Gander in the Pratie Hole

Jig, D Mixolydian, Traditional Irish

A gander is a male goose. A pratie is a potato. Since a hole might be left in the ground after digging potatoes, that could be one of the meanings of the phrase “pratie hole.” Harvested potatoes are sometimes stored in a carefully prepared “potato pit” as well, so that is another possible meaning. This tune is in D Mixolydian, but the melody includes both C sharp and C natural. Be sure to look at the “Nifty Mnemonics” lyrics below for a handy way to remember the melody.


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.

Sheet music (dots) for The Gander in the Pratie Hole. In the key of D Mixolydian.  Arranged by Jonathan Lay.

About the chords in this arrangement: The “A5”designation mean that only the root and fifth notes in the chord are played, and the third is omitted. So, an A5 chord consists of A and E. Because the third is omitted, the chord is neither major nor minor.

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


Examples of sets that include this tune.

Nifty Mnemonics –
Lyrics for Remembering the Tune

Here are some lyrics to help you remember how the tune starts. They are not traditional, and they are pretty silly. If you include the pickup note, the tune starts with two major triads, just like the Beatle’s song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Gander in the Pratie Hole -- memory aid lyrics by Jonathan Lay

o-BLAH-dee o-BLAH-dah the life of a gander
He's down in the hole and the praties are gone
o-BLAH-dee o-BLAH-dah he doesn't eat praties
He's looking for worms in the new pratie hole

(Copyright Jonathan Lay 2021)

References and Resources

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