CD A0230: The Jig's Up

The Jig's Up by Anne-Marie O'Farrell

CD coverHere is affirmation of Irishness, thus O’Carolan features strongly, in refreshing variety, briskly paced. Such tempi match O’Farrell’s other selections — Paddy Fahy’s Jig and the Gander in the Pratie Hole jig sets. Bright, effortless and cheerful playing from beginning to end; interesting syncopations and odd notes about. Ellen Cranitch’s flute joins in a terrific, biting Fanny Power with jazz extrapolation, Conor Guilfoyle and Brian Fleming give just a hint of percussion, Cormac De Barra enteres on harp for Miss McDermot and Lady Gethin. Fintan Valelly, The Irish Times, 6-3-1998

Buy this album now    CD: £12.00 + p&p   

Please click here for Anne-Marie O'Farrell profile & discography

Track Listing & Audio Samples

01  The Jig's Up
02  Fanny Power
03  Heir Conditioning & Miss Monaghan's Reel
04  She Moved Through The Fair
05  Song of the Chanter & Allistrum's March
06  The Night in Bethlehem
07  The Queen and Gander
08  The Salley Gardens
09  The Rights of Man & The King of the Fairies
10  The Coulin
11  Carolan's Draught
12  Limerick's Lamentation
13  The Laughter of Women
14  Miss McDermott & Lady Gethin
15  For Ireland I'll Not Tell Her Name
16  Carolan's Concerto
17  Watching The Wheat

CD Notes

Sleeve Notes

1. The Jig's Up, arr. O'Farrell -3.00
The first of these two jigs is the well known Paddy Fahy's Jig, which I first heard from Cormac de Barra, and it's followed by one of my own tunes, The Heather Jig, named after midwife Heather Helen, who played no small part in the safe arrival of my daughter, Carmel, into the world.In this second jig,I had a bit of fun using metres not normally expected in Irish dance tunes. Brian Fleming plays a slitwood or tongue drum, which looks rather like a salad bowl on its side with a carved wooden lid attached. Its resonances matched those of the harp ideally, we felt.

2. Fanny Power, arr. Cranitch/O'Farrell -3.59
A familiar tune by Carolan(1670-1738) is given really unusual harmonies here, thanks to the musical imagination of Ellen Cranitch who joins me on this track. The use of a pedal harp made it possible to do justice to the chords she chose. The melody itself is from the Bunting collection and was written in honour of the daughter of David and Elizabeth Power, patrons of Carolan from Loughrea, Co.Galway.

3.  Heir Conditioning & Miss Monaghan's Rel, arr.O'Farrell - 3.42
Two slow reels, the first of which is original and composed in honour of my daughter, are played on the Irish harp accompanied by Conor Guilfoyle on jazz drum kit. Here I set out to bring the traditional style of playing dance music into a new context, with the help of a few bluesy notes, which are done by some unorthodox use of the semitone levers on the Irish harp.

4.  She Moved Through the Fair, arr.O'Farrell -3.52
Boy loves girl, girl leaves boy, and makes a dramatic reappearance as an apparition in the final verse. Padric Colum's text to this well-known ballad is based on the traditional song, Our Wedding Day.

5.  Song of the Chanter & Allistrum's March, arr.O'Farrell/de Barra - 3.30
Cormac de Barra joins me on a second harp for some marches, both of which were originally pipe tunes from the Bunting collection. Allistrum's March was composed in 1647 for the Scottish highlander, Alasdair MacAllistrum, who fought the English alongside the Irish at the Battle of Knockinoss. He was defeated and this lovely march was played by a band of pipers at his funeral.

6. The Night in Bethlehem/Don Oiche ud i mBeithil, arr.O'Farrell -3.30
This is a solo instrumental setting of an Irish Christmas carol which describes the Nativity scene at Bethlehem.

7.  The Queen and Gander, arr O'Farrell -2.49
The Queen of the Rushes and The Gander in the Pratie Hole are the full titles for these two jigs, which are accompanied by Brian on bodhran. Although now popular in harp repertoire, they were originally played on the uilleann pipes. I've departed from the traditional practice of echoing the drone sound of the pipes, or double stopping on the fiddle, by highlighting the modal quality of the first jig and simply the melodic range of the second.

8.  The Salley Gardens, arr.O'Farrell -2.33
The text(c Michael Yeats) of this famous love song is by W.B.Yeats, and the melody appears in an 1877 publication of part of Petrie's collection as The Maids of Mourne Shore.

9.  The Rights of Man & King of the Fairies/Ri na Sioga, arr O'Farrell -3.55
These hornpipes are played on the flute and harp where Ellen and I enjoyed the possibilities created by two different keys being suggested at the same time.

10.  The Coulin, arr O'Farrell - 3.54
This beautiful air has been said by some to date as far back as 1295, when Edward I passed a law forbidding the Irish to wear long locks or coulins. The word in Irish, cuilfhoinn, came to mean a fair-haired youth who wore such locks. The melody was first published in 1786 in Joseph Walker's Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards.

11.  Carolan's Draught, arr O'Farrell  2.10
Carolan is up to his usual delightful exploits with a fusion of baroque and Irish traits in this lovely melody in two parts. It's perhaps one of the more classically oriented tunes in his work.

12. Limerick's Lamentation/Caoineadh Luimni, arr.O'Farrell-3.26
This tune is from the Bunting collection and was first published in Neale's A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes in 1726. It laments the enforced exile of thousands of Irishmen after the Treaty of Limerick was broken in 1691. I kept this setting quite stark, as I think it's one of those slow airs which stands alone without unnecessary embellishment.

13.  The Laughter of Women/Gaire na mBan, arr.O'Farrell - 1.18
A slip jig rhythm gives this song its lilt- it describes the wildness of revelry at a ceili once it gets going properly.

14.  Miss McDermott & Lady Gethin,arr. O'Farrell - 3.41
Cormac joins me for two of Carolan's most elegant airs which commemorate his loyal patrons after whome they are named. Miss McDermott-also known as The Princess Royal- is one of the more traditional sounding tunes Carolan has written.

15. For Ireland I'll Not Tell Her Name/Ar Eireann Ni nEosfainn Ce hI, arr, O'Farrell - 2.41
This is one of my favourite slow airs and actually first appeared in print outside Ireland in the Orpheus Caledonian Collection in 1733 under the title Tweedside. It became absorbed into the Irish song tradition and was set to words as an aisling or vision poem in the 18 th century.

16.  Carolan's Concerto, arr.O'Farrell - 1.25
Every harpist's anthem, this concerto is said to have been composed in response to a wager between Carolan and the Italian composer Gemimiani to find out who could improvise the better concerto. It shows Carolan paying tribute once more to the fashionable baroque style of the time; he also called the tune Mrs.Power in honour of one of his many patrons. This track was recorded live at the Peppercanister Church in Dublin.

17.  Watching the Wheat/Bugeilio 'r Gwenith Gwyn, John Thomas (1826-1913) - 3.34
John Thomas's arrangement of this Welsh love song was originally written for the pedal harp, but I transcribed it for Irish harp to defy anyone who thinks it's not possible to perform it on the small harp. Playing this without the luxury of pedals involves transposing it to a higher key, using a 36-string (Camac) harp, and 69 lever changes, several of which are double changes in opposing directions. I had fun.

CD Credits


Anne-Marie O'Farrell - Harp
Ellen Cranitch - Flute
Conor Guilfoyle - Drums
Brian Fleming - Bodhran and tongue drum

Anne-Marie plays all tracks on a Camac Excalibur, except track 2 which is performed on a Salvi Diana. Cormac plays on an Aoyama Irish Harp (130B). The cover illustration is from an original oil painting by Sorcha Rooney.

All tracksrecorded in September 1997 at The Works, Dublin,except track 5&14 which were recorded at Westland Studios, Dublin in January 1996, and track 16 which was recorded at the Peppercanister Church, Dublin in February,1992.
Tracks 5&14 are also released on the album, 'Le Peuple Magique-Francoise Cornwell'Escalibur Records, CD860.

Producer: Anne-Marie O'Farrell
Sound engineer: Paul Ashe-Browne
Audio post production: Bobby Broughton, Dublin and Robyn Robins, Mid-Atlantic Digital, Enniskillen
Cover illustration :Sorcha Rooney, London
Inlay photo: Joanne O'Brien, London
Liner notes: Anne-Marie O'Farrell
Design: C&A Print services, Dublin

For their very special kindness and generosity I thank:

Paul Ashe-Browne, Victor Salvi, Sorcha Rooney, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Mercedes Garvey(DIT College of Music), Cormac de Barra, Francoise Cornwell of Coop Braizh, Robert and Patricia O'Farrell, Carmel Heaney and my dearest R.P.C.


Total playing time 53.37
Contact:28 Grange Manor Drive,Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.
Tel/Fax :353 1 493 1873
e-mail :

Made in Ireland

Album Information

Instruments: Harp with Flute, Drums, Bodhran and tongue drum
Genre: Traditional Irish
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0230
MCPS: CD1903
Label: Anne-Marie O'Farrell
Year: 1997
Origin: Ireland