The Roundabout polka

By Dave Hennessy

Also known as The New Roundabout.

There are 10 recordings of this tune.

The Roundabout has been added to 6 tune sets.

The Roundabout has been added to 44 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: The Roundabout
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A|de fg|ab/a/ fa|ga/g/ fe|df A2|
de fg|ab/a/ fa|ga/g/ fe|d2 d:|
|:f|e>e fe|df Af|e>e fe|dB BA|
e>e fe|df Af|ga/g/ fe|d2 d:|
X: 2
T: The Roundabout
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G>A Bc|d2 Bd|c2 B>A|GB D2|
G>A Bc|d2 Bd|cd/c/ BA|G2 G2:|
|:A2 B>A|GB dB|A2 B>A|GE ED|
A2 B>A|GB dB|AB/c/ BA|G2 G2:|

Eleven comments

We Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning

Hi Marco.No offence,but what is the difference between you transcribing a tune from a cd,and me submitting one from a book?Affter all ,the tunes in the collections were transcribed from recordings and in the case of O’Neill’s,live players.

Hi David. Anyone can buy a collection in any music shop, whereas my transcriptions are available exclusively in this site.
This makes the difference.

I think it goes beyond that. Many printed collections include “embellishments” on what the collector heard. O’Neill’s in particular is notorious for gussied up transcriptions, as though the Chief was more interested in impressing customers with his sheet music than in faithfully capturing what was played. Add in the inappropriate key signatures and unlikely phrasings, and a collection can quickly become a source of misinformation and misrepresentation of the music.

Of course, the same risk is there with any transcriber, but I think it’s easier to determine whether someone can be trusted to transcribe accurately after you’ve read their dots for a few tunes and compared them against the source recordings. If all they’re doing is copying out of a book, you don’t know whether the book is an accurate record or not.

In short, too many written sources are barely playable and not representative of what a trad musician actually played. A careful, accurate transcription, noted down by an experienced player, of a recording or live performance is far better, imo. This *is* an aural tradition. The closer the connection between the dots and actual sound, the better.

The exception may be tunes posted here based on collections such as Breathnach’s generally excellent set and Thomas O’Canainn’s books, but those books were complied by experienced players listening to experienced players. Despite being an extra step removed from the aural source, the transcriptions are reliable.

The other consideration is one that Jeremy himself has brought up in the past--that it seems redundant to simply re-create a written source here. E.g., when people copy a tune off J.C.‘s tune finder and post it here unchanged, what’s the point? Why not just post the link to J.C.’s site? It’s especially useless if the poster doesn’t even indicate how they themselves play the tune, or if they lack the experience to know whether it’s a representative setting or garbage.

BTW, I think Gian Marco does a great job of and a tremendous service by posting tunes off recordings. Even when simplified from the recordings, his settings are invariably playable and seem to me to be faithful to the recordings. For people who live far from the usual concert halls and pub sessions (but who can obtain cds), this provides a wonderful source of dots for tunes they can hear. This strikes me as far more useful than simply reprinting the dots from a non-aural source.

Posted .

The Roundabout

The tune collections are aural sources.Somebody transcribed them,the dots didn’t get on the page by immaculate conception.


This subject has been done to the death before but if you want do discuss it again, you should IMO start a discussion thread. This section is supposed to be for comments relating to the tune.

Too often they *aren’t* faithful transcriptions of how the tune was actually played though. O’Neill admitted that he and his cohort struggled with key singatures and catching the ornaments. In many cases, this resulted in weird accidentals or mode shifts totally out of character with the tune. Similar problems crop up in many current tune collections, including Henrik Norbek’s abcs, the Reavy collection, etc.

All I’m saying is that, in my opinion, it’s better to have a trustworthy transcriber notating directly from a trustworthy and documentd aural source than it is to have a trustworthy transcriber passing along the dots from another transcriber, complete with their mistakes, unwarranted embellishments, etc. Perhaps best of all (and all too rare) is an experienced player immersed in the tradition who transcirbes his or her own playing of the tune.

Posted .

The Roundabout

In Niall Vallely’s concertina tutor, this tune is played in G -
almost an exact transposition: GA Bc| d2 Bd| c2 etc.

I like the high A part…

starting this fun tune. All-in-all, it’s very refreshing.

Re: The Roundabout

The New Roundabout Polka, as recorded on “The Corner House Set” CD was composed by Cork accordion player Dave Hennessy, who played in the trio Any Olde Time. The record company producing the “The Corner House Set” CD deleted about 50% of the text of the sleeve notes, including the credit for Dave’s tune. The source of the tune is the album Phoenix (Any Olde Time) released in 1988.