The Four Shoves polka

Also known as An Ceithre Thurraing, Jackie And Seamus.

There are 12 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Four Shoves appears in 2 other tune collections.

The Four Shoves has been added to 38 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Four Shoves
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
EB B/A/B|EB A2|EB B/A/B/c/|d2A2:|
|:dA/d/ ef/e/|df fe|dA/d/ ef/e/|d3 A|
dA/d/ ef/e/|df fe|fg/f/ ef/e/|d3 A:|
|:dA/d/ fe|dB Bd/B/|Ad fe|df af|
dA/d/ fe|dB Bd/B/|Ad fe|d4:|
fa d'2|c'b b2|g>f gb|ba a2|
fa d'2|c'b b2|g>f gb|ag fe|
|:dA/d/ fe|dB Bd/B/|Ad fe|df af|
dA/d/ fe|dB Bd/B/|Ad fe|d4:|
# Added by .
X: 2
T: The Four Shoves
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:EB B/A/B|EB A2|EB B/A/B/c/|d2 A2:|
|:df ef/e/|df fe|fd/f/ ef/e/|d2 dA|
df ef/e/|df fe|fd/f/ ef/e/|d2 dA:|
X: 3
T: The Four Shoves
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GF/G/ BA|GE EF/E/|DG BA|1 G2 GF:|2 G2 G2||
|:Bd g2|fe e2|c/d/c/B/ ce|ed d2|
Bd g2|fe e2|cB/c/ ed|1 G2 G2:|2 G2 GF||

Thirteen comments

The Four Shoves

This is a favorite of mine. It’s from the Jackie Daly/ Seamus Creagh cd. I have transcribed it in an abbreviated setting. This tune finishes with repeats of the C part; when the D part is played it is not repeated. On the cd it is played AA BB AA BB CC D CC D CC. I play it at a tempo of 130. On the B/C box, sometimes I’ll ornament the first d notes in first, third and fourth measures of the B part, the f# and a notes in the C part and roll the g>f in the D part, among other tweaks. On my 23 button B/C box I am without the d’, so I play d and, because of the tempo, it works. On the C#/D box it’s all there. I’ve stopped the thirds in the chords of the bass on both of my boxes, and punctuating this polka with the chords is fun. When this tune gets rolling, the melody reminds me of birds calling in a field although the tune’s title might indicate four louts in a pub. I’ll often follow it with Bill Sullivan’s in the key of G, pick up the tempo a little and it’s a blast. Bill Sullivan’s as I play it doesn’t seem to be in this database but is in The Small Circle’s database in the key of A.

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Oh it’s about time someone put it on this site!


AWESOME polka by the way =D

The Four Shoyes

I’ve found it on “Irish Dreams” CD of Carrantuohill from Poland.
It is named The Four Shoyes.

Thats great, I love plaing it on piano accordion.

Not 1 - 2 polkas

I don’t know why the above 3 contributers refer to this as 1 polka singular, as I would have thought it obvious that it is in fact two distinctly separate tunes which share only the same title, and Jackie Daly and Seamus Creagh play them together for that reason. Sleeve notes on the Creagh/Daly recording refer plainly to “The Four Shoves” (Polkas) – plural, not singular.
They are listed separately, but with the same title, in Vol 3 of Breathnach’s “Ceol Rince na hEireann” , and also on “The Fiddler’s Companion” website. No idea what the title refers to , though.

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“The Four Shoves” ~

Howdy Kenny, while Laitch is snoozing I’ll slip in a comment here.

“Four Shoves” is a movement made by a couple/couples in dance, primarily to do with square sets/quadrilles. The ‘4’ has to do with the movement being made into each of the four parts of said square, the classic square/quadrille being madeup of four couples, two ‘Top’ couples and two ‘Side’ couples. With the couples as essentially the walls of the square, the four sides… O = man & X = woman




The ‘Shove’ is the basic action. With the four couples in a waltz/ballroom hold the lady backs toward the next position anti-clockwise, the gent dancing forward ~ so in a sense it can appear as if he were shoving her into the next place. In the dance I’ll give here as an example, each couple ‘shoves’ into the next position (= two steps/measures, or, for the man ~ LRL, RLR), and then they turn 3/4 round CW there(= two steps/measures, or for the woman - RLR, LRL), and that movement is repeated four times till everyone is back in their original places, or ‘home’… One change/place = four measures/bars. For the complete move it is 4 x 4, or 16 measures/bars…

Here is one set that features the move in the fifth figure, and a source for a full set of notes for the complete set:

“Irish Set Dancing Study Notes for 80 Sets and 11 Figure Dances”
Website & Notes by Joe O’Hara

“The Durrow Threshing Set”

Figure 5: “The Crossovers” ~ polkas
“Turning Square” is an example of “The Four Shoves”

“Turning square: couples dance into their 2nd corner’s place, ladies dancing backwards and the gents forwards (2 bars), and ¾ turn in place (2 bars). Gents then reverse the ladies into the place opposite their own and ¾ turn (4 bars), and repeat into their 1st corner’s place and back home (8 bars). = 16 bars”

There is another dance move that has also been called by this name. Partners holding right-hands, in this case the woman is really the one leading her partner around the set anti-clockwise while turning under their joined hands. Again it gives some semblance of the women being ‘shoved’ around the set or hall… Here too it is referred to as ‘four’ because it can be four turns into each of the four positions of the square, but this can be either 8 or 16 measures total in length, depending of certain variables…

Ditto on the comments Kenny. Not that you need backup… 😉

“The Four Shoves” ~ more dancing from the same source

Also from the above listed source ~ Joseph O’Hara
The Sneem Polka Set ~ Figure 3: The Four Shoves

“The four shoves: gents reverse their partners into the next place on the R (2 bars), gents‘ hands on their partners’ hips and ladies‘ hands on the gents’ shoulders, then turn 2 bars into the opposite place. The movement is then repeated back home.” = 8 bars

In this one the couple, with the woman backing, move into the next place ACW, then they turn into the next place, opposite their original position, then they repeat that to finish back at home…so half the number of bars/measures needed…

The Tournafulla Set ~ Figure 4

“Four shoves: all couples take waltz hold and dance around the set, the ladies reversing all the way back to place.” = 8 bars

Thanks for that information,“ceolachan”. Curiousity satisfied.

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