The Showman’s Fancy hornpipe

Also known as City Life, The Londonbridge, O’Keefe’s, Rogha An Ealaíontóra, The Showman’s.

There are 35 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Showman’s Fancy appears in 4 other tune collections.

The Showman’s Fancy has been added to 20 tune sets.

The Showman's Fancy has been added to 147 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: The Showman's Fancy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AFAB A2fd|B2gf edcB|Adfa gece|1 d2dc d2FG:|2 d2dc d2cd||
|:e~e2f gece|dcde fdAd|(3gag (3fgf (3efe (3ded|c2 (3BcB AGFG|
AFAB A2fd|B2gf edcB|Adfa gece|d2dc d2cd:|
# Added by LH .
X: 2
T: The Showman's Fancy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:(3FG^G|A>^GA>B A>df>d|B>dg>f e>dc>B|A>^GA>B A>FD>F|E>^DE>F E2 (3FG^G|
A>^GA>B A>df>d|B>dg>f e>dc>B|A>df>d g>ec>e|d>ed>c d2:|
|:(3cd^d|e>^de>f g>ec>A|d>cd>e f>dA>f|(3gag (3fgf (3efe (3ded|(3cdc (3BcB A2 (3FG^G|
A>^GA>B A>df>d|B>dg>f e>dc>B|A>df>d g>e (3cBA|d2 d>c d2:|
X: 3
T: The Showman's Fancy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A^GAB Adfd|Bdgf edcB|A^GAB AF (3DEF|EDEF E2FG|
(3ABA ^GB Adfd|Bdgf edcB|A^GAB AFDE/F/|1 EDEF DdcB:|2 EDEF D2 (3ABd||
|:eA (3def gece|dcde fdAa|(3gbg (3fgf (3efe (3ded|(3cdc (3BcB A2FG|
(3ABA ^GB Adfd|Bdgf edcB|A^GAB AFDE/F/|1 EDEF D2 (3ABd:|2 EDEF DdcB||
(3ABA dA ^GABA|(3ABA dA ^GABA|ABcB AGFE|1 D2 (3dAF DdcB:|2 D2 (3dAF D2dc||
|:Bcde fB (3B^AB|gfeg fdBd|(3cBc F2 (3cBc F2|FAde fedc|
Bcde fB (3B^AB|gfeg fdBd|(3cBc F2 FAde|1 fedc Bcdc:|2 fedc B4||
|:AG|FAfe dcBA|GB (3def gfed|ceba gece|(3ded (3cdc (3BcB AG|
FAfe dcBA|GB (3def gfed|ceba gece|(3ded dc d2:|
|:ga|(3b^ab (3=aba (3faf (3def|(3gbg (3fgf (3efe ce|agfe cABc|da (3a^ga bafa|
(3b^ab (3=aba (3faf (3def|(3gbg (3fgf (3efe ce|agfe cABc|da (3afe d2:|
X: 4
T: The Showman's Fancy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
(3FG^G|:A^GAB Adcd|Bg gf ecdB|A^GAB AFDF|E2EF E2(3FG^G|
A^GAB Acd2|Bg gf edcB|A2(3fga gece|1 d2dc d2FG:|2 d2dc d2 (3cd^d||
|:(e2 e)f gece|dcde fga2|(3gag (3fgf (3efe (3ded|(3cdc (3BcB AGFG|
A^GAB Acd2|Bg gf edcB|Adfa gece|1 d2dc d2(3cd^d:|2 dfec d2||
# Added by DomW .

Eleven comments

The Showman’s Fancy

I saw more comments are wanted on posted tunes. Ok, I had this tune from Mike Rafferty. I really like it alot. At our house session one of the members joined in to play it on whistle and they ‘slided’, or whatever its called, up to the high f and the high g, things like that. It made it sound so soulful that way, I liked it even more. This is a great old tune. Is anyone else playing it?

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There is also a nice recording of this tune by accordionist Mike Shaffer on his “Mike and Merv” disk.

The Londonbridge Hornpipe

This tune can also be found in Johnny O’Leary’s book - Of Sliabh Luachra.

Tune no. 106, on page 62, where it is called The Londonbridge Hornpipe.

It is also known as the 2nd of two O’Keefe Hornpipes.

Showman sandwiched in

Eugene O’Donnell, on his classic “Slow Air & Set Dances” recording, plays “Showman’s Fancy” (though not identified as such) as 2 parts of “The Derry Hornpipe.”

“The Showman’s Fancy” ~ but not the take on it given here…

The given transcription is not any version I’ve known for it, though close, suggestive.

Much closer to how I’ve had it and played it is to be found in the lovely little collection known as “Allan’s Irish Fiddler”, one of the earliest collections I ever acquired, and valued, as all the transcriptions, as dots to, are decent ones, unlike some other collections I won’t mention. You can find an online version of it here ~ but avoid the shight ABCs that ‘Noteworthy Composer’ spits out, which you’ll also find here ~
& dots for “The Showman’s Fancy” - hornpipe

Here are ABCs for the same, not processed through the mangle of ‘Noteworthy Composer’. 😉 This is a good approximation of the basics I play, though I have some quirky takes on it, and throw in the occassional snap, possibly borrowings from others of the lovely family of swung tunes ~

X: 2
T: The Showman’s Fancy Hornpipe
B: “Allan’s Irish Fiddler”, Mozart Allen, Glasgow, date ?, page 21, tune #84
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: DMaj
|: (3FG^G |\
A>^GA>B A>df>d | B>dg>f e>dc>B | A>^GA>B A>FD>F | E>^DE>F E2 (3FG^G |
A>^GA>B A>df>d | B>dg>f e>dc>B | A>df>d g>ec>e | d>ed>c d2 :|
|: (3cd^d |\
e>^de>f g>ec>A | d>cd>e f>dA>f | (3gag (3fgf (3efe (3ded | (3cdc (3BcB A2 (3FG^G |
A>^GA>B A>df>d | B>dg>f e>dc>B | A>df>d g>e (3cBA | d2 d>c d2 :|

Some folks avoid the accidentals in the lead-ins, for example ~
|: (3EFG |\ ~ instead of ~ |: (3FG^G |\ ~ and ~ |: (3Bcd |\ ~ instead of ~ |: (3cd^d |\
I have given some gentle variations for the last two bars, which are options for either the A or the B part, which can be played any number of ways, including as given ~

~ | A>df>d g>ec>e | d>ed>c d2 :|
~ | A>df>d g>e (3cBA | d2 d>c d2 :|
~ | A>d (3fed (3gfe (3cBA | (3ded c>e d2 :|
~ | A2 f>d g2 c>B | A>dd>c d2 :|

Though I tend to finish the tune here, I find I tend to play a higher variation on a number of the bars, but suspect they are a borrowing from elsewhere, one I’m trying to remember…

Early Recordings

The Showman’s Fancy was recorded by Joe Derrane in the late 40s or early 50s. It is coupled with a few unidentified hornpipes. He was a former student of Jerry O’Brien

Jackie Roache recorded it in the early 60s and did a bang-up job. He was a former student of James Morrison and John McGrath.

The Showman’s Fancy, X:4

transcribed (more or less) from a great set of hornpipes on Simon Bradley and Eamonn’s Coyne’s album Russell’s House.

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