Madame Bonaparte hornpipe

Also known as Bonaparte’s Advance, Madam Bonaparte, Not Tonight Josephine.

There are 49 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Blackbird (a few times), The Devil’s Dream (a few times), The Mason’s Apron (a few times) and The Wild Irishman (a few times).

Madame Bonaparte has been added to 9 tune sets.

Madame Bonaparte has been added to 291 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Madame Bonaparte
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:dc|B2BA BdBG|c2cB cecA|GBdf gfge|d3e dcBA|
B2BA BdBG|cBcd efge|dBGB cAFA|G2GF G2:|
|:BA|GBdf gfge|d3e dcBA|GBdf gfge|d3e dcBA|
BdGd BdGd|ceAe ceAe|BdGd BdGd|FADA FADA|
BdGd BdGd|cBcd efge|dBGB cAFA|G2GF G2:|
X: 2
T: Madame Bonaparte
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d^c=c | B2 BA (3Bcd BG | c2 cB cdcA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd BG (3Bcd BG | cBcd eFFE | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: B2 BA (3Bcd BG | c2 cB cdcA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd BG (3Bcd BG | cBcd ef (3gfe | (3gfe dB cAFA | G2 GA G2 BA ||
|: GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd ef (3gfe | (3gfe dB cAFA | G2 GA G2 BA ||
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd eFFE | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: B2 BA BdBG | c2 cB cdcA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
B2 BA (3Bcd BG | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
B2 BA BdBG | c2 cB cdcA | B2 BA BdBG | A2 AG AcBA |
B2 BA BdBG | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA | GA (3Bcd b2 (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd Fd Fd Fd |
(3Bcd (3Bcd (3Bcd (3Bcd | cBcd egge | (3gfe dB cAFA | G2 GA G2 BA ||
GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: BB Gd BB Gd | cc Ad cc Ad | BB Gd BB Gd | A3G AcBA |
BB Gd BB Gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: BB Gd BB Gd | cc Ad cc Ad | BB Gd BB Gd | A3G AcBA |
BB Gd BB Gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
B2 BA (3Bcd BG | c2 cB cdcA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd BG (3Bcd BG | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
B2 BA BdBG | c2 cB cdcA | B2 BA BdBG | A2 AG AcBA |
B2 BA BdBG | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: BB Gd BB Gd | cc Ad cc Ad | BB Gd BB Gd | A3G AcBA |
BB Gd BB Gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: BB Gd BB Gd | cc Ad cc Ad | BB Gd BB Gd | A3G AcBA |
BB Gd BB Gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 3
T: Madame Bonaparte
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d>c | B2 B>A B>dB>G | c2 c>B c>e c>A | G>B (3def g>fg>e | d2 d>e d>cB>A |
B2 B>A B>dB>G | c>Bc>d e>f (3gfe|d>BG>B c>AF>A | G2 G>F G2:|
|: B>A | G>B (3def g>fg>e |d3 e d>cB>A | G>B (3def g>fg>e | d3 e d>cB>A |
B>dG>d B>dG>d | c>eA>e c>eA>e | B>dG>d B>dG>d | F>AD>A F>AD>A |
B>dG>d B>dG>B | c>Bc>d e>f (3gfe | d>BG>B c>AF>A | G2 G>F G2 :|

Twenty comments

Madame Bonaparte

This is a very basic setting of a set dance - commonly played in hornpipe time - but also played as a reel. It’s also commonly played in Amajor. Two cracking versions - among many - are Finbar Furey’s highly ornamented pipe version (a recording I want played at some point during my funeral!), essentially the "hornpipe in G" and John Doherty’s which follows "The Spirits Of Wine" and is the "reel in A" version.

Didn’t like

M. Bonaparte

Dow, I always play the hornpipe version and had never heard it any other way - so at least this is an example of the reel version - would you say this isn’t typical - as said I’ve no idea what it should sound like?

Chris

There’s a vid of Simon Thoumire playing it as a reel on YouTube too, so I don’t think it can be that uncommon to play it that way. I personally think it sounds horrible like that, but that’s just my personal taste.

yeh Aiden I know that version by Finbar Furey..makes the hair stand up on the back of the neck..

Finbar Furey’s Version

X: 1
T: Madam Bonaparte
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Gmaj
|: d^c=c | B2 BA (3Bcd BG | c2 cB cdcA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd BG (3Bcd BG | cBcd eFFE | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: B2 BA (3Bcd BG | c2 cB cdcA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd BG (3Bcd BG | cBcd ef (3gfe | (3gfe dB cAFA | G2 GA G2 BA ||
|: GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd ef (3gfe | (3gfe dB cAFA | G2 GA G2 BA ||
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd eFFE | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: B2 BA BdBG | c2 cB cdcA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
B2 BA (3Bcd BG | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
B2 BA BdBG | c2 cB cdcA | B2 BA BdBG | A2 AG AcBA |
B2 BA BdBG | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA | GA (3Bcd b2 (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd Fd Fd Fd |
(3Bcd (3Bcd (3Bcd (3Bcd | cBcd egge | (3gfe dB cAFA | G2 GA G2 BA ||
GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: BB Gd BB Gd | cc Ad cc Ad | BB Gd BB Gd | A3G AcBA |
BB Gd BB Gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: BB Gd BB Gd | cc Ad cc Ad | BB Gd BB Gd | A3G AcBA |
BB Gd BB Gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
B2 BA (3Bcd BG | c2 cB cdcA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd BG (3Bcd BG | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
B2 BA BdBG | c2 cB cdcA | B2 BA BdBG | A2 AG AcBA |
B2 BA BdBG | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA | GA (3Bcd gd (3gfe | d2 fe dcBA |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd ad (3Bcd ad | (3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | (3Bcd fd fd fd |
(3Bcd gd (3Bcd gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: BB Gd BB Gd | cc Ad cc Ad | BB Gd BB Gd | A3G AcBA |
BB Gd BB Gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||
|: BB Gd BB Gd | cc Ad cc Ad | BB Gd BB Gd | A3G AcBA |
BB Gd BB Gd | cBcd egge | dB B2 BA A2 | AGGA G2 dc ||

Posted by .

Madame Bonaparte

I love the version of this tune played by the Canadian group Leahy on the CD "Fire in the Kitchen". I find it to be a very haunting melody.

Madame Bonaparte - is there a “standard”

I’ve known a version of this tune for years, but several things have struck me. Firstly, there seem to be at least 2 different versions of the "B" music. One version locked into the Irish tradition and the other seemingly favoured by Northumbrian musicians - am I right? Secondly, is it played as a Hornpipe or a set dance - in terms of its structure? Are there any oracles out there that can confirm / dismiss my thoughts?

Re: Madame Bonaparte - is there a “standard”

think its a set dance

Re: Madame Bonaparte - is there a “standard”

https://thesession.org/recordings/display/653
Recommend the above version - track 4.
"The Chieftains" also do a fine version on the "Bonaparte’s Retreat" album, as I recall.

Posted by .

Re: Madame Bonaparte - is there a “standard”

PS - the Chieftains version, might be "standard", Finbar’s certainly isn’t - it’s a virtuoso showpiece.

Posted by .

Fantastic (addictive) version

Check out Millhouse Measures https://thesession.org/recordings/display/3937 with Conal O’Grada on flute. Their treatment of this tune is as addictive as candy corn at halloween. Just such tasty, pulsy music. They play a higher key than what’s here, but it’s not too hard to mentally transpose on whistle, once the melody has burned indelibly into your memory. What great stuff.

X:3
Pretty much the same version as posted by Aidan (X:1) above, except transcribed as dotted and with triplets notated in several places.

Re: Madame Bonaparte

Okay…was the tune collected prior to O’Neill’s by ANYONE, Scottish, English, or Irish?

For some reason, I hear the tune in my mind with scottish snap rhythms (sixteenth-dotted eighths) in several key places, probably because Leo Rowsome employed a few of them in his performance of the tune on the Ri Na Piobairi LP.

I had also read (I don’t recall where just now) that the tune is not named after Josephine Bonaparte, but Elizabeth Patterson "Betsy" Bonaparte, an Irish American heiress that Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon’s no-good younger brother, married while on a visit to Baltimore in 1803…and Napoleon refused her entry into continental Europe or even acknowledge his young brother’s marriage to her.

The scandal caused a great deal of tittering in upper class British circles, including Anglo-Irish circles, and may have prompted the composition of the tune itself. Evidence that may support my theory includes:

1) The existence of the tune in a circa early-to-mid 1800s collection(s) for the fiddle, pipes, or flute (Dancing Masters?)
2) The collection need not be Irish, and may well have been English or Scottish

I appreciate any thoughtful input. I have heard the Josephine story, too, but I want to see evidence for that as well.

Re: Madame Bonaparte

I made some inquiries and was informed the tune has historical associations with James Gandsey (1767-1857), piper to the Barons Headley, whose estate was near Killarney.

Re: Madame Bonaparte

That make him approximately 36 years old or so at the time of the Betsy and Jerome incident, fully employed on the Headley Estate…and a prime suspect for the tune’s composer.

Re: Madame Bonaparte

I once played Madame Bonaparte for a set dancer who danced the steps for the set dance of that name. I played it with a dotted rhythm like a hornpipe, but he wanted the tempo slowed down to about half the speed that I would normally play a hornpipe. My impression is that set dance steps are so intricate that for dancing the tunes are played far more slowly than than any of us would play them in sessions.

Re: Madame Bonaparte

The earliest reference seems to be in O’Neills 1850 . It is tune no. 1788 and is called Bonaparte’s Advance . The Source given is J. O’Neill. It appears as Madam Bonaparte in O’Neill’s 1001 as tune no. 962 and in O’Neill’s 400 choice selections arranged for piano as no.399, which were later publications.

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