2018-12 Tune of the Month -- The Rakes of Kildare

  1. HonketyHank
    Sleet asked me to fill in for her on TOM for a while, so here goes ...

    Tune of the Month for December 2018 is "The Rakes of Kildare". The Song A Week group's renditions of this tune can be found here (SAW #32 thread) .

    A fine jig, indeed. The ABC's can be found at the SAW thread or downloaded from thesession.org.

    A .tef version of the ABC's found at the SAW thread can be downloaded from my Google Drive -- https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dv...zffkKKBkA-URoK
  2. OneChordTrick
    Well yesterday I was wondering what tune I should learn next and I’ve had Rakes of Kildare in my pile of tunes I haven’t got round to learning yet so I’ll see how I get on with this.
  3. HonketyHank
    How fast do you play a jig?

    This tune is a jig of some kind. The time signature is 6/8 which technically means six eighth notes (or quavers) per measure, each one being one beat. So one would be justified in thinking that each measure of a jig contains six beats. But that is not how it works in practice. Most pieces written in 6/8 feel like there are only two beats per measure, each beat consisting of three eighth notes. The first of the three is accented more strongly than the others. And thus most musicians count the measure by saying "1-2-3-2-2-3". Or maybe "1-2-3-4-5-6".

    I measured the tempo in the 13 videos posted at the SAW thread. They range from about 60 bpm to about 135 bpm. I don't know what would be considered normal in an Irish session for a jig, but that 135 sounded pretty fast to me. I am guessing that 120-ish might be a common tempo.

    And if you are a real stickler and feel like there are really six beats per measure, you are welcome to set your metronome to 360 bpm. Just don't forget to accent beats one and four as you count to six. It should sound the same as two beats per measure, each beat being subdivided into a triplet.
  4. BJ O'Day
    BJ O'Day
    I think around 112 bpm is what dancers prefer. I learn a jig at 60, move up to practice at 70 to 75. I never really counted the timing at the sessions I attend but they are well over eighty. I have trouble keeping up but I keep banging away.
  5. Posterboy
    Here's a solo fiddle performance that might help to learn the tune
  6. HonketyHank
    Can't believe I got mine in first.

  7. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    A fantastic job, HH!
  8. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    So, it's been that time of year. Too much to do, it's dark, it's cold, I've been sick—but I worked this week!—for several days, airwaves filled with cheesy holiday music, family in town (which is lovely), the whole package. I got up this morning. Weather app said it was 6° outside, and I wasn't going to go out to check.

    I spent the morning changing strings on two violins, a viola, and my Kentucky. All needed it badly. To do the three bowed instruments took >$200 for one set each of violin and viola strings (the other violin got an old set) and about 45 minutes total. One mandolin took <$10, an hour-and-a-half at least, and bloodshed. Lots of blood. And plenty of coffee.

    By the time I was done, both my husband and the kid who's staying with us had cleared out for awhile. House to myself, nowhere to be, hadn't touched a mandolin in a week. What to do besides play for a bit?

    This is the result. I'm not particularly proud of it, but it was a way to get back in the groove of playing (I get cranky if I can't play daily, and hadn't touched my mandolin in a week) and it was a chance to actually do something with a tune of the month.

  9. HonketyHank
    Very nice job, Louise. The holiday impediments didn't hold you back much.

    Just curious - is your second violin a fiddle? Do you do Irish fiddling? Do you find your violin/viola background helpful for the mandolin (or vice versa)?
  10. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    What a treat to tune in this evening and find a video posted by LouiseNM! I love to read your posts in any of the forums, and really dig getting to see and hear you play from time to time. Thanks for sharing, great job.

    Now I'll pause to give thanks to the Almighty that I have no need of feeding strings to violins and violas!
  11. HonketyHank
    Or an instrument that requires loops at both ends.
  12. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Henry, I meant to send compliments on your post earlier, but the holidays hit. Nice oval hole, and a good rendition of the rakes!

    What's the difference between a violin and a fiddle?

    No one cares if you spill beer on a fiddle. Also, one has strings, the other has strangs.

    Some fiddlers like their bridges a little flatter, and many prefer steel strings (for the life of me I don't understand why!) but it's really all the same. I have no background in fiddling, totally classically trained, and I continue to play in orchestras and chamber groups. That must not keep me busy enough, because a month ago I joined a group that plays for the local contradances. Jigs and reels, jigs and reels. So far I have just played violin, which is great. I almost always play viola elsewhere and it's fun to have an evening out with the little guy. I'll take my mandolin one of these times and try alternating. So I'm learning Irish!

    Yes, having the violin/viola background has been immensely helpful. Left hand is virtually the same, so translating dots and lines to the fingerboard is automatic—requires no thought. Which is good, as the right hand is a whole new ball game. I have played a lot of baroque music, and my understanding is that much of the traditional repertoire for mandolin—jigs and reels again—are from about the same time. The forms are certainly similar. And yes, with 1 1/2 years of mandolin under my belt, I find more and more that aspects of mandolin inform how I think about the bowed instruments.

    Mark, I hate paying for the violin/viola strings, but installing them is a cinch, and they last much longer.

    Henry, if Waldo's strings need loops at both ends, how do you tighten or tune them?
  13. bbcee
    Hank, you're making that RD sing! Really nice job.

    Louise, I'll echo Mark that it is great to hear you post. Good job on this tune - good job both of you.
  14. An_OhEalaithe
    I used to know this tune as The Road to Athy but I could never find it under that name online. Delighted to find it here.
    There is a bit of text that you can sing with the A part if you feel so inclined:
    “As I was a’walking the road to Athy, I saw an old petticoat hanging to dry. I took off my old britches and hung them nearby to keep the ol’ petticoat warm.”
  15. HonketyHank
    Interesting. "Athy is a market town at the meeting of the River Barrow and the Grand Canal in south-west County Kildare, Ireland, 72 kilometres southwest of Dublin" ... wikipedia.

    And then these two entries from thesession.org as comments on "The Rakes of Kildare":

    A verse of a song for this tune:
    As I was a-walking the road to Athy
    I saw an old petticoat hanging to dry
    I took off me trousers and hung them nearby
    To keep the old petticoat warm.
    # Posted by The Archivist 10 years ago.

    Cum yn Shenn Oanrey Cheh
    The two versions I’ve added above are both played on the Isle of Man. The first one is called Cum yn Shenn Oanrey Cheh (Keep the old petticoats warm), which would fit in with the song lyrics posted above. The second version is just called ‘Jig’ in the Clague collection, and isn’t as widely played as the first.
    # Posted by manxygirl 6 years ago.
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