Jig, A Dorian, Traditional Irish
This tune’s title brings to mind a cozy space by the fireplace, with a tobacco pipe tucked away, and maybe an instrument in hand for a bit of tune playing. (A hob is a shelf built into the stonework or bricks of a fireplace.) This three-part tune is one of two distinctly different traditional Irish tunes that have the name “The Pipe on the Hob.” The other “Pipe on the Hob” is a two-part tune. In various collections, both tunes are called “…Number 1” and both are called “…Number 2” — which turns out to be not very helpful.
- Video – The Bothy Band: The Pipe on the Hob/The Hag at the Churn – from the album After Hours.
- Video – Chris Smith: Gallagher’s Frolics/The Pipe on the Hob/The Hag at the Churn – from the album Coyotebanjo, Irish Traditional Music from America, Chris Smith with Roger Landes and Randal Bays. (The Pipe on the Hob begins at time 0:59.)
- Audio – Comhaltas: Pipe on the Hob No. 2
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: playing A5 chords in place of the Am chords makes the harmony less dense and gives more latitude for melodic variation. (To play A5 chords, or “A omit 3,” leave the C out of the Am chord.)
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- The Pipe on the Hob / The Hag at the Churn
- Gallagher’s Frolics / The Pipe on the Hob / The Hag at the Churn
- The Pipe on the Hob / The Hag at the Churn / The Maids of Mitchelstown
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- Audio – Stephen Ducke: The Pipe on the Hob (1) Jig – From the book Irish Music – 400 Traditional Tunes
- Video – Patrick Madden and Friends: Pipe on the Hob – Hag at the Churn – Maids of Mitchelstown – from the album Sounds of St. Andrews. (This version of The Pipe on the Hop is significantly different from the others referenced on this page. For the most part it fits the same harmony structure though, and is a good reference as a variation on the tune.)
- Book: Irish Music – 400 Traditional Tunes by Stephen Ducke
- Book: O’Neill: The Dance Music of Ireland, O’Neill’s 1001 – (This tune is number 9 in the book) By Francis O’Neill (1848 – 1936). Published in 1907.
- Web page – The Session: The Pipe On The Hob – crowdsourced sheet music and information
- Article: Dorian, Mixolydian, Oh My: Modes in a Nutshell, by Jonathan Lay, TrailJams