Bill Sullivan’s polka

Also known as Baile An Tsanhraidh, Billy Chewing Bubblegum, Denis Murphy’s (2), Hunter’s Cabin, Mickey Chewing Bubblegum, Sullivan’s.

There are 47 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

Bill Sullivan’s appears in 3 other tune collections.

Bill Sullivan’s has been added to 79 tune sets.

Bill Sullivan's has been added to 673 tunebooks.

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Ten settings

1
X: 1
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: a2 a>f | ec a>f | ec a>f | ec BA | a2 a>f | ec a2 | ce B>c| BA A2 :|
|: ce ec | df fA | ce eA | cB AB | ce eA | df f2 | ce B>c | BA A2 :|
2
X: 2
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: c |d2 d>B | AF d2 | FA dB | AF ED |
d2 dB | AF d2 | FA E>F | ED D :|
|: D/E/ ||: FA AF | GB BA | FA FA | FE ED/E/ |
FA- AF | G/A/B BA | FA E>F |1 ED- D :|
3
X: 3
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
P: take 1
|: g2 g>e | dB g2 | Bd ge | dB AG |
g/a/g/f/ g>e | dB g2 | Bd A>c | BG G2 :|
|: Bd dB | ce e2 | Bd dB | cA A2 |
Bd d/c/B | ce e>c | Bd A>c | BG G2 :|
P: take 2
|: g2 ge | dB g/a/g/e/ | dB g>e | dB AG |
g2 g/a/g/e/ | dB gf/e/ | dB A>B | AG G2 :|
|: Bd d/e/d/B/ | ce e/d/c | Bd/^c/ d/B/G | BA AG/A/ |
Bd Bd | ce e>c | Bd A>B | AG G2 :|
4
X: 4
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: e2 e>d | cA e>d | cA e>d | cA dc | e2 e>d | cA e2 | ea d>e| dc c2 :|
|: d|ea ae | fa ae | ea ae | fe e2| ea ae | fa ae | ea d>e | dc c2 :|
5
X: 5
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
A/B/ [|:ce eA | d>e fe | ce eA/B/ | cB BA/B/ |
ce eA | d>e fe | ce B/c/d/B/ | cA AA/B/ :|
B/A/ |a2 a/b/a/f/ | ec a>e | ce a>f | ec BA |
a2 a>f | ec a>e | ce B/c/d/B/ | cA AB/A/ |
a2 a>f | ec a>e | ce c/e/a/f/ | ec BA |
a2 a>f | ec a>e | ce B/c/d/B/ | cA Ae/d/ |]
6
X: 6
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: a2 a>f | ec a2 | ce a>f | ec BA | a2 a>f | ec a2 | ce Bc| BA A2 :|
|: ce ec | df fe | ce ed | dc BA | ce ec | df fe | ce Bc | BA A2 :|
7
X: 7
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: g2 g>e | dB g>e | dB g>e | dB AG |
g2 g>e | dB g>e | dB A>B | AG G2 :|
|: Bd dB | ce ed | Bd dA | BA AG/A/ |
Bd dB | ce ed | Bd A>B | AG G2 :|
8
X: 8
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: a2 a>f | ec a>f | ec a>f | ec BA |
a2 a>f | ec a>e | ce B>c|1 BA ce :|2 BA A>B ||
|: ce ec | df fB | ce eA/B/ | cB B>B |
ce ec | df f>e | ce B>c |1 BA A>B :|2 BA ce ||
9
X: 9
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: a2 a>f | ec a>f | ec a>f | ec BA |
a2 a>f | ec a>f | ec B>c|1 BA A2 :|2 BA A>B ||
|: ce ec | df fd | ce eA | cB BA/B/ |
ce ec | df f>d | ce B>c |1 BA A>B :|2 BA A2 ||
10
X: 10
T: Bill Sullivan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: a2 a>f | ec a>f | ec a>f | ec BA |
a2 a>f | ec a>f | ce B>c | BA A2 :|
|: ce e/c/A/c/ | df f>d | ce e/c/A/B/ | cB B>A |
ce e/c/A/c/ | df f>d | ce B>c | BA A2 :|

Sixteen comments

Sean Cleland

I learned this great polka from Sean Cleland in a workshop that I took from him. He plays it differently from the way Kevin Burke plays it and the way it’s posted here. I’ll post the other version in abc soon.

Tune on Dervish’s "Spirit"

The tune Kevin Burke’s is listed on the Dervish "Spirit" album, but in this tune database is listed as "Dan Breen’s". Here is a link:

https://thesession.org/tunes/999

See the comments tab for a transcription of the Dervish version.

"Bill Sullivan’s Polka" ~ another key and a few other ways…

K: D Major
|: c |
d2 d>B | AF d2 | FA dB | AF ED |
d2 dB | AF d2 | FA E>F | ED D :|
|: D/E/ |
|: FA AF | GB BA | FA FA | FE ED/E/ |
FA- AF | G/A/B BA | FA E>F |1 ED- D :|

You can also find Kevin Burke teaching it in this key on DVD #1 of a pair:

"Learn to Play Irish Fiddle: Polkas, Jigs & Slides" ~ 90 minutes
Homespun Videos / DVDs
ISBN: 1-932964-44-4

"Bill Sullivan’s Polka" ~ another key and a few more ways with it

X: 1134
T: Bill Sullivan’s Polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: G Major
g2 g>e | dB g2 | Bd ge | dB AG |
g/a/g/f/ g>e | dB g2 | Bd A>c | BG G2 :|
Bd dB | ce e2 | Bd dB | cA A2 |
Bd d/c/B | ce e>c | Bd A>c | BG G2 :|

N: take 2
g2 ge | dB g/a/g/e/ | dB g>e | dB AG |
g2 g/a/g/e/ | dB gf/e/ | dB A>B | AG G2 :|
Bd d/e/d/B/ | ce e/d/c | Bd/^c/ d/B/G | BA AG/A/ |
Bd Bd | ce e>c | Bd A>B | AG G2 :|

This was put together for a request… 😉

Mickey Chewing Bubble Gum

Where does that title come from?

Mickey chewing bubble gum… I had heard a last name way back when, but can’t remember. At the time it was also suggested it may have picked that name up in North America, but I think that was in reference to Terry Teahan…

The Fiddler’s Companion ~ Andrew Kuntz
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/index.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/MER_MIC.htm#MICKY_CHEWING_BUBBLEGUM

Composed by the late Terry "Cuz" Teahan as a youngster prior to leaving Ireland for America. Philippe Varlet says that Teahan composed the tune while still taking lessons with the great Sliabh Luachra fiddler Padraig O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe liked the composition and continued to teach it after Teahan’s departure, and it eventually circulated among local musicians; hence the name “Bill Sullivan’s” after a local player (by which title it appears on the Jackie Daly & Seamus Creagh album {CEF 057}).

Thanks ‘c’. I never knew it was composed by Terry Teahan either.

Kevin Burke’s Harmony Line

On "If the Cap Fits," Kevin Burke puts a harmony line to this tune, which sounds pretty cool on two fiddles. My imperfect transcription of how that harmony line goes is as follows:

T:Bill Sullivan’s (Harmony)
M:2/4
L:1/8
R:polka
K:AMaj
|: e2 e>d | cA e>d | cA e>d | cA dc | e2 e>d | cA e2 | ea d>e| dc c2 :|
|: d|ea ae | fa ae | ea ae | fe e2| ea ae | fa ae | ea d>e | dc c2 :|

Alternate Name

I’ve been looking for this tune for months now. At the session I sometimes attend, I’ve only heard it called "John Bane’s Sister’s Wedding," which is quite a long-winded title. Finally, today I heard it played by Kevin Burke and Jackie Daly with the correct (or at least more common) title. Such a fun polka.

Q: 128 bpm (1 beat = one crotchet/quarter note)

I have also learned this one direct as well from other living sources and situations where the average tempos varied from 120 to 136 bpm (& higher 😛) ~ 1 beat = one crotchet/quarter note…

Bill Sullivan’s, X:6

As played by Terry Teahan himself on "Old Time Irish Music In America".

I’d always disliked this tune because I thought the repeated phrase in the A part was too annoying. But it turns out that Terry didn’t compose it that way, he flips around the direction in the 2nd bar. It’s much nicer that way.

Re: Bill Sullivan’s

Alternative Title ‘Baile an Tsanhraidh’ is probably ‘Baile an tSamhraidh’ or Summerville.

Re: Bill Sullivan’s

I’ve come across the title ‘Baile an tSamhraidh’ applied to a slide, otherwise ‘Ballintoura’. I remember it as being used years ago by the BBC for the incidental music to readings from ‘The Best Of Myles’ (Flann O’Brien). I think the recording they used was by Paddy Moloney and Sean Potts, and was taken from a Chieftains LP. I don’t know whether it’s also an alternative title for Bill Sullivan’s polka.

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