11. The Humours of Glin (piece & reels)

The Humours of Glin – the “Piece” Way
The Earl’s Chair (reel)
The Red Haired Lass (reel)
Pretty Molly Brannigan (reel)

18th century pipers and fiddlers liked to take common dance tunes and play them “the piece way” as a musical exercise. This usually involved taking a jig and slowing it down to waltz time and adding many variations and ornamentations to the tune. This “piece” way of the popular jig, The Humours of Glin comes from the playing of Willie Clancy.   While Glin is a placename in County Limerick the jig actually originated from the melody of a bawdy Scottish song about syphilis called The Humours of Glen where the word “glen” is a female anatomical reference rather than a topographical one!