Its a March, not a polka although it could make a great reel… I do play it as a reel sometimes and its very effective that way. It’s a traditional tune and to me it’s beautiful and versatile and it’s one of those tunes that really hits me in a deep way. As usual I’ll post some details about it later.
Does seem to have an aural connection to the Ballydesmond No. 1 polka though!
From Ceolas Fiddler’s
MONONGAHELA COLLEGE. AKA and see "Taylor’s Quickstep," "Dandy Jim o’ Carloline." American, March. USA; southwestern Pa., Albemarle County, Va. D Major. Standard. AB. A once very well-known fife march from southwestern Pa. Bayard (1981) sees this piece as a condensed or contracted form of a longer piece, probably "The Templehouse."
Monongahela College is an institution of learning in western Pennsylvania. Sources for notated versions: Hiram Horner (fifer from Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, Pa., 1944), Samuel Palmer (Fayette County, Pa., 1944), Mount Pleasant Tablatures, Hoge MS. [Bayard]. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981A-D, pgs. 183-185. Southern Folklore Quarterly, Vol. VI, pg. 10.