Week #420 ~ Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week we had a tie, and I left the poll up one extra day (and only 5 votes in total!)... anyway, I'll break the tie and proclaim Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre as the winner. It's an Irish Traditional jig (but when looking for videos, I find it's actually a 'humorous Scottish song with lyrics)... it's also known as The Cleansing Of George’s Cowshed, Glounreagh, Glounreagh Slide, The Glounreagh, He Muckin O Geordie’s Byre, Jordie, Jordie’s, The Muckin O Geordie’s Byre, The Muckin O’ Geordie’s Byre, Muckin O’Geordie’s Byre, Muckin’ Of Geordie’s Byre, The Muckin’ Of Geordie’s Byre, Mucking O’ Geordie’s Byre, The Mucking O’ Geordie’s Byre, Mucking Of Geordie’s Byre, The Mucking Of Geordie’s Byre, Mucking Out Geordie’s Byre, Mucking Out The Byre, O’ Lassie Are You Sleeping?, Strip The Willow.

    Here's a link to three settings on TheSession.org

    I found a lot of videos on YouTube that included this in a set!

  2. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great! Another Scottish tune, Barbara. Thanks for your casting vote!

    My version has "Geordie's Byre" paired with another old favourite, "Merrily Danced The Quaker's Wife." This version of the jig is the one recently taught at Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop by Mairi Voinot, a fine young Scottish traditional fiddler and tutor at the LFW.

  3. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Ah, another "cleaning" song! There seems to be a persistent theme about these, and they seem kind of related (compare Do You Want Your Old Lobby Washed Down).
    But I like your simple version better than all these funny songs, John.
    Talking about relations - that second jig is an interesting distant cousin of the Irish Merrily Kissed the Quaker, apparently.
  4. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Great sound from your mandolin John. I was waiting for the third part of merrily but maybe it doesn't get played around your parts?
  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, B and J. New strings helped in getting a good sound, James; I made this mandolin in August 2015, so it is still very new. Cedar top and rosewood back and sides. Interestingly when Mairi was playing "Merrily Danced" to us I said to her that I knew a different part as the B part, going up to a high B on the E string. I was remembering it from my schooldays when we sang the song in school choir. Now you have me thinking about all three parts!
  6. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Lovely stuff there John, that mandolin is very sweet sounding indeed!
  7. Tomo
    Hi guys,

    New to the forums, just got a mando and super keen to get on it! So I thought I'd get started straight away with this one, really nice tune. Pardon the sloppyness, I figured I should get it learned before the next tune comes out.

    Super keen to get on the tune a week, can't think of a better way to get some tunes under my belt, and everyone seems pretty friendly!


  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Jill, thanks for your kind comments.
    Tom, welcome and congratulations on your first posting in the SAW group. it is indeed a very friendly and encouraging place to post your music and just to meet like-minded folk. Looking forward to your next posting.
  9. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Welcome Tom, you've come to the right place. This is Hotel California for learning new tunes.
  10. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Nice one Tom! Welcome to the forum and the SAW social group!
  11. Hendrik Luurtsema
    Hendrik Luurtsema
    Welcome Tom, it's good to hear new members in this group! Good luck with learning some new tunes from other members, to me it is always been a very helpful forum.. You already sound good!
  12. Tomo
    Thanks heaps guys! Started on this weeks already!
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    With this tune I have memories of mucking out the horses in spring time, frost on the ground, the sun, golden, low on the horizon, rays of dusty sunshine in the stables, the steam rising from the compost heap, buds on the trees and hearing foxes barking in the morning.
    -oh, and memories of intimate relationships.

    And apparently it’s a song too.
    I don’t think it’s an English song:

    The graip* wis tint, the besom wis deen,
    The barra widna row its leen,
    An’ siccan a soss it (n)ever was seen,
    At the muckin’ o Geordie’s byre.
  14. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Excellent, Simon. Love the dbl stops, and the rhythm is excellent. Once , just ONCE, I'd like to spell rhythm without spell check telling me the correct spelling.
  15. Callum Murray
    Callum Murray
    Nicely played Simon! The rhythm is great, flows naturally.
  16. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Nice version, Simon. The tune is one of the great selection of tunes from the north-east of Scotland and they are called cornkisters and sometimes bothy ballads. They were written mainly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and have strong farming connections. In the days before the First World War farming was a very important source of employment in Scottish rural areas before mechanisation destroyed the jobs and big machines replaced the farm labourers. This of course was not just a Scottish phenomenon.The lyrics you have appended are in Doric, a dialect of Scots spoken by the folk who lived around the Aberdeen area, and the songs were sung in the bothies where the farm labourers lived, usually around the cornkist (the chest that held the corn). Many of them are quite scurrilous in their content. The Andy Stewart record Barbara listed at the top has him performing all the lyrics and he also adds in a verse in standard English - worth a listen!
  17. Frithjof
    Very nice, Simon. I guess mucking out the horses will be easy with your playing in mind. Only an guesswork because I don’t have any horses or cattle …
  18. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Lady and gents.
    That’s some performance by Andy Stewart, John. Makes me think of some of the English songs of the same period in a similar musical style. I actually played it straight from the abc file, but having heard the Andy Stewart version, I can sense the comic nature of the melody, of jokes with a call and response.

    Frithjof, me too, I never owned animals nor land -apart from the cat. I was, in a sense a landless peasant. The nice part of the job is that the stables are warm inside, especially when there’s a lot of bedding, but after the winter, the ammonia smell, oh, la, la!
  19. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Very nice, Simon! I like the way you set the groove strumming the intro and transition smoothly into the tune keeping the rhythm going. Slick!

    We do play this in Evelyn's arrangement sometimes and I thought I had recorded that setting at some stage. Looking through my channel, it doesn't seem to be the case, but I've stumbled across a very old video of mine from 2010 (amongst the first i ever recorded), playing The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre as a set with Hills Of Glenorchy. To be honest, Glenorchy came out rather better than Geordie. Here it is, in all my youthful glory (with hair!) and with a rather wobbly jig timing:

    I'll have to try to get a new recording done of the harmony setting we use with the group.

  20. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Slick!? Ha, ha, thanks Martin, it’s good to laugh at breakfast time!
    And a nice set of tunes you played, they go well together. And I like the delicate sensitive style you’re playing there.

    On this one I actually did gently slide about a little bit with the rhythm, it being the first metronome-less recording I’ve done in quite a while.
    Nice to lead for a change- I didn’t get the usual occasional subtle hiccup where I have to realign my timing with the machine.

    I really like this tune and because I first heard it from an abc file, the syncopation appeared to me to be dance moves rather than turns of phrase. Also, once I’d learned it, I did that metronome exercise on it where you constantly step up the tempo while still trying to keep that rambunctious bounce with a heavy accent on the first and fourth eighth note of each measure.
  21. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    As promised, here is a new recording of this Scottish jig, using Evelyn's arrangement -- compare and contrast with my 2010 version.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin (x2)
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello


    EDIT: I have re-uploaded this without the tenor guitar part I had in my original upload. Better for it, I think.
  22. Gelsenbury
    I like the tune and the tone of your mandolin, which suits it well. But there's something the arrangement that isn't to my taste. It seems to reduce the bounce in the melody.

    The tune is gradually sinking in for me. Both your old and new recordings have helped.
  23. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Dennis. Probably my tenor guitar playing -- I was struggling with the timing a bit and don't think I got the jig rhythm quite right with the strumming. I may try how it sounds if I just remove that backing track.

  24. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Hi Dennis/All,

    I have now remixed this and updated the video above. Just a trio of two mandolins and mandocello now, no strummed tenor guitar. I think the bounce is better now.

  25. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Like Dennis, I thought there was something not quite working in your original mix, Martin, and I thought it might be the timing and rhythm (as you say above). Latest mix better but I wonder if you kept the mandocello to notes on beats 1 and 4 of the 6 quaver groupings this might give it a bounce it too? Just a suggestion and please do not feel it is a criticism - as you are aware, I am a regular fan of your playing!
  26. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, John. I think I largely agree, although I do prefer the remix over my original one. We never quite managed to make this particular arrangement work with our group either, and this may be why -- the harmonies don't quite mesh with the dance rhythm. I probably should just play the jig unaccompanied, as i like it very much as a tune.

  27. gortnamona
    excellent versions by all and a real nice tune , ill have a wee craic all it tonight.
  28. Gelsenbury
    It's such a nice tune, so I had to have a go although I don't have much time. Here's my interpretation for solo mandolin, without overdubs or arrangements.

  29. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    I discovered this thread only now: fine recordings so far!
  30. Frithjof
    This was a nice and solid solo performance, Dennis.
  31. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I like this a lot Dennis, fine playing.
  32. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Steady picking, Dennis.
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