The Boys Of Ballycastle hornpipe

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

There are 18 recordings of a tune by this name.

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

The Boys Of Ballycastle has been added to 6 tune sets.

The Boys Of Ballycastle has been added to 131 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.

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".