“The Penny School of Dancing” / “Planxty Penny” ~ by Con Foley
This is a ‘set dance’ composed by Con Foley, a fine fiddler from Limerick, previously hailing from County Cork. This was written for ‘The Penny School of Dancing’ and is the name I had for it. I first learned it from him in the 70’s. It is also recorded and known as "Planxty Penny", but is not actually a ‘Planxty’ per se. It was also, in a sense commissioned for and dedicated to the founder and director of that particular dancing school in Limerick City, Celine Penny…
This transcription is from Con’s playing, with that drag triplet pretty much throughout the tune | A>FD A>FD |, but it can also be played nicely straight | GFG E2 d |, or a combination of both as I tend to take it. I find it a joy to play, loving that swing. I hope some of you others will find some pleasure in it too… I guess, in a sense, Con is partly responsible for some of the odd rhythms I seek out, find, play with, and enjoy, like ‘swing’ and ‘snaps’ in a jig…
“A Wee Scotch” ~ a jig by Con Foley
Submitted on June 4th 2006 by ceolachan.
“Marian McCarthy’s Hornpipe” ~ by Con Foley
Submitted on March 4th 2006 by gian marco.
NOTE: Con tends to lead into this with a long d, in the following maner, holding that d for a good spell before cutting into the B and then taking the tune at tempo:
|: d2 B |
Tempo: 80 beats per minute
Con takes this at a very relaxed pace…as a ‘set dance’…
Not a barbecue you’d want an invitation to ~
On the subject of the man himself, he referred me to a Limerick man who had as several reported a huge collection of tunes, many polkas and slides for one, and a load of other things. The man had just died but Con and others assured me that he had made many recordings of himself and others. I was on fire and had this dream of getting copies to take back to Dublin to give put in an archive for others (HA! ~ another story, folks who’s ego was such that they couldn’t accept anything for free, unless they could pass it off as their own work ~ anyway, enough bitter bile there) when I did finally approach this particular promise of a treasure trove I discovered the awful fate of it, including the man’s instrument. His wife in a fit of rage had burnt everything. The music in her eyes had robbed her and her only revenge was to purge it from her house and everything that reminded her of her musically talented and passionate husband…
Maybe there’s a bit of a fable there?
Some information has been slightly altered to protect the guilty…