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Daily Archives: May 7, 2014

Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine (Ador)

“Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine” is pretty common Ador hornpipe at Irish sessions in the US. Across the pond it’s played in Edor and called “Napoleon Crossing the Rhine.”  It’s also known as “Listowel Hornpipe” and “(Farewell) Sweet Killaloe” in areas of New England.  It has many other names as well, but most refer in some […]

Chief O’Neill’s Favourite (D)

Chief O’Neill, the eponym of this tune, “Chief O’Neill’s Favourite,” was Francis O’Neill (1848-1936), born in county Cork. He was a cabin-boy on an English merchant ship in the 1860s, eventually immigrating to the States. He moved to Chicago with his wife and joined the police force at the age of 25. He became the […]

The Arran Boat (Edor)

“The Arran Boat” is in waltz time  here (3/4), but it might be notated differently elsewhere.  Played best as a slow air or waltz, depending on who’s playing it, it is an old traditional Scottish tune named for the isle of Arran, the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland.   The isle of […]

The Derry Air (G)

The “The Derry Air” is a well-known tune, and often requested by listeners at sessions.  The first published version of this tune is in George Petrie’s collection, entitled Ancient Music of Ireland (1855) where he gives the name as “Londonderry Air” — and which you choose to call it is a matter of politics. It […]

Cúil Aodha (A)

The “Cúil Aodha” polka, pronounced either Kool-Ay or Kool-əə, is a Munster polka named after a township high in the Derrynasaggart Mountains, in the Gaeltacht region of Muskerry, County Cork, which is near the home of composer, lecturer Seán Ó Riada (1931- 1971).  Aodha is an Irish name, close to the name Ed (əth), but […]

The £42 Cheque (D)

This tune title, “The £42 Cheque,” was used by Planxty on their LP Cold Blow and A Rainy Night (1974), but it has also been called “the four pound check,” and “the fourty-five pound check.”  Though some people argue that it’s an old piece, and the different amounts given to the check are the result […]