A Fig for a Kiss

Slip Jig, E Dorian, Traditional Irish

TrailJams Tune of the Week. Traditional Irish Slip Jig. A Fig for a Kiss. Play it together September 18, 2022. trailjams.org

A good tune with an enigmatic name. A Fig for a Kiss has been in the Irish traditional repertoire since well before 1903, when Francis O’Neill published it in his Music of Ireland collection. The lore relating figs and kisses reaches back millennia before that.

Recordings

Dots (Music Notation)

As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference. See the About the Chords section below for insight into the chords used in this arrangement.

Play from the Dots
Slow tempo 70bpm
Moderate tempo 90bpm

About the Chords
This arrangement includes some chords that might be unfamiliar. The Am7/E, Dsus2, and Asus2 chords are all quite easy to play on a guitar in standard tuning. As the chord diagrams here show, each chord just requires two fingers. For a “lighter” chord sound with the Am7/E chord, leave out the low E string and play the chord as just Am7.

Sets

Examples of sets that include this tune.

  • A Fig for a Kiss / The Boys of Ballisodare
    Jump to the Fig for a Kiss Slip Jig Set
  • The Snowy Path / A Fig for a Kiss
  • A Fig for a Kiss / The Kid on the Mountain
  • A Fig for a Kiss / The Humors of Derrycrossane
  • A Fig for a Kiss / The Butterfly
  • A Fig for a Kiss / Foxhunters (slip jig)

References and Resources

For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.