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.
- Video – Peakfiddler: Irish JIgs – Gander in the Pratie Hole – Tar Road to Sligo – Mist Covered Mountains
- Video – Tunes From Doolin: The Gander in the Pratie Hole (Jig) | Irish Music Tunes. Played on concertina.
- Audio – Stephen Ducke: The Gander in the Pratie Hole (Jig) – played on tin whistle. From the book Irish Music 400 Traditional Tunes, by Stephen Ducke.
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.
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
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- The Blarney Pilgrim / Jimmy Ward’s / Gander in the Pratie Hole
Jump to the Blarney Pilgrim Jig Set
- Gander in the Pratie Hole / Tar Road to Sligo / Mist Covered Mountains
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.
- Video – Patrick D’Arcy: The Gander In The Pratie Hole Jig performed on the Irish Uilleann Pipes by Patrick D’Arcy – played slowly, then up to speed.
- Lessons – Online Academy of Irish Music: Gander in the Pratie Hole, lessons for flute and uilleann pipes.
- Book – Irish Music 400 Traditional Tunes, by Stephen Ducke with accompanying audio tracks.
- Audio – Floating Crowbar: Wallop the Spot/Jimmy Wards/Gander in the Pratie Hole. From the album Two Nights in December by Floating Crowbar (Spokane, Washington, USA).
- Article: Dorian, Mixolydian, Oh My: Modes in a Nutshell, by Jonathan Lay, TrailJams