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Gob Music

Patsy Judge performs several examples of “cheek” or “gob” music (i.e., dance music performed with the voice only), simultaneously explaining where these tunes were most likely to appear within the set dance.

The examples appear in the following order:

  • “There was an old woman” (jig)
  • “Tatter Jack Walsh” (jig), Roud #9956
  • “All the way to Connickmore” (single), Roud #26046
  • “Haste to the wedding” (jig)
  • “The girl I left behind me” (single), Roud #26437
  • “Girls in the salthouse” (single)
  • “Mother wouldn’t beat him” (single), Roud #26824
  • “Irishman’s shanty” (single), Roud #4838
  • “Pop goes the weasel” (jig)
  • “Green grow the rushes-o” (reel).

Listen to Patsy Judge describe and lilt local dance tunes, view annotated transcripts, and download your own copy of the words.

Conversation about music for dancing and types of dances / Patsy Judge & Bride Judge

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Conversation about music for dancing and types of dances / Patsy Judge & Bride Judge

Patsy Judge performs several examples of “cheek” or “gob” music (i.e., dance music performed with the voice only), simultaneously explaining where these tunes were most likely to appear within the set dance.  The examples appear in the following order: “There was an old woman” (jig), “Tatter Jack Walsh” (jig), “All the way to Connickmore” (single), “Haste to the wedding” (jig), “The girl I left behind me” (single), “Girls in the salthouse” (single), “Mother wouldn’t beat him” (single), “Irishman’s shanty” (single), “Pop goes the weasel” (jig), “Green grow the rushes-o” (reel).


Patsy Judge's versions of a selection of gob music

“There was an old woman” (jig)

There was an old woman wrapped up in the bank,
And ninety-nine times as high as the moon,
And where she was going, sure nobody asked,
And in her hand she carried her broom.

‘Old woman, old woman, old woman,’ says I,
Where do you go with your broom so high?’
‘I go sweeping the clouds all up in the sky,
And I’ll be down tomorrow and by.’

“Tatter Jack Walsh” (jig)

Oh there’s meat in the cupboard and bread on the shelf,
There’s no one to eat it but Tatter Jack Walsh,
Oh there’s meat in the cupboard and bread on the shelf,
There’s no one to eat it but Tatter Jack Walsh.

Diddle-le-dum …

“All the way to Connickmore” (single)

All the way to Connickmore,
Call for a glass and sometimes more,
Every shout the boys they roar,
‘We’re early in the morning.’

Diddle-le-dum … (x2)

All the way to Connickmore,
Call for a glass and sometimes more,
Every shout the boys they roar,
We’re early in the morning. 

“The girl I left behind me” (single)

Oh I’ll go to dice, I’ll kill the sile,
And I’ll get the crew to join me,
I’ll make the bale and fetch it home,
To the girl I left behind me.

Oh I’ll go to dice, I’ll kill the sile,
And I’ll get the crew to join me,
I’ll make the bale and fetch it home,
To the girl I left behind me.

Diddle-le-die … (x2)

“Girls in the salthouse” (single)

Girls in the salthouse, salthouse, salthouse,
Girls in the salthouse all night long.
Girls in the salthouse, salthouse, salthouse,
Girls in the salthouse all night long.

On their flakes and on their stages,
Across the gut and the tow-ra-rie.
On their flakes and on their stages,
Across the gut and the tow-ra-rie.

“Mother wouldn’t beat him” (single)

Mother wouldn’t beat him, beat him, beat him,
Mother wouldn’t beat her only son.
Mother wouldn’t beat him, beat him, beat him,
Mother wouldn’t beat her only son.

Mother wouldn’t beat him, beat him, beat him,
Mother wouldn’t beat her only son.
Mother wouldn’t beat him, beat him, beat him,
Mother wouldn’t beat her only son.

“Irishman’s shanty” (single)

Oh did you ever go into an Irishman’s shanty,
Where water was scarce and whiskey was plenty,
He’s a three-legged stool and a table to match,
Just kick in the door, instead of the latch.

Oh did you ever go into an Irishman’s shanty,
Where water was scarce and whiskey was plenty,
Oh, a three-legged stool and a table to match,
Just kick in the door, instead of the latch.

“Pop goes the weasel” (jig)

I went into tailor shop, and I picked up a needle,
I stuck it in the tailor’s coat, pop goes the weasel.

I went into the tailor’s shop, and I picked up a needle,
I stick in in the tailor’s coat, and a pop goes the weasel.

Diddle-le-die …

A penny for a suit of clothes, a farthing for a needle,
That’s the way the money goes, pop goes the weasel.

And in and out the narrow lane, the money chased the weasel,
Every time he made the lip, pop goes the weasel.

“Green grow the rushes-o” (reel)

Green grow the rushes-o, cherries in the winter road,
The sweetest kiss I ever got was down in Bruley brushes-o.
Green grow the rushes-o, cherries in the winter road,
The sweetest kiss I ever got was down in Bruley brushes-o.