The Antigonish Polka barndance

Also known as Antigonish Polka #2, The Antigonish Polka 2, Antigonish Polka No. 2, The Antigonish Polkas No. 2, The Favourite Polka.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

The Antigonish Polka has been added to 15 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The Antigonish Polka
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:de|fgab a2 d2|d2 c2 cB c2|a2 c2 cBcb|a2 d2 dcde|
fgab a2 d2|d2 c2 cB c2|aAcb agfe|1 d2 c2 d2:|2 d2 =c2 B2 A2||
K: GMaj
Bc^cd e2 B2|d2 c2 cBcd|e2 c2 f2 c2|e2 d2 d^cdf|
(3gag fg a2 g2|g2 c2 cBcd|e2 e2 f2 e2|e2 d2 dcBA|
Bc^cd e2 B2|d2 c2 cB c2|e2 ce f2 cf|e2 d2 d^c d2|
B2 g2 gf g^g|a2 e2 e2 ^de|^cdfe d=cBA|(3GAG F2 G2||
X: 2
T: The Antigonish Polka
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
Ad|fgab a2 d2|d2 c2 cBce|a2 c2 cBce|a2 d2 dcde|
fgab a2 d2|d2 c2 cBce|a/a/a ab agfe|1 d4 d2:|2 d4||
K: G Major
c4|BcdB e2 B2|d2 c2 cBcd|e2 c2 f2 d2|e2 d2 d^c d2|
B2 g2 gf g2|A2 e2 egfe|dgfe dcBA|G4 G2 DG|
BcdB e2 B2|d2 c2 cBcd|e2 A2 f2 d2|e2 d2 d3 c|
B2 g2 gf g2|A2 e2 egfe|dgfe dcBA|G4 G2||

Four comments

“Antigonish Polka #2”

This is another case of accepting a pre-existing name for a ‘Gan Ainm’, believing it is better to have something than nothing, and this is a name some know it by. You can pretty well be sure that most tune names that come numbered were (are) gan ainms. These two ‘ballroom’ style polkas have become known as “The Antigonish Polkas” in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia, Canada, as played by Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald for dances in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. They have come to be called “#1” & “#2”, this is the second of the set. “Antigonish Polka #1” can be found here:

I’ve come across these two melodies elsewhere but am not sure whether that was in early printed sources, from recordings or from an acquaintance ~ or ‘all of the above’. I’m damned sure I’ve also heard them played ‘old time’, and suspect it’s that string to Winston’s playing and experience these two were drawn from. It would be great to have someone contribute names and history for these two…

Tunes like these can be found written out in 2/4 or 4/4. They are also nice given a ‘swing’, if you choose to take them that way. A transcription in 2/4 can be found in the following recommended collection:

“Winston Fitzgerald: A Collection of Fiddle Tunes”
“The Angigonish Polkas #1 & #2” ~ page 82
Compiled and edited by Paul Cranford
Cranford Publications, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1997
ISBN: 0-9691181-7-1

Another way with the last 5 bars:

~ | ~ ~ ~| ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ ~ ~ ~ | e2 d2 d^cd=c |
B2 g2 gf g2 | A2 e2 e2 ^de | ^cdfe d=cBA | G4 ||

“Antigonish Polka #3” - “Quadrille de chez nous” / “Reel de Tadoussac” / “Glise à Sherbrooke” / “ La Grande Chaine“ / “The Big Ship”

# Posted on June 12th 2011 by Weejie