The Old Black Guard barndance

Also known as The Black Guard Schottische, The Old Blackguard, The Old Blaggard.

There are 6 recordings of this tune.

The Old Black Guard appears in 1 other tune collection.

The Old Black Guard has been added to 4 tune sets.

The Old Black Guard has been added to 30 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Old Black Guard
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:(3ABc|d2F2 A2BA|G2C2 E3D|CDEF GABc|(3dfe (3dcB A2 (3ABc|
d2F2 A2BA|G2C2 E2ef|gfed cAcd|1 eddc d2:|2 eddc d2AF||
|:DEFA dced|c2B2 G3B|c2B2 G3A|B2A2 F3E|
DEFA dced|c2B2 G2ef|gfed cAcd|1 eddc d2AF:|2 eddc d4||
X: 2
T: The Old Black Guard
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:(3def|g2 B2 d2 e>d|c2 F2 A2- A>G|F>GA>B c>de>f|(3gba (3gfe d2 (3def|
g2 B2 d2 e>d|c2 F2 A2 A>G|F>GA>B c>de>f|g2 b2 g2:|
|:d>B|G>A (3Bcd g>fa>g|f2 e2 c2- c>e|f2 e2 c>Bc>d|e2 d2 B>cB>A|
G>AB>d g>fa>g|f2 e2 c2 a>b|c>ba>g f>de>f|g2 d2 G2:|
X: 3
T: The Old Black Guard
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
(3def|:g2B2 d2ed|c2F2 A2ab|c'bag fedc|(3B^cd (3cde d2 (3def|
g2B2 d2ed|c2 F2 A2 G2|FdEc DBCA|1 G2 G/F/G/A/ G2 (3def|2 G2 G/F/G/A/ G2AG|
|:F2Ad f2ed|c2 b2 a4|c2 b2 (3aba ^ga|bafd fdAG
(3FGA (3^GAB Ad (3cde|d2 b2 (3aba ^ga|c'bac g<ecA|
[1 GAFG E2AG:|2 d2 d/c/d/e/ d2 AG||"Final"d2 d/d/ d4d|

Fifteen comments

I was taught this hornpipe (barndance?) yesterday by Jill Elliott of the Hibernia Centre in Bristol, and I’ve transcribed it from a tape of her teaching performance. This hornpipe goes well with the Glenbeigh Hornpipe, which should follow it. I have posted the version of the Glenbeigh that Jill uses and teaches as a comment on the Glenbeigh file

Bars 2-4 of The Old Black Guard can be played with chords as follows: c2B2 [B3G3]B|c2B2 [B3G3]A|B2A2 [A3F3]E|.

Bars 2-4 of the B part, I should have said!

I can almost hear the brushes on the snare drums….

Posted .

At the lesson we discussed whether it’s a hornpipe or a barndance, and it’s one of those tunes (like the Glenbeigh hornpipe) which could be slotted into either category. My tutor decided on balance that hornpipe was more appropriate.

Hornpipe vs barndance

I would say it’s more of a barndance. Hornpipes get played with the same slow swingy rhythms, but I think the difference is when a tune has a lot of two quater notes followed by a dotted quater note in it (like this tune). It’s a fine, dicey line and it only matters to the truely anal-retentive types. It’s a good tune & it doesn’t matter whether someone calls it a hornpipe or a barndance.

thanks for your useful distinction between hornpipe and barndance, I’ll keep it in mind for future reference.

Pooka, I doubt if there was needle in Will’s posting. I reckon the tune or its name had a resonance for him.

Touchy feely touchy

mr pooka,what’s with your snare drum needle??
i’ve just read this thread and i took another meaning from Will’s remark.i don’t think you can infer anything from that line for sure either way.
so there…
i’ll get your coat just right after i’ve found mine…



Our local pipe band has a good corps of drummers, and one of them once or twice brought a snare drum to our Irish session. The sticks were a bit over the top, but when he brought out the brushes for a set of stately hornpipes, I was transported back to seeing the Black Watch as a child leaning over the ramparts. The most moving moment was when the pipes all went silent but one, and he was accompanied by a lone drummer with brushes on a snare. It still raises the hair on my neck.

Nevertheless, I still like to tease our local snare drummer, given the opportunity.

Posted .

BARNDANCE! - so I’m anal retentive?

It would be nice to see this barndance/schottische under that heading just so tunes like this could have a rightful recognition as being that little bit different from the huge store of hornpipes in the world, and so they could also outnumber the other odd things collecting under what has become a bit of a dustbin heading, like the mixed meter Balkan stuff collected there.

|:(3def|g2 B2 d2 e>d|c2 F2 A3 G| F>GA>B c>de>f|(3gba (3gfe d2 (3def|
g2 B2 d2 e>d|c2 F2 A2 A>G| F>GA>B c>de>f|1 g2 b2 g2:|
2 g2 d2 G2:|
|:d>B|G>A (3Bcd g>fa>g|f2 e2 c3 e|f2 e2 c>Bc>d|e2 d2 B>cB>A
G>AB>d g>fa>g|f2 e2 c2 a>b|c>ba>g f>de>f|1 g2 d2 G2:|
2 g2 b2 g2:|

This can also be paired up as first of a set of barndances, followed by ‘The Nova Scotia Barndance’:

As played by ‘The Irish All Stars’ (early 1950s Boston) -
Joe Derrane & Jerry O’Brien, accordions
George Derrane, banjo
Hermeline German, piano

Old Blackguard

X:3 from the fiddling of Larry Redican. On the recording he calls it the “Dance Monaghan.”

Aspeboda Spelmenslag i Bingsjö

found this purely by chance this evening. ‘A’ music is clearly the same but the variation is in the ‘B’ music.

I normally play “The Blaggard” with swing, dotted as a Schottishe (different to a French schottishe) but interestingly the Swedes here are playing it un-dotted.
I know not the name they give to the tune. I haven’t as yet translated the label on the youtube clip but am sure ‘Bingsjö’ is a place or name given to the occasion. I think it is a festival similar to the one I went to last year.

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