Don't Get Me Anything


My friends from Winnipeg, Canada, Alice Bérubé and her sister Jeannine, visited with Sandy and me a few years ago. Both of them play fiddles and they enjoy getting together to talk, laugh, and play music. They meet once a year, as Alice lives on Prince Edward Island and Jeannine three thousand miles away in Vancouver. We played music in my house for a few days and had much fun. On the day of their departure, they told me that they were going to go shopping for a gift for me. I appreciated their kindness, but told them, 'don't get me anything!' I left the house to do some errands and when I returned my friends were nowhere to be found. I somehow thought I heard fiddle music in the house but did not know where it was coming from.

A few days later, after my friends had returned home, a fax came to my house with a tune written on manuscript paper. It was a jig that the ladies had composed while up in my attic. They had somehow found their way up there. Unfortunately, on the day the fax arrived my machine was running low on ink. The lines on the paper all ran together on the tune's second part, and I was unable to make it out. At Sandy's suggestion, I sat at the kitchen table to compose a temporary replacement for it.

I next met the ladies a year later at the Northeast Heritage Music Camp, and we began to play the jig, but with a few surprises and laughs as our two competing second parts clashed against each other! I had to explain to them what had happened to their original second part, and my addition was demoted to a third part. We recorded it with help from Ken Perlman on banjo and Pete Sutherland on piano, two fellow teachers at the camp. Thanks, ladies, a nice gift, better than 'anything' from a shop.


Séamus Connolly
Boston College Libraries
Some transcriptions are based on historical source recordings. More info.

Song & Tune Type

Part of:


Webb, Jeannine (fiddle) (composer) et al., “Don't Get Me Anything,” The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, accessed July 14, 2024,