Jig, G, Traditional Irish
Also known as: Humours of Donnybrook
More famous for brawls than blue ribbons, the Donnybrook Fair was an annual market fair held in the Donnybrook district of the city of Dublin, Ireland. From its start in the year 1205 until the final fair in 1855, the fair was a major social event that spanned over six hundred years. Now the term “donnybrook” is used to mean a rough-and-tumble ruckus. As a traditional Irish jig, the tune Donnybrook Fair, or Joy of My Life, is bright and cheerful, reflecting the happier aspects of the fair.
From the song “The Humours of Donnybrook Fair”
- Video – Trad Linn: Joy of My Life / Green Fields of America (jigs) – from the album The Roads of Clare
- Audio – Center for Irish Music: The Donnybrook Fair/The Frost is All Over – from the album Young Irish Musicians Weekend Vol 1 (Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA)
- Audio – Randy Miller: The Joy of My Life/Ryan’s Favorite – from the album Joy Of My Life (Alstead, New Hampshire, USA)
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.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Rollicking Petticoat Jig Set: The White Petticoat / Donnybrook Fair / The Rollicking Boys of Tandragee
- Donnybrook Fair / Gallagher’s Frolics
- Donnybrook Fair / Lilting Banshee
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- More Recordings
- Video – Shane Farrell: Donnybrook Fair Jig – played on tenor banjo
- Video – Tommy Makem: The Humours of Donnybrook Fair – song, from the album Ever the Wind (Tommy Makem, 1975)
- Book & Audio – Stephen Ducke: Irish Music – 400 Traditional Tunes
- Book & Audio – Dave Mallinson: 100 Essential Irish Session Tunes
- Lesson – Tergal14 Mandolin: Mandolin lesson. Donnybrook Fair (Irish Jig) – video with tab, chords, and detailed demonstration for playing melody and chords on mandolin
- Lesson – whistletutor: Tin Whistle Lessson: Donnybrook Fair (Jig) [Ft. Claire Shirey on concertina] – video tutorial
- Additional Resources
- Webpage – The Session: Donnybrook Fair (Jig) – crowdsourced sheet music, comments and more
- Webpage – The Irish Traditional Music Tune Index: Joy of My Life – reference information about the tune, curated by Alan Ng
- Webpage – Tunes from Doolin: Donnybrook Fair – sheet music and comments
- Article – Wikipedia: Donnybrook Fair – about the fair held in Donnybrook, Dublin from the thirteenth through nineteenth centuries.