The Hen And All Her Broth jig

Also known as An Chearc Ar Fad Is An TAnraith, Charming Lovely Nancy, Maggie Pickens, Nancy Wants Her Own, Whistle O’er The Lave Of It, The Whole Chicken In The Soup.

The Hen And All Her Broth has been added to 16 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The Hen And All Her Broth
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G2E D2E | G2A B2e | d2B A2G | E2A A2B |
G2E D2E | G2A B2e | d2B A2B | G3 G3 :|
|: g2f e2 d | e2d B2e | d2B A2G |E2A A2f |
[1 g2f e2d |e2d B2e | d2B A2B | G3 G3 :|
[2 g2e f2d |e2d B2e | d2B A2B | G3 G3 ||
X: 2
T: The Hen And All Her Broth
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G2E D2E G2A B3|cBA B2G A2G EDE|
G2E D2E G2A B2d|d2B ABA G3 G3:|
efg d2B c2e d3|d2B A2G E2A ABA|
efg d2B c2e d3|d2B ABA G3 G3|
efg d2B c2e d3|d2B A2G E2A ABA|
G2E D2E G2A B2d|d2B ABA G3 G3|]

Four comments

The Hen And All Her Broth (single jig)

A gentle single jig from the second book of the Roche Collection. Although there are superficial similarities to three other tunes on the Database (two hornpipes and a slide) there are important, if subtle, differences: this single jig has a completely different rhythm to that of a hornpipe or a slide, and, although it is nominally in the key of G major (its three cousins here are also in major keys) it is a modal gapped scale - no fourth note (C) being present. I suggest that a backer could emphasize this modality by avoiding C in any accompanying chords.
Bowing (slurring): Roche indicates slurring across the bar lines - except for the bar line immediately before the last bar in each part, and in most of the bars in the B-part (but not in the A-part) there is also slurring between the 2nd note (1/8th note) and the succeeding 1/4 note. This bowing gives the tune a lot of its character and brings out its single jig rhythm.
Note that in the repeat in the B-part the only difference - but a significant one - is in bar 5, where the 2nd and 3rd notes are alternated.
My feeling is that this tune is closer to an original than its three relatives here on the Database.

The Hen And All Her Broth (single jig)

I’ve noticed that this tune is also one of those comparatively uncommon tunes that can be played in its entirety in the 3rd position on the fiddle (no open strings and no shifting), giving a different and not unattractive tone colour.

Song and dance tune

This must have been a very popular melody at one time, as various versions have been collected from all parts of Ireland. It served as the air for a number of songs, both in Irish and English. Breandan Breathnach’s notes to the version he published in Ceol Rince na hEireann no. 3 indicate that the "Cipin Step" was danced to this tune.

Kevin Burke’s version

I heard this tune in a session at the Corofin Trad Festival last february, but when I looked for a recording of the tune I found a slighty diferent version in Kevin Burke and Mícheál Ó Domhnaill’s ‘Promenade’. Here there is the transcription I took from that recording.