The Boys Of Portaferry reel

Also known as The Pullet, Sporting Boys.

There are 32 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Ashmolean House (a few times), The Glen Of Aherlow (a few times), Highway To Kilkenny (a few times), The Ladies Pantalettes (a few times) and The Pullet (a few times).

The Boys Of Portaferry has been added to 7 tune sets.

The Boys Of Portaferry has been added to 164 tunebooks.

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Eight settings

X: 1
T: The Boys Of Portaferry
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
BA|:G2 BG AcBA|GABG GEDE|GABG ABce|dBgB c2 BA|
|G2 BG AcBA|(3GGG BG GEDE|GABG ABce|1 dBAc BGGD:|2 dBAc BGGA||
|(3Bcd gd edgd|Bdgd e2 dc|(3Bcd gd edef|gedB c2 BA|
|(3Bcd gd edgd|Bdgd e2 dc|Bdgd (3efg fa|gedB c2 BA:||
# Added .
X: 2
T: The Boys Of Portaferry
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|gedB c2 cA| into Kerryman's |G~E3 GAcd|egdB cAAc| and so on.
# Added .
X: 3
T: The Boys Of Portaferry
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
BA | G3 B AGAB | G2 BG AGED | G3 B AB c2 | dBGB c2 :|
BA | Bdgd Bdgd | Bdgd (3cdc BA | Bdgd e2 ef | gedB c2 :|]
X: 4
T: The Boys Of Portaferry
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:G2 BG Ac BA | G2AG GE DE | G2 BG AB cd | dB GB Ac BA |
G2 BG Ac BA | G2AG GE DE | G2 BG AB cd | dB AB G3 A |
(3Bcd gd ed gd | Bd gd eg dc | Bd gd ed ef | ge dB cA BA |
(3Bcd gd ed gd | Bd gd eg dc | Bd gd ed ef | ge dB cA BA :|
X: 5
T: The Boys Of Portaferry
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
||G2 BG AG BG | GGBG GE DE | GGGB AB (3cBA | dBGB (3cBA FA |
|GA BG AG BG | GGBG GE DE | GGGB AB (3cBA | dB (3cBA G3 ||
||(3Bcd gd ed gd | (3Bcd gd e2 dc | Bd ef gg fa | ge dB (3cBA FA |
||(3Bcd gd ed gd | (3Bcd gd e2 dc | Bd ef gz b2 | zgge dB (3cBA ||
X: 6
T: The Boys Of Portaferry
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G3B AGAB|GBAG GEDE|G2GB AGAB|dBGB c2BA|
G3B AGAB|GBAG GEDE|G2GB AGAB|dBAF GGG2|
Bdgd edgd|Bdgd edcA|Bdgd (3efg fa|gedB c2cA|
Bdgd edgd|Bdgd edcA|Bded gbaf|gbdB c2BA|
X: 7
T: The Boys Of Portaferry
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:G2 BG AcBA|G3F GE D2|G2 BG ABce|dBgB c2 BA|
|G2 BG AcBA|G3F GE D2|G3B A3B|1 dBAB G3D:|2 dBAB G3z||
|(3Bcd gd edgd|(3Bcd gd e3d|(3Bcd gd edef|(3gfe dB c2 BA|
|(3Bcd gd edgd|(3Bcd gd e3d|(3Bcd gd edef|(3gfe dB c2 BA:||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 8
T: The Boys Of Portaferry
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
cB | A2 cA BcdB | A/A/A ce afec | A2 cA Bcdf | ecAc d2 :|
z2 | c<e ae feae | c<e ae f2 fe | c<e ae fefg | afec d2 :|

Ten comments

The Boys of Portaferry

I first learned this tune off a Cherish the Ladies compilation cd, "One and All: The Best of Cherish the Ladies." I’ve since heard it knocked around by a few other players, but not often. And somehow it’s even dropped out of favor at our local session. I’m hoping to bring it back.

I like the way it keeps trying to resolve to the notes that normally leave you suspended in G major—c’s in the A part and e’s and c’s in the B part. The 4th measure of the A part is just pregnant. Of course it never completely works out, so you get carried along waiting for the final resolve. For me, that comes by going from Boys of Portaferry straight into Kerryman’s Daughter in C maj:

|gedB c2 cA| into Kerryman’s |G~E3 GAcd|egdB cAAc| and so on.

It’s a bit of a finger twister on fiddle, especially uptempo, but it’s great practice for clamping onto a G doublestop and working on clean string crossings. And it works fine (as does Kerryman’s Daughter) at a moderate tempo.

You can simplify the B part by omitting all those triplets and playing |Bdgd edgd|, but it loses some of its momentum this way.

Anyobody have a different setting for Boys of Portaferry? The only other printed version I’ve seen is in the Krassen edition of O’Neill’s, and it’s almost identical.

Posted .

As soon as I saw this I knew it would have been you who posted it. Will, this was one of the tunes listed in your "common session tunes" thread from ages ago, and I was surprised to see that it hadn’t been posted here. I have played this for a long while and keep trying to play it in sessions but no-one *ever* knows it or bothers trying to learn it. Perhaps if I played something loud and noticeable (like a fiddle maybe Will?) people would listen :-)

I play this in a set that goes Bunker Hill/Boys Of Portaferry/Jenny Picking Cockles (Dmix version). I think they merge nicely into each other. For me, Bunker Hill wants to go into G…

don`

I was interested to find this tune - I haven’t heard of it before - since I was born in one of the villages around Portaferry and lived there for seven years. I return to the town every year (as I now live in Derbyshire).

Posted by .

The “Pullet”: track 3 on “Tap Room Trio”

I posted the following question in the recordings section as well to increase its chances of being seen: Does anyone have a different name for the tune rendered by the Tap Room Trio and listed on the sleeve as "the Pullet"?

Posted by .

The Boys of Portaferry

Another way of playing it:

X:164
T:Boys of Portaferry, The
T:The Pullet
S:Session, Green Tree, Edinburgh
Z:Nigel Gatherer
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:G
BA | G3 B AGAB | G2 BG AGED | G3 B AB c2 | dBGB c2 :|
BA | Bdgd Bdgd | Bdgd (3cdc BA | Bdgd e2 ef | gedB c2 :|]

Different setting

From Planxty’s live album:

T: The Pullet
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Emin
|:G2 BG Ac BA | G2AG GE DE | G2 BG AB cd | dB GB Ac BA |
G2 BG Ac BA | G2AG GE DE | G2 BG AB cd | dB AB G3 A |
(3Bcd gd ed gd | Bd gd eg dc | Bd gd ed ef | ge dB cA BA |
(3Bcd gd ed gd | Bd gd eg dc | Bd gd ed ef | ge dB cA BA :|

John McSherry “Six days in Down”

X:1
T: The boys of Portaferry
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
D: John McSherry "Six days in Down"
K: Emin
||G2 BG AG BG | GGBG GE DE | GGGB AB (3cBA | dBGB (3cBA FA |
|GA BG AG BG | GGBG GE DE | GGGB AB (3cBA | dB (3cBA G3 ||
||(3Bcd gd ed gd | (3Bcd gd e2 dc | Bd ef gg fa | ge dB (3cBA FA |
||(3Bcd gd ed gd | (3Bcd gd e2 dc | Bd ef gz b2 | zgge dB (3cBA ||

The Boys of Portaferry

X:1
T:The Boys of Portaferry
S:"Bad Turns & Horse-Shoe Bends" by Harry Bradley
M:4/4
L:1
K:G clef=treble 4
G3B AGAB|GBAG GEDE|G2GB AGAB|dBGB c2BA|
G3B AGAB|GBAG GEDE|G2GB AGAB|dBAF GGG2|
Bdgd edgd|Bdgd edcA|Bdgd (3efg fa|gedB c2cA|
Bdgd edgd|Bdgd edcA|Bded gbaf|gbdB c2BA|

The Boys Of Portaferry, X:8

X:8 is a setting adapted for pipes by the Glasgow group Calasaig, from their 2003 album ‘Merchant’s City". They call it "The Pullet".