This is a polka written by the prolific tune-composer and accordion player Paddy O’Brien (1922-1991) of Nenagh, co. Tipperary (pictured right). The name is common enough, and so don’t confuse our man here with others, such as the other Paddy O’Brien (b. 1945) from Castlebarnagh, co. Offaly, who also plays a two-row button accordion.
The polka here is in The Compositions of Paddy O’Brien (1992), by Eileen O’Brien. Eileen O’Brien and Willie Fogarty then recorded it, along with many of Paddy O’Brien’s other tunes, on the CD The Compositions of Paddy O’Brien (1993) where it’s played in the set “Amir’s Delight/Humours of Bahrain/Sheik’s Fancy.” Paddy O’Brien, the first cousin of the well-known composer and fiddler Sean Ryan (d. 1985), began composing in the 1940s and continued until near the time of his death, may he rest in peace. Some of his better known tunes include “Dinny O’Brien’s,” “Cooley’s Hornpipe,” “The Boys of Lough Gowna,” “The Coming of Spring,” “The Nervous Man,” “Ormond Sound,” “The Foggy Morning,” “Hanly’s Tweed,” “The New House,” “The Banks of the Shannon,” and “The Ormond Sound Reel” — the latter refers to his own Ormond Céilí Band. Eileen O’Brien writes “Paddy Ryan from Coolbawn in Co. Tipperary won the All-Ireland in 1965 playing [Paddy O’Brien] tunes. Paddy [Ryan] refers to a visit he paid to Paddy O’Brien prior to competing in the competition. During this visit Paddy gave these new compositions to Paddy Ryan and the end result was that Paddy Ryan was successful in achieving first place in the competition.” Our tune here then appeared on The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra’s CD Highland Cathedral (2007), in the set “Dancing In The Streets/Dan Larkin’s Polka/Humours Of Bahrain/Sheik’s Fancy/Amir’s Delight” (track 12), and on the Liam Farrell & Joe Whelan CD They Sailed Away From Dublin Bay (2008), but oddly titled “Taylor’s Cross.” It was again published in The Definitive Collection of the Music of Paddy O’Brien 1922 – 1991 (2009), with an introduction by Eileen O’Brien.
For the ABC click
Humours of Bahrain, med tempo
Humours of Bahrain, the dots