Jig, G, Traditional Irish
Also known as: Larry O’Gaff; Poteen; The Squid Jigging Ground
Larry O’Gaff is long forgotten, it seems, but the tune named for him lives on in Irish sessions. Larry was a fictional character in a comical ballad of the 1800s. Over the many years since the tune was crafted, it has found its way into other songs including “The Squid Jigging Ground” (Newfoundland) and “Paddy’s Panacea” (Ireland). The tune is also played for contra dance, Morris dance, and, surprisingly, even in old-time American music jams, where jigs are not the usual fare. Be sure to look at the “Nifty Mnemonics” lyrics below for a handy way to remember the melody.
- Video – Ben Lennon and Tony O’Connell: Larry O’Gaff – from the album Rossinver Braes (2008). The tune is first played in G, then in D.
- Video – Patrick Murphy: Larry O’Gaff – Jig — played once through on fiddle for instruction, in G.
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
- Larry O’Gaffe / Bundle and Go
Nifty Mnemonics –
Lyrics for Remembering the Tune
Here are some lyrics to help you remember how the tune goes. The full lyrics to The Humours of Whiskey or Paddy’s Panacea are clever, funny, and worth looking up. You can hear Andy M . Stewart sing them on the album Dublin Lady, which he recorded with Manus Lunny.
The Humours of Whiskey / Paddy's Panacea (Partial lyrics. Traditional. As sung by Andy M. Stewart.) A Part (partial verse): Come guess me this riddle, what beats pipes and fiddle, What’s hotter than mustard and wilder than cream? What best wets your whistle, what’s clearer than crystal, Smoother than honey and stronger than steam? B Part (chorus): Then stick to the cratur the best thing in nature For sinkin’ your sorrows and raisin’ your joys. Oh Lord knows I wonder if lightning and thunder Was made from the plunder of Poitín, me boys!
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- Book – O’Neill’s “The Dance Music of Ireland”
- Page (PDF) – Oregon Old-Time Fiddler’s Association: Tune of the Month: Larry O’Gaff – sheet music and notes; key of G. (January 2016)
- Video – Dan Compton & Fran Slefer: Larry O’Gaffe / Bundle and Go – Larry O’Gaffe played in D. From the album Session at the Cottage (2011)
- Song: Paddy’s Panacea (a.k.a. Poteen; Humours of Whiskey)
- Audio – Tom Lenihan: Paddy’s Panacea – Audio recording of Tom Lenihan singing the song, recorded in Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay, 1976. With lyrics and notes. From Clare County Library, Songs of Clare.
- Video – Andy M. Stewart and Manus Lunny: The Humours Of Whiskey from the album Dublin Lady. Sung and played in the key of A.
- Webpage – Mainly Norfolk: The Humours of Whiskey / Paddy’s Panacea – lyrics and notes.
- Song: The Squid Jigging Ground
- Video – The Chieftains: The Squid Jiggin’ Ground / Larry O’Gaff – song in D; tune in G. From the album Further Down The Old Plank Road.
- Video – Ryan’s Fancy: The Squid Jiggin’ Ground – Sung in D; from the album Ryan’s Fancy.
- Song: Larry O’Gaff
- Archive – Irish Traditional Music Archive: Larry O Gaff – image of 19th century broadside sheet with lyrics for the comical ballad, “Larry O Gaff.”