Slide, G, Traditional Irish
Also known as: Merrily Kiss The Quaker; Merrily Kiss the Quaker’s Wife
Merrily Kissed the Quaker is one of the most popular slides 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.
- Video – Planxty: Merrily Kissed The Quaker – from the album The Planxty Collection
- Video – Comhaltas: Merrily Kiss the Quaker – from the album Foinn Seisiún 3
- Video – Dulahan Ireland: Merrily Kissed the Quaker – played on tenor banjo and fiddle with rhythm guitar
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.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Quaker’s Water Slide Set: Merrily Kissed the Quaker (G) / Going to the Well for Water (D) / The Star above the Garter (G)
- 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.
- More Recordings
- Audio – Brenda Castles: Merrily kiss the Quaker, slide – played on concertina in D. Irish Traditional Music Archive.
- Lesson – Enda Scahill: Merrily Kiss The Quaker – Tutorial for Irish Tenor Banjo – video lesson demonstrates playing the basic tune. The video has a link to Enda’s much more detailed lesson, which is available by subscription.
- Lesson – Michael Eskin: TradLessons.com – Merrily Kissed the Quaker’s Wife – tin whistle. Demonstration of playing the tune at normal and slow speeds.
- Lesson – Stiamh Ionas: Merrily kissed the Quaker (The Quaker’s wife) for C#/D box
- Other Resources
- Webpage: The Session: Merrily Kissed the Quaker – crowdsourced sheet music, comments, and more
- Webpage – Traditional Tune Archive: Merrily Kiss the Quaker – sheet music and research notes
- Webpage – Irish Traditional Music Tune Index: Top Session Slides – ranking of the 20 most popular slides played by irishtune.info members