Slip Jig, E Dorian, Traditional Irish
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.
- Audio – The Barley House Band: Fig For A Kiss/Foxhunter’s – from the album The Strand (free download).
- Video – William Coulter & Friends: Fig For A Kiss / Sergeant Cahill’s Favorite – from the album Celtic Sessions
- Audio – Stephen Ducke: A Fig for a Kiss (Slip Jig) – played on tin whistle. From the book Irish Music – 400 Traditional Tunes.
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
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.
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.
- More Recordings
- Video – Irish step dancing to “Fig for a Kiss” and “Kid on the Mountain” – Celine Hession & Donncha O Muimhneacháin dance two slip jigs: Fig for a Kiss & Kid on the Mountain, to fiddling by Paddy Glackin.
- Video – Shane Farrell: Fig for a Kiss Jig. Irish Tenor Banjo Music
- Video – Tune Supply: Snowy Path / Fig For A Kiss / Boys Of Ballisodare (slip jigs) – fiddle with keyboard backup. From video: Virtual Irish Music Session #50 (Caitlin Warbelow, fiddle; Chris Ranney, keyboard).
- Audio – John Weed and Stuart Mason: A Fig For A Kiss – fiddle with guitar accompaniment, with audio slowed down. From the album Slow & Easy Volume 1.
- Lesson – Shannon Heaton: Learning Irish Flute – Fig for a Kiss – “Tune of the Month” taught phrase by phrase on flute.
- Lesson – Whistle Workshops: A Fig For A Kiss (Slip Jig) – tin whistle demonstration of tune, with video and automated musical score (SoundSlice).
- Lesson – Marla Fibish (Peghead Nation): A Fig for a Kiss – 3 part lesson on playing the tune on mandolin. (Requires subscription to Peghead Nation.)
- Other Resources
- Webpage – The Session: A Fig for a Kiss (Slip Jig) – crowdsourced sheet music, comments and other information.
- Article: Dorian, Mixolydian, Oh My: Modes in a Nutshell, by Jonathan Lay, TrailJams