Please Give A Penny To The Poor Old Man polka

Also known as Lancers, The Lancers, McLaughlin’s Fling.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

Please Give A Penny To The Poor Old Man has been added to 4 tunebooks.

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Two settings

1
X: 1
T: Please Give A Penny To The Poor Old Man
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
gfe|: d^cde d=cBA| G2 G2 G2 DG | B2Bd cBAG| F2 A2 Agfg |
d^cde d=cBA| G2 G2 G2 DG | BdBG AcAF |1 G2 G2 G2 Bc :|2 G2 G2 G2 df ||
|:gfga b2ag | fagf d2df | gfga b2ag | fagf d2dc |
cBcd efg2 | cBcd efg2 | BdBG AcAF |1 G2 G2 G2 df :|2 G2 G2 G2 ||
2
X: 2
T: Please Give A Penny To The Poor Old Man
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:(uBc) |(d^c)de (d=c)BA | G2G2 {A}GFGA |B2B2 {c}BABc |
B2A2A2 (Bc) |(d^c)de (d=c)BA |G2G2 {A}GFGA |B2B2 {B}AGAB | G2B2G :|
|:(3udef) |gfga (b2ag) | fgaf d2((3def) |gfga b2(ag) | fgaf d2g2 |dcBc defg |
dcBc defg |(ef)ge (fg)af | g2b2"_D.C. Fine."g2 :|

Five comments

Lancers

This is the final part of what was usually a 5 part series of tunes played for this group dance, some in 2/4, some in 6/8; examples from folk tradition of the 6/8 have been posted here before. This setting comes from the fiddling of Johnny Doherty, as recorded on his Comhaltas LP; some of his other recordings have Lancers tunes in 6/8 as well, and more may be found at the Comhaltas archives. In bars 2 and 4 John actually played very brief double stops, harmonizing B against G and D against F, for the sake of clarity I haven’t included these notes.

Re: Please Give A Penny To The Poor Old Man

Frankie Gavin recorded this as one of McLaughlin’s Flings (with Staten Island). Peadar O’Laughlin and Maeve Donnelly recorded it as Leather Away the Wattle O! coupled with John Gorman’s Barn Dance. Neither of these recordings sound like polkas IMHO.

Re: Please Give A Penny To The Poor Old Man

Could there be a confusion of titles here? ‘Leather away the wattle-o’ (https://thesession.org/tunes/2286) as played at our local sessions seems like a straightforward polka, but ‘Wallop away … ’ is a different tune and doesn’t. Perhaps there is a crucial distinction between leathering your wattle and walloping it?

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