The Irish mazurka

Also known as Brogan’s, Charlie Lennon’s, Francie Mooney’s, Francis Mooney’s, Garrett Barry’s, The Hag With The Fiddle, Hugh Gillespie’s, Johnny Doherty’s, Ó Brógáin’s, The Old Donegal, Old Joe’s, Phroinsias’, The Polka, The Polka-(Mazurka), The Polka-, Sonny Brogan’s, Sonny Ó Brógáin’s, Sonny’s, Vincent Campbell’s.

There are 250 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Shoe The Donkey (lots of times), Sonny Brogan’s (lots of times), Banish Misfortune (a few times) and The Battering Ram (a few times).

The Irish has been added to 12 tune sets.

The Irish has been added to 213 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Irish
R: mazurka
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DG|B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 ce dc|(3Bcd g2 DG|
B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G4:|2 G3 ggf||
|:e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|B2 B ggf|
e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G3 ggf:|2 G4||
X: 2
T: The Irish
R: mazurka
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:DG|B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|(3Bcd g2 DG|
B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G4:|2 G3 ggf||
|:e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|B2 B ggf|
e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G3 ggf:|2 G4||
|:DG|B2 BA GB|d2 d2 AB|c2 ce dc|B2 B2 DG|
B2 BA GB|d2 d2 AB|cB cA EF|G4:|
|:gf|e2 ef (3gfe|d2 d2 AB|c2 ce dc|B2 B2 gf|
e2 ef (3gfe|d2 d2 AB|cB cA EF|G4:|
DG|B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 ce dc|Bd g2 DG|
B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G4:|2 G3 ggf||
|:e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 ce dc|B3 ggf|
e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G3 ggf:|2 G4||
X: 3
T: The Irish
R: mazurka
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DF|A2 AG FA|d2 dA BA|G3 B AG|FA EA DF|
A2 AG FA|de dA BA|G3 g fe|d4:||:
Ad|f2 fa gf|e2 eg fe|d2 df ed|cd Bd Ad|
f2 fa gf|e2 eg fe|d2 df ec|d4 :||

Eleven comments

Last night (Jan 1st) I saw that fine film "The Road to Perdition", starring Tom Hanks, which is about Irish gangsters in the Chicago of 1931. There was some Irish trad music played, notably at a wake early in the film, when "Old Torn Petticoat" and "Reel of Momentum" were credited. "Old Torn Petticoat" is on this website, but it appears that "Reel of Momentum" was written specially for the film by the box player John M Williams, so probably isn’t yet available anywhere (someone prove me wrong, please!)

Also credited in the film was "The Irish Mazurka" - I’m not sure I caught it - so here is the tune of the same name from Norbeck’s collection of mazurkas. For the purposes of this website, though, I’ve had to call it a waltz.

Here are some other versions of the tune, all from Norbeck:

"variations"
|:DG|B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|(3Bcd g2 DG|
B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G4:|2 G3 ggf||
|:e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|B2 B ggf|
e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G3 ggf:|2 G4||

"Hugh Gillespie’s version"
|:DG|B2 BA GB|d2 d2 AB|c2 ce dc|B2 B2 DG|
B2 BA GB|d2 d2 AB|cB cA EF|G4:|
|:gf|e2 ef (3gfe|d2 d2 AB|c2 ce dc|B2 B2 gf|
e2 ef (3gfe|d2 d2 AB|cB cA EF|G4:|

"Vincent Campbell’s version"
DG|B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 ce dc|Bd g2 DG|
B2 BA GB|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G4:|2 G3 ggf||
|:e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 ce dc|B3 ggf|
e2 ce ce|d2 dB AB|c2 cA FA|1 G3 ggf:|2 G4||

trevor

Son of Sonny’s?

This is possibly a variation as opposed to variant of the same tune that some of you will probably already know. It is in the key of D major. It certainly has a lot of similarities, employing the same motifs particularly in the first part.
I learned this at the first session I ever went to back home in N. Ireland. The local musicians used to play it followed by the G major tune and referred to the set as "Sonny’s Mazurkas".
They certainly thought of them as two distinct tunes. Make up your own minds and do, please let me know your view.
X: 1
T: Sonny’s #1
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: mazurka
K: Dmaj
DF|A2 AG FA|d2 dA BA|G3 B AG|FA EA DF|
A2 AG FA|de dA BA|G3 g fe|d4:||:
Ad|f2 fa gf|e2 eg fe|d2 df ed|cd Bd Ad|
f2 fa gf|e2 eg fe|d2 df ec|d4 :||
I have included the headers so you can cut and paste straight into a conversion program, if like me you find it easier to read the dots rather than abc.

Mazurkas can easily be over-ornamented.
I would play this with long rolls on the dotted crotchets (quarter notes) but leaving the minims (half notes) plain.
I would play the crotchets slightly staccato on some occasions and on others use a long roll incorporating the crotchet and following quaver (1/8 note) giving a mix of stacatto and legato as too much stacatto can be tedious.
Tempo around 1/4 note = 150 - 160.
I hope this of interest to those of you unfamiliar with mazurkas.

2

I learned this with another mazurka after it.They’re called the Old Donegal Mazurkas 1&2,or Vincent Campbells 1&2,or Francis Mooneys1&2,I think.

Vincent Campbell’s Mazurka - info required

Does anyone know the lowdown on this tune? Most importantly, is it traditional, rather than a composition? I need to know if it’s in copyright. Cheers!

Posted by .

Both mazurkas have been in the tradition for the long haul, the dances being popular from the 1800s up until before World War II. There are a lot of players whose names have been given to both tunes that are sometimes called ‘Vincent Campbell’s’. There are always stories going about, and I’m sure I once heard someone attribute ‘Sonny’s’ (‘Sonny Brogan’s’) to one of the many names you can find attached to it, even though tune predated the birth of the person who was said to have composed it. They just happened to play it, and with ‘no name’ (gan ainm), people who’d learned it from them gave it the name of the player. A lot of people have recorded both of the tunes listed by that name on site here, in several keys…

I don’t have it on hand here, but I think at least one of them was in ‘The Roche Collection’, something you could probably chase up…

I’ve also heard this mazurka played in the key of ‘D’, as on the single ‘D’ row of a melodeon, dropping down to the ‘A, below middle ‘C’…

|A,D F2 F2| ~

On older sharp tuned boxes this can sound as if it were in the key of ‘Eb’…

I learned this tune as Old Joe’s!