instruments that well.

The tune is best backed in A minor. Despite being written in A mix lots of pipe tunes just leave out the third to give the feel and shape of a minor.


A little googling says the third and fourth parts were written by Duncan Johnstone.

Walking the Floor

Yes, rather similar to Walking the Floor and the syncopated bits are reminiscent of Murdo MacKenzie of Torridon.