Jig, D, Traditional Irish
Jerry would have looked very dapper in his beaver hat, a gentleman’s top hat made from felted beaver fur. This tune seems to be a cheerful salute to Jerry’s fine hat. Be sure to look at the “Nifty Mnemonics” lyrics below for a handy way to remember the melody.
Historical note: Beaver hats, in one form or another, were fashionable from the mid-1500s through the mid-1800s. Production of these hats required trapping wild beavers for their fur. This had a devastating effect on the population of beavers in Europe and then in North America. In later years top hats would be made from silk.
- Audio – Comhaltas: Jerry’s Beaver Hat – session recording. From the album Foinn Seisiún Volume 1
- Audio – Stephen Ducke: Jerry’s Beaver Hat (Jig) – played on tin whistle. From the book Irish Music – 400 Traditional Tunes.
- Video – Enda Scahill: Jerry The Beaver’s Hat – Irish Jig – played on tenor banjo.
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.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Haste to the Wedding (D) / Jerry’s Beaver Hat (D) / Larry O’Gaff’s (G)
Jump to the Haste to the Wedding Jig Set
- Jerry’s Beaver Hat / Scatter the Mud / Kitty’s Wedding
- Out on the Ocean / Lilting Banshee / Jerry’s Beaver Hat
Nifty Mnemonics –
Lyrics for Remembering the Tune
Here are some lyrics to help you remember how the tune goes. (They are not traditional.)
Jerry's Beaver Hat -- memory aid lyrics by Jonathan Lay A Part (2x): Oh what a hat! Is Jerry's new beaver hat, Jerry's new beaver hat, Jerry's new beaver hat Oh what a hat! Is Jerry's new beaver hat, Jerry's new beaver hat, Jerry's new hat B Part (2x): What a fine hat that is, Je-- ry--, Jerry's new beaver hat, Jerry's new beaver hat What a fine hat that is, Je-- ry--, Jerry's new beaver hat, Jerry's new hat (Copyright Jonathan Lay 2021)
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- Video – Sarah Loughran – Fiddle: Jerry’s Beaver Hat (AKA The Returned Yank) Irish Jig – played on fiddle
- Lesson – Online Academy of Irish Music: Haste to the Wedding – tenor banjo lesson with sheet music, backing track, and playalong track. Virtual pub session. (Requires subscription.)
- Book – Foinn Seisiún, Volume 1 — Published by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
- Book – Stephen Ducke: Irish Music 400 Traditional Tunes
- Article – Kelly Feinstein: Fashionable Felted Fur; The Beaver Hat in 17th Century English Society -History Department, UC Santa Cruz, 2006