The American Polka hornpipe

Also known as The American, Anglo-American Polka, The Anglo-American Polka, The Anglo-American, The British American Polka, The British American.

There are 4 recordings of a tune by this name.

The American Polka has been added to 37 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The American Polka
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
Bc|:dcBd cBAc|B2 F2 F2 Bc|dcBd cBAc|B2 G2 G2 Bc|
dcBd cBAc|B2 G2 G2 Bc|dcBd cBAc|B2 F2 F2 Bc|
dcBd cBAc|B2 F2 F3 f|(3fgf =f ^f g2 f2|B2 z2 _B2 z2|
Bcd^d edcB|Aafd A2 (3aaa|agec A2 (3aaa|bafd A2 _B2|
Bcd^d e=dcB|Aafd A2 (3aaa|agec AB=c^c|d2 z2 A2 Bc:|
K: Amaj
e3 e fgaf|e^def eAce|fgaf eAcA|B2 BA Bcdf|
e3 e fgaf|e^def eAce|fgaf eAcA|1 BAGB ABcd:|2 BAGB ABde||
K: Dmaj
f3 g (3fff (3eee|(3ddd (3AAA (3FFF (3DDD|(3CCC (3EEE (3GGG (3EEE| (3DDD (3AAA (3^GGG (3_GGG|
(3FFF (3ddd (3ccc (3BBB|(3AAA (3BBB (3ccc (3ddd|e3 f edeg|afec ABcA|
d3 f f2 e2|d2 cd ef a2|g4 e2 B _B|
A2 f2 fefg|f2 e2 B2 c2|d2 dc dBAF|D4 z4|
# Added by act .
X: 2
T: The American Polka
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
(3ABc | dcdB cBcA | B2F2 F2 (3ABc | dcdB cBcA |
B2G2 G2Bc | dcdB cBcA | B2G2 G2Bc | dcdB cBcA |
B2F2 F2 (3ABc | dcdB cBcA | B2F2 F2 f2 | (3fgf^ef gf=ec |
B4 ^A4 | Bcd^d e=dcB | Aafd A2(3aaa | {b}agec A2 (3aaa |
bafd A2^A2 | Bcd^d e=dcB | Aafd A2 (3aaa | {b}agec A^ABc | d2f2 d2 :|
cd | ~e3e f2af | e2ef ecBA | f^efa =ecBA | B^ABc B2cd |
e^dea f^efa | e2af ecBA | ~f2af ecBA | BABc A2 : | de |
f2fg f2e2 | d2A2 F2D2 | C2EF G2B2 | A2d2 A2Bc |
d2~d2 c2B2 | A2B2 c2d2 | e2ef e2(3ef^g | afec A2{g}fe |
d2de f2e2 | d2^d2 e2f2 | a2g2 {a}g2e2 | B4_B4 | A2f2 f3g |
f2e2 B2 c2 |1 d2(3aaa {b}a2(3aaa | {b}agec A2 :|2 d2{e}dc dBAF | D2z2- z2 ||
# Added by gone .

Thirteen comments

Not actually a polka

This is a tune taught to me by the great Fergal Scahill. He plays is a mile-a-minute. It’s a great fiddle tune, if you can get all the triplets!!

Posted by .

My mistake

sorry, bar three is supposed to be the same as five. And in the fourth bar of the last part, it’s supposed to be G sharp triplet and then G natural.

Athena

Posted by .

Changes

The abc version is now the correct one

Posted by .

I love this tune…

… further to recent discussion …

The abc’s are still not right …

They’re about right for Parts 1 and 2 (although Bar 13 of the first Part should have a Dnat on the way back down the scale), but Part 3 is way off …

Here’s my take on the whole lot, transcribed after listnening to David Munnelly and Friends on YouTube and after having played about with it a bit myself … :

X:1
T: The American Polka (transcribed from YouTube David Munnelly)
M:4/4
R:
K:D
(3ABc | dcdB cBcA | B2F2 F2 (3ABc | dcdB cBcA |
B2G2 G2Bc | dcdB cBcA | B2G2 G2Bc | dcdB cBcA |
B2F2 F2 (3ABc | dcdB cBcA | B2F2 F2 f2 | (3fgf^ef gf=ec |
B4 ^A4 | Bcd^d e=dcB | Aafd A2(3aaa | {b}agec A2 (3aaa |
bafd A2^A2 | Bcd^d e=dcB | Aafd A2 (3aaa | {b}agec A^ABc | d2f2 d2 :|
cd | ~e3e f2af | e2ef ecBA | f^efa =ecBA | B^ABc B2cd |
e^dea f^efa | e2af ecBA | ~f2af ecBA | BABc A2 : | de |
f2fg f2e2 | d2A2 F2D2 | C2EF G2B2 | A2d2 A2Bc |
d2~d2 c2B2 | A2B2 c2d2 | e2ef e2(3ef^g | afec A2{g}fe |
d2de f2e2 | d2^d2 e2f2 | a2g2 {a}g2e2 | B4_B4 | A2f2 f3g |
f2e2 B2 c2 | 1 d2(3aaa {b}a2(3aaa | {b}agec A2 :| 2 d2{e}dc dBAF | D2z2- z2 ||

Posted by .

I’ve just re-read the title at the top. What does it mean - ‘Not actually a polka’? It’s a polka. Along the lines of the classic polkas that became inordinately popular towards the end of the nineteenth century and then again in the middle of the twentieth.

Posted by .

Not an Irish type polka, I suppose. But,weren’t Irish Polka’s derived from this type of tune? This has almost got a Viennese(?) feel about it. First heard it by Jean Carignon-maybe it was carried over to Quebec by Les Francais Anciennes from Europe.

Polkas ~ more than one species, and shared steps and moves

I sometimes think of them as ‘ballroom polkas’, generally taken at a more relaxed pace, as Jean Carignan does, and one of the reasons I sometimes notate tunes like this in 4/4 instead of the old way, 2/4, though like with reels, it is a definite 2 beat measure… I’d file it under ‘barndance’, as the dance forms and tempos were similar. "Polka" it is, but you can hear you David Munnelly & friends interpret that, great playing, but butchering it as the dance tune it is…not an ‘Irish’ style polka, unless we consider how gently they used to take polkas in Clare and the North, and even in the Southwest going back a ways…

NOT the tune on Atlantic Wave

The link from The American Reel, from the recording of Paddy Reynolds, et. al, The Atlantic Wave, leads you to this polka. The correct link should be to The Abby Reel. The tune called "The American" on "The Atlantic Wave" album is really "The Abbey Reel."

Also NOT the tune on Flatfish

This is certainly not the tune on track 4 of Flook’s "Flatfish", after the Sligo Reel (also actually not the same as its namesake on this site). That tune is on this website as Liam Murphy’s Delight https://thesession.org/tunes/2505
It’s strange that Flook call it "The American" in their album, when Brian Finnegan, the whistle player for the band, calls the same tune "Liam Murphy’s Delight" on his solo album.
I think they did it just to confuse us.

Re: The American Polka

Here is the version of Jean Carignan. I wrote as double stops as I could.

X: 1
T: American Polka The
R: hornpipe
S:Jean Carignan
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
[d2f2]|[c2e2]AA A2[d2f2]|[c2e2]AA A2[d2f2]|[c2e2]AA A2C2|A,4-A,z||
|:(3ABc|dcBd cBAc|B2 [D2F2][DF]ABc|dcBd cBAc|B2 [B,2G2] [B,G]ABc|dcBd cBAc|B2 [B,2G2] [B,G]ABc|dcBd cBAc|B2 [D2F2][DF]ABc|
dcBd cBAc|B2 [D2F2][D2F2]FF|f2ef g2 f2|eBBB B4|Bcdc edcB|Aafd A2 (3aaa|agec A2 (3bbb|bafd A2 z2|
[G,2D2B2]cd edcB|Aafd A2 df|agec Agec|ddfa d’2:|
K: Amaj
|:e2a2 f2a2|ecAB ceA2|fa2f ecAc|BABc BAFE|[A2e2]a2 f2a2|ecAB ceA2|fa2f ecAc|1 BAFE A2(3Bcd:|2 BAFE A2~f2||
K: Dmaj
f4-f2 (3efe|(3dfd (3AdA (3FAF (3DFD|C2 ~g2 g2~C2|D2FA defa| [d2d’2] [c2c’2][=c2=c’2][b2B2]|[A2a2][B2b2][^c2^c’2][d2d’2]|[e2e’2]AB cdef|agec AGEC|
D2 f4 e2|d4 [=c3e3]f|a2[Bg][Bg] [B2g2] e2| [G4B4]-[GB]dcB|[F4A4] f3g|f2 e2 B2 c2|d2aa aaaa|agec AGEC|
D4 f2(3efe|(3dfd (3AdA (3FAF (3DFD|C2 ~g2 g2~C2|D2FA defa| [d2d’2] [c2c’2][=c2=c’2][b2B2]|[A2a2][B2b2][c2c’2][d2d’2]|[e2e’2]AB cdef|agec AGEC|
D2 f4 e2|d4 [=c3e3]f|a2[Bg][Bg] [B2g2] e2| [G4B4]-[GB]dcB|[F4A4] f3g|f2 e2 B2 c2|d2Ad fdfa|d’4z2||
"to finish, instead of the last three bars of part two, play :"
Aafd A4|[B4b4][c4c’4]|[d2d’2][dd’][dd’][d4d’4]||