The Boys Of Ballycastle hornpipe

Also known as The Boy’s Of Ballycastle, Gypsy, The Gypsy, Leggett’s.

There are 17 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Stack Of Barley (a few times).

The Boys Of Ballycastle has been added to 4 tune sets.

The Boys Of Ballycastle has been added to 126 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The Boys Of Ballycastle
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:ef|gfed edBd| edeg B2 BA|G2 GA BABd|e2 A2 A2 ga|
bagf gfed|edeg B2 BA|G2 GA BcBA|G2 E2 E2 :|
|:gf |e2 B2 B2 gf|e2 B2 B2 gf|e2 ef gfga|b2 e2 e2 ga|
bagf gfed|edeg B2 BA|G2 GA BcBA|G2 E2 E2:|
X: 2
T: The Boys Of Ballycastle
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
d||: g>fe>d e>dB>d | e>d (3efg B2 B>A | G>FG>A B>AB>d | e2 A2 A2 d2 |
g>fe>d e>dB>d | e>d (3efg B2 B>A | G>FG>A B>cB>A |1 G2 E2 E2 d2 :|2 G2 E2 E2 g>f |
||:e2 B2 B2 g>f | e2 B>A B2 g>f | e>de>f g>fg>a | b2 b2 e2 g>a |
(3bag (3agf g2 g>f | e>d (3efg B2 B>A | G>FG>A B>cB>A |1 G2 E2 E2 g>f :|2 G2 E2 E4 ||

Twelve comments

Played with a nice swing by Kevin Burke on "Up Close".

Hornpipe?

Isn’t this tune a hornpipe?

Posted by .

The Boys of Ballycastle

I’d agree, Kenny. The tune has that rhythm at the end of the 4-bar phrases that is typical of so many hornpipes.
Trevor

It is a hornpipe I think. I play it with Napoleon Crossing the Rhine. They make a nice set.

Hornpipe

This tune is certainly a hornpipe and I have come across a few musicians who called it ‘The Gipsy Hornpipe’,
Good Luck
Mikea

Posted by .

This is called Leggett’s Reel in Kerr’s Merry Melodies. Don’t know why anyone would play it as a reel, though.

Posted by .

Boys of Ballycastle

Jimmy Shand recorded a very similar (major-key) tune called "The cairdin’ o’t" at reel tempo, which Kevin Burke has also recorded.

Gypsy HP

Here’s a marginally different take on this (I know it as the Gypsy’s HP) from our session and before that probably from a workshop CD by Angie Bladen and Martin Ellison.
X:1
T:Gypsy Hornpipe
M:4/4
R:Hornpipe
K:G
L:1/8
d||: g>fe>d e>dB>d | e>d (3efg B2 B>A | G>FG>A B>AB>d | e2 A2 A2 d2 |
g>fe>d e>dB>d | e>d (3efg B2 B>A | G>FG>A B>cB>A |1 G2 E2 E2 d2 :|2 G2 E2 E2 g>f |
||:e2 B2 B2 g>f | e2 B>A B2 g>f | e>de>f g>fg>a | b2 b2 e2 g>a |
(3bag (3agf g2 g>f | e>d (3efg B2 B>A | G>FG>A B>cB>A |1 G2 E2 E2 g>f :|2 G2 E2 E4 ||

I first heard this tune and played it with a mandolin and guitar group whom I play acoustic bass with. We use a written out arrangement by Steve Kaufman.

Laurence

I was recently listening to the "Up Close" CD by Kevin Burke when I noticed how similar this tune was to the one which I know as "Gypsy’s Hornpipe" by Steve Kaufman. I think our first mandolin player found it in a book of tunes arranged for mandolin orchestras by Kaufman.

Laurence

Boys of Ballycastle

I first saw this tune under the name, The Gipsy’s Hornpipe, in the 1954 book, The Second Fiddler’s Tune-Book 100 Tradional Airs, edited by Peter Kennedy.

Re: The Boys Of Ballycastle

The famed fiddler James Scott Skinner (1843-1927) played this under the title "The Shillelah" and published it in his 1903 collection "Harp and Claymore".