Also known as The Colerane, Colraine, Corelaine, and Kitty of Coleraine.
This song is of Northern Traditional Irish Origins. It also accompanies the list of traditional folk songs with an unknown composer. It is said that this song emerges from the Turlough O'Carolan Era of Irish Folk: 1670-1730s.
For those who are interested, Turlough O'Carolan was a blind Irish harper that combined two forms of Irish Folk Music Tradition: poetic verse and composition of the harp.
The name "Coleraine" is also a town located in Northern Ireland. It borders the small village of Castlerock which is five miles west of Coleraine and is also in the county of Londonderry (which is the second-largest city in Ireland).
There's also interestingly a little bit of controversy regarding where this song is to be accepted and performed in Ireland. According to some sources, certain establishments located in the Republic of Ireland refuse to play this jig because of the simple fact it is from Northern Ireland. To explain why this might be an issue, we need to revisit one single event in Irish history called "Easter Rising".
The week of Easter in April 1916, was when the Republicans of Ireland challenged British rule (The British governed all 32 counties of the country at the time) which then eventually led to the Republicans gaining their own independence. The British Government was then only left with 6 counties to govern (North Ireland) leaving the other 26 counties to be governed by the newly formed Republic of Ireland. This separation also caused there to be a huge religious conflict between Protestants (North Ireland) led by the Orange Man, and Catholicism (Republic).
Ultimately, differences between religion and folk are what caused the two Governments that run Ireland to dislike each other so much, that traditional Irish songs that originate from the opposing side of the country were sometimes prohibited from being performed. (Such as The Coleraine Jig)
Also Fun Fact: The reason there are so many pubs in Ireland is that the Irish were not allowed to socialize outside their homes. They would be arrested by British authorities for doing so. To compensate for this, they built pubs inside their own homes and invited people to secretly come over and have a drink to enjoy themselves. That is why most pubs in Ireland there is a living quarters upstairs to this day!
Composed By: Tyler Grow
The TLOPO Version of The Coleraine Jig is written in the key of A-Minor.
This piece was definitely a fun one to make. I used my normal process for composing which was by ear. I listened to many versions of the jig and came to the conclusion that most performances of Coleraine used the basic melody. There were only a few artists who did something very drastically different when substituting for the main melody. When they did, they mostly played notes within the key of A-minor. Most Irish Music though however is written in a major key (which is also probably another reason why some pubs/taverns do not prefer this jig.) Major keys sound happy and bright, while minor is more sad and depressing. If you slow this song way down instead of playing it moderately fast as I did at the beginning of this track, you'll find a somber tune that sounds like it could be hummed by someone that's about to leave port on the Titanic, but I digress.
In most tavern songs that I compose for TLOPO I chose instruments that could be realistic and that would be present in a real tavern in the early 18th century. However, you will notice some subtle instruments like a piano, horn, and bass that are present in the song that would be rare to find in a tavern like that. I did this simply because, well, it sounded good. To be fair, it wouldn't have sounded as good in real life if we were only playing a violin and drums.
I do have one more unusual instrument to introduce you to that is present in this jig.
This is the instrument that sounds somewhat like a mandolin, or banjo if you will in the song.
The Cimbalom is a Hungarian Stringed Instrument that is predominantly used by Gypsy Musicians in Europe. It's not completely impossible this instrument wouldn't appear in a tavern in the 18th Century Caribbean, but it definitely isn't probable. Though, an old fashioned joke comes to mind when writing this: "A Hungarian Gypsy and Irish Man walk into a bar.."
The Coleraine Jig can now be played at any tavern in the Caribbean by the musicians! Be sure to check it out when you can, and happy dancing! It's a Jig!
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