Tell Her I Am

Here's a great jig which I think was made popular by a recording of Michael Coleman. Michael Coleman came from Killavel, Co. Sligo and settled in New York where he worked as a tram conductor (I know that wasn't his primary reason for being there but so be it). He was frequently pestered by executives from the likes of Decca and Columbia records to record tunes for them on the fiddle. Fortunately the allure of tram life wasn't always too powerful to be overshadowed by the record moguls' offers of dollars and other, unstated rewards.

I never quite knew what "Tell Her I Am" meant. In an attempt to make some sense of it, I put it into an anagram machine. I was repayed with "A Hell Remit".

There you go.

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  • John

    Michael, I’ve heard the name of this jig mentioned lots of times at sessions and I also wondered what the title refers to. Maybe there was another word at the end and it just got lost along the way. Anyway, thanks again for making this great jig available here.

    Oct 3, 2007 at 8:38 pm
  • Ben

    Michael Coleman settled in New York and married there in 1917. He started making recordings in 1921 and by the end of the 1920’s he was established as the most influential Irish musician. One night while playing, one of his companions was asked by a forward female admirer whether Coleman was married or not. Coleman preceded to play this tune and wryly announced the tune was “Tell Her I Am.”

    The name itself predates that story - but the origins are probably similar. I picture some child sent by their exasparated mother to collect the musician from the pub or the all night kitchen session - and getting this reply.

    Nov 22, 2008 at 8:20 pm