This is the more common Sonny’s Mazurka
The Sonny’s Mazurka in G that I found in the tune base is not the one I play. Someone had put the ABCs for the Dmajor Sonny’s that I am more familiar with into the comments section for the G tune. So people can find that easier, I pasted the ABCs into a tune of its own. It is the version of Sonny’s I have found in books, and that we play here in RI, USA. We usually play it with what we call Johnny Doherty’s Mazurka, or the Donegal Mazurka, that is also found at The Session under the name Tommy People’s Mazurka. I got this tune from my friend Mark Bachand.
At our session we play this and then Shoe the Donkey. I remember once there was a French guy who was in the session and he was a very good fiddle player. He let us hear some of his French traditional tunes and then out of nowhere asked "Can any of you dance a Mazurka?". We all look blank saying we could play them but not dance them so he got up and showed us how. It was quite funny and he was lilting Sonny’s mazurka. It always makes me smile playing this tune because I keep remembering that day. :)
“The Irish” / “Sonny’s” ~ hmmmm? ~ Duplication?!
Key signature: Gmajor
Submitted on January 2nd 2003 by Trevor Jennings.
Duh?! ~ Come on guys, a duplication is a duplication
Before all this goes "POOF! ~ if you really are that caught up in the ‘version’ and you think it is ‘significantly’ different from that in the ‘comments’ for the earlier contributions, put it there for our collective appreciation ~ frankly, I don’t see much difference, but I appreciate even the slight variations:
‘Mazurka’ ~ ‘Varsouvienne’
You’ll also find dance descriptions for these. The Irish did dance these in several forms and with verve and humour and grace too. She was a fine dancer our Gracey. Anyway, it does help the playing to know the dance, and no, they aren’t exactly the same thing, though there are a number of tunes that can be swung either way, either as a ‘mazurka’ or as a ‘varsouvienne’… I’ve enjoyed everyone I’ve had the pleasure of learning and dancing, including such crossbreeds as the ‘mazurka-waltz’ and the ‘polka-mazurka’, lovely stuff to dance either on the floor or through the melody, whatever your choice of partners, another person or your choice of musical instrument…
I first heard this tune as Sonny Brogan’s Mazurka?
And others first heard it as:
"Charlie Lennon’s Mazurka"
"Francie Mooney’s Mazurka",
"Garrett Barry’s Mazurka"
"The Hag With The Fiddle"
"The Irish Mazurka"
"The Old Donegal Mazurka"
" Phroinsias’, Mazurka"
: Sonny Brogan’s Mazurka"
"Vincent Campbell’s Mazurka" ~ ETC…
Some give it the name of the person they heard play it or who they were lucky enough to have learned it from, others just go by the ‘pop’ Irish recording they purloined it from, namely the likes of "The Chieftains" and "The Boys of the Lough"… The number of names attached to this are miniscule compared to something like "Shoe the Donkey". The only title given that is distinct from a name or a musician is "The Hag With the Fiddle", but the name most folk I’ve heard play it in the ‘modern sense’ call it is merely "Sonny’s"…
The name "Sonny’s" or "Sonny Brogan’s" has a history that "The Chieftains" carried forward, from that seminal group of Sean O’Riada’s "Ceoltoiri Cualann" ~ and that group’s earlier origins, in the same year, 1959 ~ evolved from a group of musicians Sean O’Riada brought together that year to provide the music for "The Song of the Anvil", a play by Bryan McMahon. "Ceoltoiri Cualann" was a rich mix, including the man hisself ~ Sean O’Riada:
Sonny Brogan & Eamon de Buitlear ~ button accordions
Martin Fay & John Kelly Sr. ~ fiddles
Paddy Moloney ~ uileann pipes and whistle
Michael Tubridy ~ flute
Ronnie McShane & Peadar Mercier ~ bodhran and bones
Sean O Se ~ singing…
Another musical gang and hangout for Sonny Brogan was "The Piper’s Club" in Thomas Street, Dublin, sharing music with the likes of John Kelly Sr., Tom Mulligan, Tommy Potts, Tommy Reck, Leo Rowsome, Sean Seery and many more…
Sonny Brogan (died 1966) was one of the earliest advocates of the two-row B/C button accordion, despite also having reservations about ‘modern’ influences on the music of his times. He was caught in the middle, also not favouring the extremes of the ‘purists’ or the ‘nationalists’ either… Brogan also did recordings in the 1930’s with the group "The Lough Gill Quartet"… He also wrote an article for ‘Ceol’ but I was unable to find an online link to this and sadly do not have my copy here to refer to and offer some etracts from ~ of the man’s insights and thoughts… Maybe someone else can offer that, I hope…
"Sonny Brogan’s" / "Sonny’s"
‘c’ I couldn’t disagree more with your comment that this is a duplication of that other mazurka. I think they’re different tunes.
“Sonny’s” / “The Irish” ~ mazurka ~ NOT A DUPLICATION :-/ Mea culpa!
Yes, I do see what you mean Mark. I’ve probably played these two for ages and can see the relationship, but they exist as distinct entities… I was probably working on title and not thinking that clearly, which isn’t necessarily unusual for me. These two are often played together and I suspect were also in Sonny Brogan’s repertoire, which accounts for them both being tagged with his name, despite their differences, and similarities…for example the one step difference in bars 1-2 & 5-6 of both the A & B parts…which have a lovely hint to each other and which also make them an interesting set together.
So, I concede, I was semi-conscious again, in space, yes, aside from being in distinctly different keys, and having some nod to one another, they are not identical, just reside sometimes together…
“Sonny’s Mazurka” ~ “Music from Ireland, Volume 4” Bulmer & Sharpley
compiled by Dave Bulmer & Neil Sharpley
Page 32, tune #90 ~ "Sonny’s Mazurka"
|: DF |\
A2 AG FA | d2 d2 BA | GF GB AG | FG EF DF |
A2 AG FA | d2 d2 BA | G2 Gg fe | d2 d2 :|
|: Ad |\
f2 fa gf | e2 eg fe | dc df ed | cd Bc Ad |
f2 f2 (3agf | e2 eg fe | dc df (3edc | d2 d2 :|
Any more nice mazurkas out there, waltz mazurka ?
Joe Ryan has recorded this version and it appears on his album An Buachaill Dreoite (English Translation The Smoky Boy).