Netta, thanks for posting this—the chord progression Lunasa puts behind this on Merry Sisters of Fate makes me go weak in the knees—that descending major-to-minor run on the B Part. I play this tune on fiddle and whistle, but need to get our guitarist on board with that run.
I could be mistaken, but this tune sounds more modern to me, not long in the tradition. I thought it was odd the boys didn’t list a composer for it on the liner notes. Anyone know it by another name, or any other info about it?
So *that’s* what this tune’s called! This gets played a lot at our session. Spot the person who doesn’t own a copy of Merry Sisters. I like the name "Minor Slip" 🙂 Maybe it would have been better in A minor so you could call it "A Minor Slip". Never mind, I know, it’s not funny…
I mix this up with the Humours Of Whiskey https://thesession.org/tunes/46.
Throw The Beetle At Her!
Will, someone kindly gave us the "proper" title of "Throw The Beetle At Her" which appears in Breathnach’s in Em. And it’s not as modern as you think. According to FC: "Source for notated version: fiddler and uilleann piper Stephen Grier (Farnaght, Co. Leitrim), who wrote his manuscripts in the 1880’s [Breathnach]".
Thanks Mark! But what the heck does "Throw the Beetle At Her" mean?!?!
Presumably it refers to that ancient Irish tradition where if a newly-wed bride was discovered to have cheated on her husband within the first 28 nights of marriage, he would torment her in front of his friends using a live stag beetle, supposedly symbolic of his masculinity. Apparently if the beetle flew when thrown, the marriage would survive, but if not, it would "end in sorrow".
I don’t know how common the implement was elsewhere in Ireland, but certainly in the North Armagh region a beetle was a big wooden club. It was generally used to mash spuds and, speaking from personal experience, I can confirm that it was a grand tool for the job.
You may be aware of the wee doggerel …
There was an old woman that lived in a lamp;
She had no room to beetle her champ.
She’s up’d with her beetle and broke the lamp,
And now she has room to beetle her champ.
The word was used colloquially as (yet another) term for giving someone a hiding (Mid-Ulster dialect is particularly rich in such terms!). Hence "I’ll beetle him", "I’ll give him a good beetlin’", etc.
Thanks Mark and Aidan—both good answers. And seems to me that "minor slip" still fits the tenor of the tune title as well. 🙂
Beetle and Cat
So, it might be a good idea to play this tune with "An Phis Fhliuch."
“Throw the Beetle at Her” (D to d)
Discussion: What One Octave Tunes in D exist?
# Posted on September 19th 2007 by Sarah the Flute
T: Throw the Beetle at Her
R: slip jig
K: e minor
|: B2 E E^DE c2 A | B2 E E2 G F2 D |
B2 E E^DE c2 B | AB^c dAG FED :|
|: G2 B B^AB BAB | G2 B B^AB =AFD |
G2 B B^AB BAB |[1 AB^c dAG FED :|[2 ABc d2 G FF/G/A |]
You could also choose to play it without the accidentals if you so chose, or just with the c#s in the final bars ~ AB^c ~
K: e minor
|: B2 E EDE c2 A | BEE E2 G FED |
B2 E EDE c2 A | ABc dAG F2 D :|
|: G2 B BAB B2 B | G2 B BAB A2 D |
GBB BAA BAB |[1 ABc dAG F2 D :|[2 ABc dAG FGA |]
Throw the Beetle at Her!
A Beetle is also used for thumping washing (maybe even the same beetle as for spuds 🙂 http://www.oldandinteresting.com/washing-beetles-possing.aspx
Yes, if it will serve more than one use why not, but soapy spuds, YUCK!