Having reminded ourselves of Planxty thanks to Thom’s suggestion of Si Bheag Si Mor, Peter and Noah remembered this great tune played also by Planxty.
The ever wonderful Jane Griffiths wrote this out for me from Planxty’s playing and since that’s the version we know and love, I think you’ll enjoy playing it. However, if you know a slightly different version, I’m sure it will make a lovely harmony part.
On thesession.org there are many variations on this tune (and a many other names too), but actually although it is mostly thought of as being Irish, largely for being played by Planxty, in the 18th century it was reported as being played in several places in the British Isles. Apparently, Merrily is recorded in
David Rutherford, Collection of Country Dances, London, 1750-60 (ish)
Robert Bremner, Collection of Scots Reels and Country Dances, 1768 (possibly)
And it has been claimed that the tune was put to words as an electioneering song in Newcastle in 1777 (I can find the words but no reference to confirm the tune!).
Definitely start with listening to Planxty’s version with the album cover or with some pics of Ireland.
Here are some other recordings (with slightly different variations):
Fiddle (but not very slow)
Violin and guitar
Nice session and film of Aberystwyth session
Download the pdf here.