Mick Carr’s barndance

Also known as Dermot Byrne’s, Mic Ó Carra, Mick Carr’s Barndances.

There are 7 recordings of this tune.

Mick Carr’s has been added to 5 tune sets.

Mick Carr’s has been added to 31 tunebooks.

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Five settings

Sheet Music33
Sheet Music333
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Sheet Music3
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Sheet Music33333
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Sheet Music312
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Fifteen comments

Calling Paul O’Shaughnessy - - -

This is second in a set of barndances on the recommended album “Within a Mile of Dublin”, Paul McGrattan and Paul O’Shaughnessy.

I’ve been holding back on posting the first one from that set, a nice one called ‘The Tuesday Barndance’ - by Paul O’Shaughnessy. I’ve been searching for more than a month, off and on, to find a contact for him. As this is his composition I would really prefer to have his permission before posting his tune. If anyone can help, please do. And if your out there in the numbers Paul, let me know if it is OK. It’s a nice tune, and great for dancing to. It would be a prize addition to the other barndances on this site. - - - yeah, there I go again, barndances! Who’s govelling, who’s obsessed?

Wow! - that was quick Jeremy. I only just added this and “POOF!” there’s already sheetmusic and midi…

Does he really play it all bouncy like this?

Not quite so bouncy, really. With more of a slightly-evened out hornpipe bounce. Best to just hear it, of course!

Paul got this from James Byrne; a better source to transcribe would be James, playing on “The Road to Glenlough.”

The older style of playing the barndances/Germans did tend to have that pronounced swing, a la the ‘schottische’, and reflected sometimes in longer swings sometimes found in barndances, often toward the end of a bar (N=note):

N3 N|

Shaughnessy, as true with younger players, does even it out more, but there is that loss of connection with the dance and even ‘earlier’ sources, and the natural translation to make it fit things related that you’re more familiar with, such as hornpipes. The end result for flings is that many of them survive now as single reels, completely flattened out…

I’m pretty sure I have other transcriptions of this one, at least from Byrne, and I’ll add that to this comm when I find it, or re-transcribe it. The previously mentione recording ‘The Road to Glenlough’ is brilliant, but remember, James Byrne is a young one too…well, comparatively speaking…

Paul O‘Shaughnessy’s ’The Tuesday Barndance’, and some word eating -


& - I eat my words, some of them.

Listening to some of my old recordings as opposed to the way the midi treats these transcriptions, a slow and deliberate clipped piano, and the skip it puts on anything transcribed as N>N - I concede and can see how it can be taken as an exaggeration, and I also have to acknowledge something not quite right in the way it swings it, but that may just be the tempo. But, there is in the earlier playing for dance of these things a pronounced swing, something strongly ‘hornpipy’? If anyone has a copy of ‘The Northern Fiddler’ you’ll see how they made the mistake of transcribing a whole barndance as a jig, instead of ‘N>NN>N’ they transcribed it as ‘N2 N N2 N’. I’ve seen that mistake before and with that characteristic swing it is understandable. So, while it sounds a bit OTT on the midi piano, there ‘was’ quite a swing to the playing of these for dancers, just as there was a swing to the dancing too. Not this slow either, so with a bit more umph that pronounced feeling tends to soften a bit.

While it has swing, it should flow, not sound choppy, which is what the midi does to it, but then there’s no sustain on that piano. The swing would be better on a fiddle or a flute, but, that choppiness, which I find irritating, does help to clarify the melody of these contributions.

And - there is a bit of the fairground and the calliope about this tune form.

James Byrne - another transcription ( variant - |d>ed>c B<GB>c| ):

|:>A B>c|d>ed>c B>GB>c|d>ed>B g2 B2|c>dc>B A>^GA>B|c>Bc>A d2 B>c|
d>ed>c B>GB>c|d>ed>B (3ggg f>g|e>gf>e d>cB>A|1 (3GGG F2 G:|
2 G2 F2 G2||
|:F>E|D2 G>B d2 d2|e>dc>B c2 c2|D2 F>A c2 c>d|f>ed>c B2 B2|
D2 G>B d2 d2|e>dc>B c4|D>EF>G A>cB>A|1 (3GGG F2 G2:|
2 G2 F2 G||

James tends to add a ‘skip’ in Part 1, bars 1 and 5, as shown in the heading, or:
|d>ed>c B*GB>c|
The less than sign is read as code in this field, so I’ve given ‘*’ instead…

James Byrne learned barndances from his father and local players, which may not reflect the way barndances are played on old 78s of players from other parts of Ireland. I have no doubt, actually, that barndances *were* (and are) played with more bounce in Sligo. Donegal’s different.


“James Byrne: The Road to Glenlough” ~ notes on “Mick Carr’s Barndances”

“Mick Carr’s Barndances” ~
“James (Byrne) plays regularly with Micheál Car who is equally adept on accordion and fiddle and who inherited many unusual tunes from his father, Mick. The former popularity of barndances is evident from the many commercial recordings made by Irish musicians in the United States of America in the 1920s and the 1930s. Barndances as played in Donegal are more relaxed in tempo and less rhythmically accented than those recorded in America by James Morrison, the Flanagan Brothers, Frank Quinn and others.”

Terry Bingham’s version

Here is what Terry Bingham plays on his CD. He calls it “Dermot Byrne’s”. It is quite different alright, but I still think it is the same tune…

T:Mick Carr’s
T:Dermot Byrne’s
|:DGGB d2 (3B^cd|gdBG c2c2|DFAB c2cd|(3efg dc B2B2|
DGGB d2 (3B^cd|gdBG c2c2|DEFG ABcA|1 G2FA G2G2:|2 G2FA G2Bc||
|:dedc BGGB|dedB g2AB|cdcB A=F=FA|cdcA d2Bc|
dedc BGGB|dedB g2fg|efge dcBA|1 G2FA G2Bc:|2 G2FA G2G2||

X: 5 ~ “Mick Carr’s Barndance” ~ (“Dermot Byrne’s Barndance”) - “It is quite different” ~ not really…

I wouldn’t call it ‘different’, and definitely not ‘quite different’. It is the same tune. It’s just that common case of reversing the parts, which has happened to a number of tunes for various reasons, some intentional but most by accident or failing memory, or having only heard it started from one end or t’other. 😉 Thanks for the alternate setting, now copied the other way round, with the endings reduced to intros and added swing (which can very from light to heavy), and a few other adjustments to aid comparison, checking also the Terry Bingham take on it.

Note from the CD: “Terry Bingham: Traditional Irish Music from Doolin Co. Clare” ~ in this case from Donegal ~
10. ) A brace of barndances (2) named after two of the finest accordion Players in tradition. Terry got the first from Dermot Byrne of Donegal, who in turn learned it from his fellow countryman fiddle player James Byrne. (who had it from and as “Mick Carr’s”, and Mick Carr got it from his father - Mick Carr…)

Notes from this CD: “James Byrne: The Road To Glenlough”

15. ) Mick Carr’s Barndances ~ see previous entry here in ‘comments’…

P.S. As Charles_Doolin has transcribed the playing of Terry Bingham, Terry mostly plays it straight, just occasionally slipping into a bit of swing…

Re: Mick Carr’s

For reference, on the self-titled Morga album, this is called “James Byrnes’.”