Dark Girl Dressed In Blue polka

Also known as Dark Girl, The Dark Girl Dressed In Blue, The Dark Girl, The Dark Haired Girl, Des Tarrant’s, Din Tarrant’s, Dressed In Blue, Timmy Collins Polka Number Two.

There are 43 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

Dark Girl Dressed In Blue appears in 3 other tune collections.

Dark Girl Dressed In Blue has been added to 23 tune sets.

Dark Girl Dressed In Blue has been added to 181 tunebooks.

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Five settings

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Seventeen comments

Dark Girl Dressed in Blue.

I’ve always understood this to be Southern English.Does anyone have any more explicit details about it?
Noel Jackson
Angels of the North

Dark Girl Dressed in Blue

Noel, you might be thinking of the polka popularised by Rod Stradling and the Old Swan Band on their “No Reels” LP FRR011. Although that one is also played in D (to suit G/D melodeon players) it’s quite different to the one posted here, having a C natural in the second strain and ending on an unresolved chord which makes a nice excuse for starting again from the top. Although it’s Irish in origin, having been learned from a 1960s ? recording of Donegal fiddler John Doherty, nowadays it’s usually regarded as an English tune and is consequently played in a rather heavy-footed style.
Colin Turner

I’m sure I’ve heard this tune played by Sliabh Luachra musicians. They seem to be insatiable polkophiles - they’ll take polkas from the four corners of the Earth (if four cornered it be) and make them their own.

This particular one reminds me of a certain Scots or Northumbrian tune, the name of which forget. But it responds well to the itchy-footed Kerry treatment.

David, I reckon you’re thinking of the 1st part of “Because He Was A Bonnie Lad” in G out of the Northumbrian minstrelsy, which goes something like: c|B>A Gg|e/f/g d>B|cedB cAA… I thought the same thing when I first saw this post but the 2nd part’s a lot different.

Call me a bomber-jacket, but I maintain the stance this tune is a descendant of the said Northumbrian tune, or that the two have a common ancestor. I suspect that somebody heard the original tune and remembered the first part but forgot the 2nd part and made up another bit in its place… or perhaps they just didn’t like the 2nd part and thought they could do better.

Dark and Moody it ain’t - D Major

K: Dmaj
|: FA Ad | Bd A>F | GB AF/A/ | BE G/F/E/D/ |
FA Ad | B/c/d/B/ A>F | GB A/B/A/G/ | FD D2 :|
|: FA A/B/d/e/ | f/e/f/d/ e>d | Bd/B/ A/D/F/A/ | BE G/F/E/D/ |
FA A/B/d/e/ | f>d e>d | Bd/B/ A/B/A/G/ | FD D2 :|

Nicely done Ceolachan--finally, a setting that makes sense under the fingers.

Posted .

Dark Girl Dresed In Blue (in D maj)

You can see (as well as hear) this polka being played on
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YIrzeY9iwo. It’s the second tune, and is played in D major.

The tunes played in the video are Farewell To Whiskey, The Dark Girl Dressed In Blue, and The Killavil Postman (a barndance).
The musicians (L-R) are Johnny Óg, Steve Simonds, Tomás Neachtain, Charlie Lennon and daughter Eilish, and Liam O’Hara.
There’s a second guitar player whose face can’t be seen, but he’s believed to be the Dubliner Dave Flynn.
(Many thanks to various contributers to the comments on Discussion #14004 and Tune #7137 for the above information)

I recently learned this one from Siobhan Ni Cholarain following on after My Love is but a Lassie (i.e. ‘Farewell to Whiskey’ as listed above)

“Dark Girl” ~ Bulmer & Sharpley

“Music from Ireland, Volume 3”
Compiled by Dave Bulmer & Neil Sharpley, 1974
ISBN: 0-9503784-4-5

Page 29, tune # 82: “Dark Girl”

X: 1
T: Dark Girl
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: DMaj
|: E |\
FA Ad | Bd AF | GB AF/A/ | BE G/F/E/D/ |
FA Ad | B/c/d/B/ A/B/A/F/ | GB A/B/A/G/ | FD D-D/ :|
|: E |\
|: FA A/B/d/e/ | f/e/f/d/ ed | Bd/B/ A/D/F/A/ | BE G/F/E/D/ |
FA A/B/d/e/ | f/e/f/d/ ed | Bd/B/ A/B/A/G/ | FD D-D/ :|

I’ve added the lead-ins, or ~
~ | FD D-D/ :|
|: E |\

Bulmer & Sharpley gave this in both parts finishing as
~ | FD D>E :|

ABCing a dotted eighth ~ 3/ ~

Another way to make it a dotted note through ABCs ~

From ~ | FD D-D/ :| ~ to ~ | FD D3/ :|

“The Dark Girl Dressed in Blue”

This is not the tune by this name played by Johnny Doherty…

The tune played by Johnny Doherty is this one https://thesession.org/tunes/11982 (posted by ‘c’) as is the one on the Old Swan Band recording referred to in the first two posts. Well, at least, to my ear, they are both relatives of ‘Over the Waterfall’.

Dark Girl Dressed In Blue, X:5

Setting as played at the Golden Guinea pub session, Bristol, UK.

Probably the same or similar setting to the one referred to by Fen Slodger in the comment above.

Dark Girl Dressed In Blue, X:5

Setting in D Major with chords and without ornamentation. I did the melody as simple as possible, with no variations, the first two bars of each part are exactly the same in each of the repetition. The different endings in both parts are just to alternate a final crochet in D with a final semiquaver in E as a link to the repetition of the part.