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 Post subject: Johnny O'Leary's Polka
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:10 pm 
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Anyone know another name for this Polka? As you see, it's from Julia and Billy Clifford's recording Ceol as Sliabh Luachra

Thanks and best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:22 pm 
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I just ran through Terry Moylan's book of Johnny's music but didn't spot it there. For a moment, early on, I thought I was in luck when Johnny's comment was 'They [Julia and Billy Clifford] named them after me because I gave them them'. Unfortunately the tunes in that set were different ones.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:36 pm 
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Crotchet (quarter note) = 250? Surely that's out by a good margin (like a factor of two)?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:46 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Crotchet (quarter note) = 250? Surely that's out by a good margin (like a factor of two)?

Yup. Should have been eighth note @ 250. Quarter at 125. Copied the header from another tune and didn't make the change....

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:12 pm 
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I played it into Tunepal and came up with Jackson's Polka, whose first part seems to be clearly related to this Johnny O'Leary's.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:15 am 
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I tried playing the original recording into TunePal and kept getting different results (none at a high percentage of certainty) depending on which portion of the tune was sampled. The first portion of Jackson's and O'Leary's do look/sound a lot alike. The B part, maybe not so much... I just figured that, like the quote Gumby cites, the Clifford's assigned the names of the tunes on the recording to the people who were their source. Perhaps I should put the tune into TheSession.org so TunePal can find it and I can self-validate.

Thanks folks for the input. And would appreciate any further comments as to another name...

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:39 am 
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The tune sounds vaguely familiar but I haven't been able to pin point it yet. I listened to a bunch of Denis Murphy stuff earlier, a pleasure in itself, but no luck there. Drew Beiswenger & Connie O Connell's Cork and Kerry fiddle music book drew a blank as well. And ditto for several other books and recordings with some Sliabh Luachra content I have handy.

There are several publications of Padraig O Keeffe's and other Sliabh Luachra players' manuscripts that may or may not have clues (on-line @ ITMA for example), if anyone wants to try further.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:43 pm 
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It's the one after the Cuban on the Julia and Billy Clifford recording. As soon as I read the B part in my head, the two instruments played away...
https://soundcloud.com/patrick-cavanagh ... ford-cuban (Thanks to Patrick Cavanagh for making this so easy to link to!)

No other name that I'm aware of, nor does it need one, really!

edited to add that it's on thesession.org already https://thesession.org/tunes/13852


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:25 pm 
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NicoMoreno wrote:
It's the one after the Cuban on the Julia and Billy Clifford recording...No other name that I'm aware of, nor does it need one, really! edited to add that it's on thesession.org already https://thesession.org/tunes/13852


Yup, that's the one. No real need for another name other than if a significant number of folks know it by another name, it would be good (at least for me) to know that too. I didn't find it on TheSession as I searched for names with the O' in O'Leary and so missed the one you reference. Thanks for pointing it out.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:31 am 
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I contacted Terry Moylan and he got on to Bryan, Johnny Leary's grandson. He came back saying Johnny used call that polka ''Mikey Buckley's favourite'', he was a fiddle player from Cnoc Na Gaoithe in Gneeveguilla.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:42 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
I contacted Terry Moylan and he got on to Bryan, Johnny Leary's grandson. He came back saying Johnny used call that polka ''Mikey Buckley's favourite'', he was a fiddle player from Cnoc Na Gaoithe in Gneeveguilla.

To add to the fun (or the mystery), this is a very different tune from the Polka entitled, "Mike Buckley's Favourite" (#256) in Johnny O'Leary's tune book. Also different from #148, "Mikey Buckley's". Perhaps Mikey Buckley was just fickle and had lots of favourites.

Ah well, to paraphrase NicoMoreno above, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose is still Johnny O'Leary's"—or something like that.

Thanks to Gumby and Messrs. Moylan and O'Leary (both Bryan and Johnny) for their efforts and the input.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:47 pm 
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I think that's more or less standard practice in Sliabh Luachra - you don't worry about the name of the polka or slide, as what's important is who you got it from. So Johnny called it after Mike Buckley (along with the others) as that's who he got it from. Similarly for Julia and Billy. I got a couple polkas from Johnny O'Leary that in the book he calls Paddy Sweeney's - same thing, that's just who he heard them from.

I for one really appreciate that practice. It emphasizes the importance of how tunes are passed on and the importance of the communal, personal, or perhaps relational nature of the tradition. I like it!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:11 pm 
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I agree that it's a nice touch—giving credit to the giver of the tune and providing a provenance. It does make it difficult further down the line when the tune can have a whole bunch of names....

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:55 pm 
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I used to think that, too. I guess I still do think that it can be difficult for certain things (like indexing based on name...) but at the end of the day, the tune's the tune, and as long as you have the tune, you have the part that matters.

And with technology the way it is, indexing/archiving/collecting can be done completely based on the tune itself, and the many names just become extra information that's tagged on.

All that said, I do really appreciate having a name where there's a name that's definitely the correct one. For example, O'Farrell evidently composed O'Farrell's Welcome to Limerick, so I think it's important to use that name. The other names make for great, humourous discussions, though! But not all composers name their tunes (Paddy Fahey!) and I think many of these polkas are evolved or composed tunes that may never have had other names.

Editing to add, looking at the book, this is #148 - parts reversed, and slightly different runs, but it's the same tune.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:37 pm 
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NicoMoreno wrote:
Editing to add, looking at the book, this is #148 - parts reversed, and slightly different runs, but it's the same tune.

Right you are. When comparing, I looked right past the "flipping" of the parts. Thanks for noting that.

Best wishes.

Steve

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