Stack Ryan’s polka

There are 2 recordings of a tune by this name.

Stack Ryan's has been added to 12 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Stack Ryan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
Ad Bd|Ad Bd|Ad fd|ce ed/B/|
Ad Bd|Ad Bd|Ad fd|ce d2:|
Ad de/d/|ce e2|Ad cd|f2 fe/f/|
=g=g ff|ee ef|ed cd|1 e2 e2:|2 e2 eA||
dc/d/ fe/f/|af de/d/|ce Be|dc BA|
dc/d/ fe/f/|af de/d/|ce Bc|1 df df:|2 d2 d2||
d>c B/c/d/c/|BB AA|=G=G FF|1 EE DF/A/:|2 EE D2||
X: 2
T: Stack Ryan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DG EG|DG EG|DG BG|FA AG/E/|
DG EG|DG EG|DG BG|FA G2:||
DG GA/G/|FA A2|DG FG|B2 BA/B/|
cc BB|AA A>B/|AG FG|1 A2 A2:|2 A2 AD||
GF/G/ BA/B/|dB GA/G/|FA EA|GF ED|
GF/G/ BA/B/|dB GA/G/|FA EF|1 GB GB:|2 G2 G2||
G>F/ E/F/G/F/|EE DD|CC B,B,|1 A,A, G,B,/D/:|2 A,A, G,2:||
X: 3
T: Stack Ryan's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
Ad Bd|Ad Bd|Ad fd|ce ed/B/|
Ad Bd|Ad Bd|Ad fd|ce d2:|
Ad de/d/|ce e2|Ad cd|f2 fe/f/|
gg ff|ee e>f/|ed cd|1 e2 e2:|2 e2 eA||
dc/d/ fe/f/|af de/d/|ce Be|dc BA|
dc/d/ fe/f/|af de/d/|ce Bc|1 df df:|2 d2 d2||
d>c B/c/d/c/|BB AA|GG FF|1 EE DF/A/:|2 EE D2||

Nine comments

Stack Ryan’s Polka

Yes folks, another four-part Polka - Yippee!

Anyone fancy playing this in G?

X: 1
T: Stack Ryan’s
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: GMaj
DG EG|DG EG|DG BG|FA AG/E/|
DG EG|DG EG|DG BG|FA G2:||
DG GA/G/|FA A2|DG FG|B2 BA/B/|
cc BB|AA A>B/|AG FG|1 A2 A2:|2 A2 AD||
GF/G/ BA/B/|dB GA/G/|FA EA|GF ED|
GF/G/ BA/B/|dB GA/G/|FA EF|1 GB GB:|2 G2 G2||
G>F/ E/F/G/F/|EE DD|CC B,B,|1 A,A, G,B,/D/:|2 A,A, G,2:||

Stack Ryan’s Polka

I’m not clear as to why it’s posted in A, when there’re no G#s (in fact the Gs are specifically all G-nats), and the tonality is clearly D-maj.

In D-Maj

Thanks Trevor, one day I’ll get the hang of these darn keys:

X: 1
T: Stack Ryan’s
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: DMaj
Ad Bd|Ad Bd|Ad fd|ce ed/B/|
Ad Bd|Ad Bd|Ad fd|ce d2:|
Ad de/d/|ce e2|Ad cd|f2 fe/f/|
gg ff|ee e>f/|ed cd|1 e2 e2:|2 e2 eA||
dc/d/ fe/f/|af de/d/|ce Be|dc BA|
dc/d/ fe/f/|af de/d/|ce Bc|1 df df:|2 d2 d2||
d>c B/c/d/c/|BB AA|GG FF|1 EE DF/A/:|2 EE D2||

Bells a ringin ~ yes, this is one I’ve known. If memory serves me right it was for a specific dance, in a square formation, similar to a quadrille, the sets, or the cotillon/cotillion. Or, it could have been for a figure of such. I may have more, including another name for it. I’ll do a search, but maybe this will ring bells with someone else out there too…

There were a load of tune specific dances that were danced in Eire at one time, and still in some cases up until the Second World War. A few of these have survived, like "The Three Tunes" and "The Sweets of May". These dances were mined by the Irish Dance Commission and they took what they liked and banned what they didn’t ~ those damned ‘foreign dances’. In some cases they borrowed and changed, or adapted. They had a strong dislike for swinging, with a derogatory term for it ~ "slogging"… So all you swingers out there, watch your step…

Also, memory still whirring, I think they used this for a figure of the sets in Antrim, possibly The Quadrilles or The Lancers?

Stack Ryan´s Polka

Stack Ryan from Kilmihil in Co. Clare was the main influence in the concertina playing of the late Tom MacCarthy.
Tom Carey, who is still with us, was also influenced by him.
Stack was one of many outstanding concertina players of the first half of the 20th century who went unrecorded.
His musical legacy is still with us, however, thanks to the playing of Jacqueline McCarthy and Tom Carey.

“Stack Ryan’s Polka” ~ what’s in a name

In this case, as often, the name refers to the collector’s or notator’s source when a title isn’t known, a gem in this case as often ~ Stack Ryan, but that does not, as in the majority, mean Stack Ryan is the composer of this tune. It’s a better option than increasing the number of ‘gan ainms’ in the world. I’ve seen and played this tune elsewhere, thinking in and from manuscript form from the 1800s, but haven’t been able to trace that up yet.

Quirky measure counts, as with here and many other tunes, usually suggests a specific dance, either for stepping, such as the ‘Set Dances’ like "The Three Sea Captains", or for a couple type dance, singly or in groups, like "The Marine" or early tunes for the sets of quadrilles, such as the various "The First/Plain/Quadrille/Paris Set" or "The Lancers"…

From the Bernard O’Sullivan recording of this:
"Stack Ryan’s": polka for the ‘set’…

~ but it doesn’t say which set and which figure of that set… It could be any set, for example one of the three main sets found danced in Clare ~ "The Plain Set", "The Caledonian" or "The Lancers" ~ all of which would have been danced to polkas at one time or another, either a figure or the whole set…