The Girl With The Blue Dress On polka

Also known as The Babe In The Woods, Bonnie Ann, Bonny Annie, I Love A Girl With The Blue Dress On, Monica Lewinsky’s, Pat McNicholas’, Tom Morrison’s, Tony Lowe’s.

There are 17 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Girl With The Blue Dress On has been added to 52 tunebooks.

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Seven settings

X: 1
T: The Girl With The Blue Dress On
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B/c/|dB/d/ cA/c/|BG G/F/G/B/|AF F/E/F/G/|AG GB/c/|
dB/d/ cA/c/|BG G/F/G/B/|AF F/E/F/G/|AG G:|
|:z|GB/d/ g>f|ff e2|DF/A/ f>e|ed d2|
GB/d/ g>f|fe e>g|fa ef|g2 g:|
X: 2
T: The Girl With The Blue Dress On
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
d2 c/B/A/c/ | BG G>B | AF F/E/F/G/ | AG G/A/B/c/ |
dB/d/ cd/c/ | B/A/G/F/ GG/B/ | AF F/E/D/F/ |A/G/G G :|
G (3B/c/d/ ga/g/ | fe e/^d/e/c/ | DF/A/ f>e | ed d/c/B/A/ |
GB/d/ gd/g/ | fe e/^d/e/g/ | f/g/a e>f | g2- g :|
X: 3
T: The Girl With The Blue Dress On
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:GB d2d2d2|dedc B4|GA B2GA B2|B2A2A4|
AB c2c2c2|cdcB A4|FG A2FG A2|A2G2G4:|
|:GB d2g2d2|d2c2cB c2|FA c2f2e2|e2d2d^c d2|
GB d2g2d2|d2c2cB c2|FA c2f2e2|ddef g4:|
X: 4
T: The Girl With The Blue Dress On
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: G/B/d dd | d/e/d/c/ B2 | G/A/B G/A/B | BA A2 |
A/B/c cc | c/d/c/B/ A2 | F/G/A F/G/A | AG G2 :|
|: G/B/d gd | dc c/B/c | F/A/c fe | ed d/^c/d |
G/B/d gd | dc c/B/c | F/A/c fe | d/d/e/f/ g2 :|
X: 5
T: The Girl With The Blue Dress On
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
df/e/ d/e/d/A/ | BG GF/G/ | AD F/E/D/F/ | AG G2 :|
GB/d/ ge | fd fe/d/ | GB/d/ ge | fd fe/d/ |
GB/d/ ge | fd fg | ad f/e/d/f/ | ag g |]
X: 6
T: The Girl With The Blue Dress On
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
d2 c/B/A/c/ | BG G>B | AF F/E/F/G/ | AG G/A/B/c/ |
dB/d/ cd/c/ | B/A/G/F/ GG/B/ | AF F/E/D/F/ |A/G/G G :|
G (3B/c/d/ ga/g/ | fe e/^d/e/c/ | DF/A/ f>e | ed d/c/B/A/ |
GB/d/ gd/g/ | fe e/^d/e/g/ | f/g/a e>f | g2- g :|
GB/d/ g2 | fe/^d/ ed/^c/ | D (3F/G/A/ f2 | ed/^c/ dc/d/ |
GB gd | fe ea/g/ | fa/f/ ef | g2 G/A/ |]
X: 7
T: The Girl With The Blue Dress On
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B/c/ | dB/d/ cA/c/ | BG G/F/G/B/ | AF F/E/F/G/ | AG GB/c/ |
dB/d/ cA/c/ | BG G/F/G/B/ | AF F/E/F/G/ |AG G :|
|: z | GB/d/ g>f | fe e2 | FA/d/ f>e | ed d/c/B/A/ |
GB/d/ g>f | fe e2 | fa ef | gg g :|

Twenty-six comments

Looking for right title

I look for a right title for this Gan Ainm I extracted by the book "Hugh McDermott: Irish fiddler" n.120. Under "The waves of Tory" I found:
1. Leather away the wattle o
2. this Gan Ainm
3. another Gan Ainm I look for title too

I found in "Celtas cortos: Gente impresentable" track 9 2nd tune, too.

Girl with the Blue Dress On

A well established standard amongst English music players and excellent for ranting to. I associate it with Northumberland and have it in a set with Soldiers Joy. Yet another good English standard tune. These were amongst some of the very first trad dance tunes that I ever learnt.

Posted by .

“The Girl With the Blue Dress On”

I learned this the first time ages back from folks playing it for New England contra dancers, yes, I was too, playing for the dancers and enjoying dancing, loving both as I do… Here are some other options for playing it ~

K: Gmaj
|: B/c/ |
d2 c/B/A/c/ | BG G>B | AF F/E/F/G/ | AG G/A/B/c/ |
dB/d/ cd/c/ | B/A/G/F/ GG/B/ | AF F/E/D/F/ |A/G/G G :|
|: d/B/ |
G (3B/c/d/ ga/g/ | fe e/^d/e/c/ | DF/A/ f>e | ed d/c/B/A/ |
GB/d/ gd/g/ | fe e/^d/e/g/ | f/g/a e>f | g2- g :|

Alternate link to repeat of part-B, bar-8:

| g2 d/c/B/A/ ~

Another source for this, also G Major and almost note for note identical to the given transcription, how some things travel with little change, can be found in Peter Kennedy’s excellent and influential collection, "The Fiddler’s Tune-Book" ~ tune 106, page 27, ISBN: 1-899512-14-4…

Fiddler’s tune books

Os,
(may i call you that?) Don’t know what you can get in Italy but should you ever find copies of the 2 fiddler’s tune books they would be very worth while getting. Peter Kennedy now lives in Gloucestershire but from what I understand is a very sick man. the books were, if I am not mistaken, by the English Folk Dance & Song Society in the 1950’s but I am sure they still may have some in stock. I am out of touch with the EFDSS but think they are still at Cecil Sharpe House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, Campden Town, London.

TG

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The Redowa

The B part is very similar the The Redowa

M:4/4
L:1/8
K:G
|:GB d2d2d2|dedc B4|GA B2GA B2|B2A2A4|
AB c2c2c2|cdcB A4|FG A2FG A2|A2G2G4:|
|:GB d2g2d2|d2c2cB c2|FA c2f2e2|e2d2d^c d2|
GB d2g2d2|d2c2cB c2|FA c2f2e2|ddef g4:|

“Traditional Dance Music of Britain and Ireland: The Fiddlers Tune-Book”

Peter Kennedy & the excellent adventure ~

Peter’s work has been upgraded to five editions, all wonderful. I was in touch with Peter not long ago, wanting to help if I could, would that I were closer, with getting his excellent catalogueing and sources made more readily available, the ‘notes’ that didn’t come with these excellent and highly recommended books of his. More to my heart would be the want to get his story out there, and I hope someone is on it. Sadly I live too far away and have very limited resources at the moment. Anyway, for all who pass this way, here are the particulars on this highly recommended collection edited by Peter Kennedy, sadly only lacking his excellent notes:

"The Fiddler’s Tune-Book: 200 Traditional Airs" ~ 1994
~ this is the two books previously mentioned, from 1951 and 1954, in the one.
ISBN: 1-899512-14-4

"Reels & Rants, Flings & Fancies: 200 ~ " ~ 1997
ISBN: 1-8999512-48-9

"Jigs & Quicksteps, Trips & Humours: 200 ~ " ~ 1997
ISBN: 1-899512-49-7

"Hornpipes & Breakdowns, Clog & Step Dances: 200 ~ " ~ 1998
ISBN: 1-899512-50-0

"Slip Jigs & Waltzes: 200 ~ " ~ 1999
ISBN: 1-899512-51-9

Mally Publications ~ http://www.mally.com/

“The Redowa”

Nice tie in Geoff ~
here it is in 2/4 in order to make the comparison easier:

M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: G
|: G/B/d dd | d/e/d/c/ B2 | G/A/B G/A/B | BA A2 |
A/B/c cc | c/d/c/B/ A2 | F/G/A F/G/A | AG G2 :|
|: G/B/d gd | dc c/B/c | F/A/c fe | ed d/^c/d |
G/B/d gd | dc c/B/c | F/A/c fe | d/d/e/f/ g2 :|

Geoff, what’s your source for the notation of this Redowa?
~ a friend in the digital quagmire…

Blue dresses blowing in a summer breeze ~

These two gals sometimes hang out with each other:

"Dark Girl Dressed In Blue"
Submitted on March 20th 2003 by tufbo.
https://thesession.org/tunes/1534

Names, names, and more names…

I know Leather Away the Wattle O’ as an entirely different polka (aka London Bridge, Lisdoonvarna, Rose Tree #2, or another High Caul Cap). Tony Lowe’s is also familiar to me as a different tune (aka Tournmore, Guilane, Maid in the Blue Bonnet, or Wallace’s Cross).
This tune I also know of as Des O’Conner’s Polka or the Girl with the Red Dress, even Danse Caree #1; though the Blue Dress title is more common. Anyone else of the same experience, or am I more than usually confused?

Yeah I know what you mean, after say 20 different names for a tune or a family of familiars, and lyrics, you kind of go cross-eyed ~ BUT I LIKE IT!!! :-\

Geoff Wright writes, with regards to ‘Redowa’ above ~

"I wrote it down from memory, but it is played regularly around the North Lincolnshire AVID sessions/dances and I suspect you will find it similar in Bryan Creer’s Lewes Session tunebook."

Regards ~ G.W.

~ "Bryan Creer’s Lewes Session Tunebook"??? Tell us more…

? AVID ? ~ "The Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees" ~ they hold sessions and dances?

Good thing I can’t sing

Lyrics, too? Must be some for this original tune somewhere….but thankfully I mostly play just chords. Now there’s a whole other topic.

I like it, one quid for a dance, and an opening for any interested musicians to join in. I hope ‘AVID’ is doing well. It has my blessings…

“Leather Away the Wattle O”

Submitted on December 22nd 2003 by Aidan Crossey.
https://thesession.org/tunes/2286

To be more at base, Tony Low and Des O’Conner just happened to have those tunes in their repertoire but didn’t pass on the name everytime they shared it with someone, or like a lot of us, just couldn’t remember if there was a name for it. So, whoever picked it up from them, not bothering to search out one of the more usual names, or lacking the facilities and resources to do so, gave it the name of the person they learned it off of, by osmosis or any of a number of our usual ways. And as would be the case, some have even recorded it with these later additions to the tune’s lineage of textual tags. But since you brought it up, the tune you’ve first mentioned also goes well with Blue Dresses…

Waves of Tory set dance

"Waves of Tory" in my copy of Allan’s Irish Fiddler/Pianist has the aforementioned London Bridge/Lisdoonvarna, this Girl with the Blue Dress, and then the Rose Tree #1 (aka I’ll Cloot My Johnny’s Gery Breeches or Little Mary Cullinan).

Thanks for the additional grouping ~

"Leather Away The Wattle-O" / "London Bridge" / "Lisdoonvarna" /
~ the link already given above…

"The Girl With the Blue/Red Dress On" ~ here listed…

"The Rose Tree"
Submitted on November 9th 2002 by alastair wilson.
https://thesession.org/tunes/1123

James Scott Skinner played Girl with the BDO with a third part - anyone know anything about this?

Posted by .

One more title

This tune also shows up in Bulmer & Sharpley’s "Music of Ireland" (book 3, tune 84) as Pat Nicholas’ Polka.

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The title of this tune is actually a nautical analogy:

Girl=Ship’s Figurehead
Blue Dress=The Sea

There is a sea shanty also called "The Girl with the Blue Dress On" (entirely different tune though) …

The Girl With The Blue Dress On (polka)

In ‘Jerry O’Brien’s Accordion Instructor’ (Roxbury Massachusetts 1949), the tune is titled "Green Cottage".

“The Girl With the Blue Dress On” - Bulmer & Sharpley & 16 bars

"Music from Ireland: Volume Three"
Dave Bulmer & Neil Sharpley, 1974
ISBN: 0-9503784-4-5

Page 30, tune #84 ~ Pat McNicholas’ Polka

X: 3
T: Pat McNicholas’ Polka
B: Bulmer & Sharpley’s "Music from Ireland: Volume Three", page 30, tune #84
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: GMaj
|: B/c/ |\
df/e/ d/e/d/A/ | BG GF/G/ | AD F/E/D/F/ | AG G2 :|
D |\
GB/d/ ge | fd fe/d/ | GB/d/ ge | fd fe/d/ |
GB/d/ ge | fd fg | ad f/e/d/f/ | ag g |]

“The Girl With the Blue Dress On” - adding the headers & \ for #2 above

X: 2
T: Girl With The Blue Dress On, The
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: Gmaj
|: B/c/ |\
d2 c/B/A/c/ | BG G>B | AF F/E/F/G/ | AG G/A/B/c/ |
dB/d/ cd/c/ | B/A/G/F/ GG/B/ | AF F/E/D/F/ |A/G/G G :|
|: d/B/ |\
G (3B/c/d/ ga/g/ | fe e/^d/e/c/ | DF/A/ f>e | ed d/c/B/A/ |
GB/d/ gd/g/ | fe e/^d/e/g/ | f/g/a e>f | g2- g :|

Alternate link to the repeat of part-B, bar-8 followed by a repeat with other possibilities:

~ | g2 d/c/B/A/ :| ~
GB/d/ g2 | fe/^d/ ed/^c/ | D (3F/G/A/ f2 | ed/^c/ dc/d/ |
GB gd | fe ea/g/ | fa/f/ ef | g2 G/A/ |]



I love that poetry in the title Mix, being in love with the sea myself, reefs and all… :-)

There must be some other different takes on this out there, it has been around so long and handled by so many musicians in so many different countries… I’ll dig out some more later as I was holding back hoping others would add something, including early takes on it… ( Nigel?! ) ( Doc Dow?! ) ;-)

The Girl With The Blue Dress On, X:7

Setting as played at the Golden Guinea pub session, Bristol, UK.