La Vieille Maclotte jig

Also known as La Vieille Matelotte.

There is 1 recording of this tune.

La Vieille Maclotte has been added to 2 tune sets.

La Vieille Maclotte has been added to 22 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: La Vieille Maclotte
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
|:A|B2f f2e|d3 efg|fed cfe|dcd B2A|
B2f f2e|d3 efg|fed cBA|B3 B2:|
|:c|d2c B2A|BAB F2c|d2c B2A|B3B2f|
a2g f2e|d3 efg|fed cBA|B3 B2:|
X: 2
T: La Vieille Maclotte
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
E2B B2A|~G3 ABc|BAG FED|E3 E2:|
|:E|G2F E2D|EDE B2E|G2F E2D|E3 E2B|
d2^c B2A|G3 ABc|BAG FED|~E3 E2:|

Ten comments

La Vieille Maclotte

A tune from the Ardennes - the latter being a region of northern Europe primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but also reaching into part of France.

A “Maclotte” is an old dance from this region. “Vieille” is the feminine of “vieux” - meaning “old”.

So, translated, the title would be “Old Old dance”.

… so maybe, a very old dance so (presumably) a very old tune 😉

La Vieille Maclotte

If re-written in 12/8 time, and played briskly, you might almost think that it was a Kerry slide …

Maclotte / matelotte / slide or hornpipe?

I heard my first matelotte on an LP of French Flemish Sailor’s songs produced by Jacques Yvert et al. ; ‘ Liedjes van de menschen van de Vlaemsche kusten / Chants des populations maritimes des côtes de Flandres’ in the good old time of giant record jackets and abundant field notes…
There are two matelottes on this album. One is actually very close to a Matelotte (allegedly?) composed by the French Baroque composer Marin Marais (1656-1728). Most matelottes seem to be shaped in that way, including this here ‘maclotte’ (the Ardennes are close to French Flanders but have a different dialect -or is it a typo?-

On some other old LP’s of Irish music produced for the French market, they have used ‘matelotte’ to translate ‘hornpipe’ presumably bacause it may be considered to have 4 beats to the bar (in 12/8) and lots of triplets in it or perhaps because hornpipes were also popular amongst sailors?
A matelot is a sailorboy in French.
I have no more information on that subject.

Maclotte / Matelotte

birlbidie - any interesting theory, and one worth considering.

But on consideration:

1) There are other tunes from the Ardennes with “Maclotte” in the title - can’t all be typos.

2) This tune is in 6/8 (jig) time, so how could it be a hornpipe?

So I think that your maclotte / matelotte association is probably just a red herring.

Someone from the Ardennes could probably confirm it - one way or the other …

Étymol. et Hist. 1910 «contre-danse» (Apollinaire, loc. cit.). Mot wallon (Ardenne, Hesbaye), attesté en 1780 (sous les formes maclote et mat(e)lote) par le poète liégeois J. J. Hanson (cf. Piron ds Mél. Bruneau, p. 202); issu par altération du fr. matelote «id.» (v. ce mot), lui-même dér. de matelot*, cette danse étant pratiquée surtout par les matelots (cf. FEW t. 16, p. 543b; Piron, loc. cit. et Haust, s.v. makelote).

from the CNRTL lexica
is a kind of “contra-danse”
Word from the french speaking part of Belgium, first found 1780. Goes back to the french “matelote” which goes back to “matelot”= sailor. The “matelote” is a lively dance of sailors

see, what did I tell you! 😉

in answer to question 2) (the 4/4=6/8 paradox), remember that time signatures have little relevance in Irish music, they’re merely used to signal a type of rhythm but not the rhythm itself: 4/4 can’t sign a slide but 12/8 could easily be used for a hornpipe, its only a matter of convention. (only listen to Alexander’s hornpipe and Denis Murphy’s Slide on your own website: the slide as played by the software is closer to how a musician would play a hornpipe than the lilt-less rendition of the hornpipe in 4/4.)
Likewise some trad. tunes (Irish or otherwise) commonly written in 6/8 can easily be written in 12/8: It’s the dancers’ feet /the the stress patterns passed on orally that are the ultimate guides.