John Clifford’s polka

Also known as The Four Cross Roads, The Four Crossroads, Johnny Leary’s, Johnny O’Leary’s.

There are 10 recordings of this tune.

John Clifford’s appears in 1 other tune collection.

John Clifford’s has been added to 3 tune sets.

John Clifford's has been added to 31 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: John Clifford's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:B/c/|d>c df|B2 B2|c/B/A/B/ ce|A2 A2|B/c/d ef|
g2 ga/g/|1 fe fd|a2 a:|2 fe ac|d2- dB/c/||
|:dc/d/ f/e/d/B/|Af fe/f/|Be ed/e/|Ad dA|
dc/d/ f/e/d/B/|Af fe/f/|Be ec|1 d2 dA:|2 d2- d||
X: 2
T: John Clifford's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:d>c da|B3 d|c/B/A/B/ c/d/e|A2 FA|B/c/d ef|
g3 e|1 fe fd|a2 AB/c/:|2 fe af|d2 AB/c/||
|:d/c/d/e/ f/e/d/B/|Af f2|Be eB|Ad dB/c/|
d/c/d/e/ f/e/d/B/|Af f2|Be ef|d2 d2:|
X: 3
T: John Clifford's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
d>c df|B3 B|c/B/A/B/ ce|A3 A|
B/c/d ef|g3 f/g/|1 fe fd|a3:|2 fe ac|d3||
dA/d/ f/e/d/B/|Af fe/f/|Be e^d/e/|Ad dA|
dc/d/ f/e/d/B/|Af fe/f/|Be ec|d3:|
G>F GB|E2 E2|F/E/D/E/ FA|D2 D2|
E/F/G AB|c2 c2|1 BA BG|d2 d:|2 BA dF|G3||
X: 4
T: John Clifford's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|:d>c df|B2 B2|c>d ec|A2 A2|
B/c/d ef|g2- g2|1 f/4g/4f/e fg|a2 a2:|2 fe af|d2 d2||
|:e>f e/d/c/B/|Af f2|Be ec/B/|Ad d2|
e>f e/d/c/B/|Af f2|Bc eB/c/|1 d2 d2:|2 d2 d||

Thirteen comments

The Four Cross Roads

3rd tune on the 7th track of the CD ‘Made in Cork’ recorded by Patrick Street. The other two tunes preceeding this are: “Where Lilies Bloom” & “The Village Tavern”

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Thanks hetty, I’ll have to put that one on for a listen to how they take it…

From Denis Liddy

Denis Liddy recorded this tune as a solo track on “Waifs and Strays”. The liner notes say he got it from a recording of the band “Any Old Time”. I’ve searched for it here but didn’t find it. Unfortunately, the title is a very generic one.

Despite that, it is a very nice tune to play. I prefer it at a steady pace with very little ornamentation of variation (I’m playing it on whistle at the moment).

I think I’ve got my ABCs correct. There are some minute details which I would have liked to add. Denis holds some notes and followed them with a succession of staccato triplets but I don’t know how to put it into ABC. And, to be honest, I don’t know how to explain the little variations in writing, so just listen to the recording if you have it.

Hope you enjoy this one 🙂


Crossing by Any Old Time

This is the album containing Johnny O’Leary’s polkas. May there be as many as stars in the sky.

Track 4 is listed as Johnny O’Leary’s Polkas. According to the liner notes, the first is listed as Julia Clifford’s and the second fulfills the polka tradition by not having a name.

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“John Clifford’s Polka” ~ I said I’d be back! 😉

I was sure I had at least one other name for this than ‘gan ainm’. Sorry I’m late returning. Here’s another source for a transcription, more of the good works of Mr. Moylan ~

“Johnny O’Leary of Sliabh Luachra:
Dance Music from the Cork-Kerry Border”
edited by Terry Moylan
The Lilliput Press, 1994
ISBN: 1-874675-42-2

Pages 191 - 192, tune #339: “John Clifford’s” (2)

There are no specific notes for this except to give the tempo of the recording transcribed from as 1/4 = 146 bpm

“John Clifford’s Polka” ~ another take and possibilities

Aside from playing it in G, A or C ~ here it is in the key already given with some other ways with it. Frankly, I love it down low… The transcription just mentioned, of Johnny O’Leary, is also in D.

X: 2
T: John Clifford’s
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: Dmaj
|: B/c/ |\
d>c df | B3 B | c/B/A/B/ ce | A3 A |
B/c/d ef | g3 f/g/ |[1 fe fd | a3 :|[2 fe ac | d3 ||
|: A/4B/4c/ |\
dA/d/ f/e/d/B/ | Af fe/f/ | Be e^d/e/ | Ad dA |
dc/d/ f/e/d/B/ | Af fe/f/ | Be ec | d3 :|

& just as a taster ~
K: Gmaj
|: D |\
G>F GB | E2 E2 | F/E/D/E/ FA | D2 D2 |
E/F/G AB | c2 c2 |[1 BA BG | d2 d :|[2 BA dF | G3 ||

John Clifford’s Polka

ceolachan - your transcription is showing as G major, not the D major you wrote it in. Perhaps because your ‘taster’ is in G?

X: 2 “The Four Cross Roads”

S: “Patrick Street: Made in Cork”, track 7, the 3rd polka of three

A little late dear Hetty, but not for the first time, this old computer and this old mind…