Classic Irish fiddle tunes no. 6
Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie
Level – Advanced
‘Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie‘ is popular 4 part reel which is a favoured solo of many fiddle players for competitive playing. It is also popular with Uilleann pipers, having been recorded by Willie Clancy and Seamus Ennis.
Simply put, this suits the fiddle. It has a high F natural(1st finger played close to the nut) on the E string in 2 parts. This is common with Irish fiddle tunes, having an F natural in D minor or switching the accidental between the natural and the sharp. In Paddy Cronin’s version, he plays a variation with the last F as sharp in the 2nd part. This tune was a favourite of legendary Clare fiddler Bobby Casey. He recorded it many times. Interestingly Sean Keane playing the tune on ‘Seoda Ceoil‘ starts the tune on the 4th part. There is also ample opportunity for double stopping on open D and A strings.
There are other similar tunes in structure(the 1st 2 parts)and name such as ‘Jenny’s Pickles Cockles‘ and ‘The Long Note’ (Recorded on ‘Hidden Ground’ by Paddy Glackin and Jolyon Jackson, released 1980). RTE, Ireland’s national broadcaster had a popular radio programme of the same name. There are many other tunes with Jenny(s) in the title such as ‘Jenny Dang the Weaver’ and ‘Jennys Wedding’. There are many different settings of this tune, seek out which you prefer.
Of course the most famous tune of the Jenny’s name(for fiddle players anyway) would be ‘Jennys Chickens’ made popular by a seminal recording of Michael Coleman in the 1920’s. Paddy Glackins recording on ‘Doublin’ (with Paddy Keenan) is a delight. Glackin also recorded ‘Jennys Chickens’ on his album(Released in 1991) ‘In Full Spate’.
Bowing, Ornamentation and Tune structure.
Bowing is highly personalised and even more so when players music is transcribed. The transcriber will have a style of their own. They will have types of ornamentation they prefer and how they choose to interpret the ornaments. They might also hear it differently choosing different ornaments or different versions of same ornament. Transcriptions will only pick up on so much, the will not pick up on certain things such as slight inflections, rhythm changes, adjustments in tuning/finger placement and of course the soul in the music. An advanced/experienced player will instinctively vary the tune, bowing and ornamentation each time round.
Below a list of albums with recordings of the tune. Unfortunately a lot are out of print but links are provided if they are available.
‘An Exciting Session with One of Ireland’s Leading Traditional Fiddlers’ Tommy Peoples – 1976. A link to Tommys website here.
Paddy Glackin Doublin’ – 1979
Casey in the Cowhouse Bobby Casey – 1992
Paddy Cronin -‘Kerry’s Own’ – 1977
Mairéad and Ciarán Ní Mhaonaigh Na Mooneys – 2016
Brian Conway ‘First Through the Gate‘ – 2002
Fergal Scahill – ‘The Dusty Bridge’ – 2008
Jim McKillop ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ – 1976
Eileen Ivers ‘Fresh Takes’ with John Whelan – 1987.
Martin Hayes & Denis Cahill ‘Welcome Here Again’ – 2008
Sean Keane on Seoda Ceoil 1 & 2 – Late 60’s.
Michael Gorman on CD 2 ‘It Was Mighty’ – The Early Days of Irish Music in London. Released 2016.
Tola Custy & Cyril O Donoghue ‘Setting Free’ – 1994
Zowie Conway – The Horse’s Tail’ – 2006
McDara O Raghallaigh ‘Ego Trip’ – 2011
Hughie Gillespie ‘Classic Recordings of Irish Traditional Music‘ – 1976
John Vesey ‘Sligo Fiddler‘ – 1970
Bobby Casey ‘The Spirit of West Clare’ – 1971
A PDF/Photo Scan of the tune with suggested bowing and ornaments.
Download a PDF of the tune Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie