An Pucan (polka)
Source:" We Won’T Go Home ‘Til Morning" by Brendan Begley
Is the spelling a variation of "ponncan" (can’t get the fada over the "a") meaning "Yankee"? Irish language scholars to the rescue!
Nope, not likely. More likely a reference an the "white ghost" or nature spirit which is anglicized as "the Pooka."
In the recordings section and in the "details" section, the spelling is "puncan", with an "n" in there. Since I don’t have the CD myself, I assume that the variant above, "An Pucan", is itself a mispelling with the "n" omitted. Hence, my own interpretation, that "an puncan" is another spelling of "an ponnc
While I am inrtrigued with the comments, I am also interested in how "An Pucan" is pronounced. Any takers on this. Bob M
Its melodic ‘contour’ (at least in the 1st part) is the same as that of the hornpipe ‘The boys of Bluehill’ (or the likes of The Flowers of Spring)
This does not mean ‘Púca’ but rather "yank" or American, and is an older form (now Poncán, pronounced pon-cawn)
look up Yankee in De Bhaldraithe (Poncán)
or for a source on this spelling, check out the story "An Puncán agus an Ghealach Mhór" (The Yank and the Big Moon) from ‘An Lóchrann" 1918
“An Púcán” is actually a boat. It is a smaller version of the famous Galway Hooker or Bád Mór. It is about 30 feet in length and was used for fishing and hauling turf around Galway Bay, although they were probably used in other places as well. Nowadays they are pretty much pleasure boats and you can usually see some at the “Cruinniu na m Bad’ a local boat festival in Kinvara Co. Galway. I’ve heard it pronounced “un pookawn”.
Cool little tune…Pat Conlon
Re: An Puncán
Yes, but as the liner note of the CD says, the tune is ‘An Puncán’ (sic) and it was composed by Brendan Begley.
It’s a bit late, (CD dated 1997, thread here from c2004) but maybe somebody could ask him about the origin of the title (and if he has enjoyed reading this thread!). But he does have history with boats (The Camino Voyage, etc) so probably that’s it. See