Merrily Kissed the Quaker

Slide, G, Traditional Irish
Also known as: Merrily Kiss The Quaker; Merrily Kiss the Quaker’s Wife

TrailJams Tune of the Week: Merrily Kissed the Quaker. Traditional Irish Side. Play it together July 17, 2022. trailjams.org

Merrily Kissed the Quaker is one of the most popular sides played in Irish sessions. The tune is also sung as “The Quaker’s Wife,” a traditional song with whimsical lyrics. Be sure to look at the “Nifty Mnemonics” lyrics below for the first verse of that song – it is a handy way to remember the melody.

Recordings

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. In this version of the tune, the A and B parts have a six-note (hexatonic) scale: there are no F or F-sharp notes — which may guide your note choices as you ornament and vary the tune.

Merrily Kissed the Quaker. Traditional Irish Slide. D Major. Chords for Merrily Kissed the Quaker. Arrangement: Jonathan Lay 7/6/2022. trailjams.org
Play from the Dots
Slow tempo 90bpm
Moderate tempo 120bpm

Sets

Examples of sets that include this tune.

  • O’keefe’s Slide / Merrily Kissed the Quaker
  • Merrily Kissed the Quaker / Denis Murphy’s Slide
  • Fig for a Kiss / Merrily Kissed the Quaker
  • Merrily Kissed the Quaker / Dingle Regatta

Nifty Mnemonics –
Lyrics for Remembering the Tune

Here are some traditional lyrics to help you remember how the tune starts. This is the first verse to the traditional song “The Quaker’s Wife.”

The Quaker's Wife - traditional lyrics

The Quaker's wife got up to bake
With all her children round her.
She gave them each a slice of cake,
And there the Baker found her.
He chased her up and down the town,
As fast as he could make her
And merrily danced the Quaker's wife,
And merrily danced the Quaker.

(public domain)

References and Resources

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