The Leitrim Polka
I’ve had this tune for some time as the Leitrim Polka (Stockton’s Wing used to play it and it’s also on a Kilfenora Céilí Band recording). I couldn’t find it on the Yellow Board doing the advanced search so here it is. There is another polka here under this name but that one is more commonly known as the Murroe Polka.
“The Leitrim Polka” ~ take 2
Me too, I didn’t believe this wasn’t already here… I didn’t have a name for it though… I think I must have tried ever bar possible, here and online, without results. Weird! Why? Well, it is just such a familiar and lovely polka, also considering those who’ve given it circulation, like "The Kilfenora Ceili Band". I play it with some slight differences, and some usual variations too. Here’s a simple take on it ~
T: Leitrim, The
K: D Major
|: c |
d2 d>A | Bd A>F | DF Ad | fd e2 |
d/e/f/e/ dd/A/ | Bd A>F | Da fd | e2 d :|
|: e |
fa af/e/ | fa fe | fa dd/e/ | fa e2 |
fa af/a/ | ba fd | Aa fd | e2 d :|
Other possible starts ~
|: c | dd/c/ d>A | Bd AA/F/ | ~
|: c | d/e/d/c/ dA | B/c/d A2 | ~
|: e | fa f>e | f/g/a f>e | ~
|: e | f>a fe | fa f2 | ~
The second last bar in the "B" part was always murder on the piano accordion getting the stretch from the low to the high A without watching your fingers - imagine the embarrassment of landing on a high G or, worse still, a high B. A great tune nevertheless and the drive on the Stockton’s Wing recording was something else - I think Steve Cooney was with them at the time.
Damn Bannerman, you mean I’m not the only one with little hands? We are a delicate lot aren’t we? I guess we can’t all be Seamus Ennises… 8-)
That’s why I moved back to fiddle Ceolachan - I reckoned that if God wanted us to be piano accordion players we’d be born with eyes in our finger tips!
"The second last bar in the "B" part was always murder on the piano accordion getting the stretch from the low to the high A without watching your fingers - imagine the embarrassment of landing on a high G" - just realised my mistake here, I meant the low D to high A in the second last bar of the "A" part of the tune; even the most mediocre piano box players should be able to make an octave jump from low to high A without looking!
Or so one might hope… I’d figured you meant the D to a. Now I’ve got to go check a keyboard somewhere and see what the stretch is like without a jump to it, D to a… I’ll be back ~ Damn! Can anybody do that without a jump? ~ maybe Ennis’s spidery hands? :-/ Wise move to the fiddle Bannerman…
Apologies Ceolachan for my slip up on ABC conventions - you’re spot on that it’s D to a and I’d be fairly certain it was even beyond Ennis’s reach. I should, however, have been more specific about the PA which was a 120 bass model. I believe there’s a "Lady’s" version with less basses and smaller keys where the reach might just be possible. "Jumping" on keyboard instruments (and I’m not talking of Jerry Lee Lewis style antics) is not to be recommended!
Hope or damnation? ~
I remember seeing some piano accordion keyboards where the keys were about 2/3 the size of the usual, but even that would still leave it out of my reach. I do have a love of Jerry Lee Lewis antics though, or should I call it a weakness for? I don’t think his hands were necessarily large either, so there may be hope for us both, if we were to catch whatever illness it is that drives otherwise sane folks like Con to take up the HGV (Mack Truck) of musical instruments…
120 bass, whew!, and that’s before you start counting the chords?
Re: The Leitrim
My DADGAD fingerstyle guitar version : https://youtu.be/f89RYJR7rDg
Re: The Leitrim Rambler
Just for the record…this is a tune I wrote for the Stocktons Wing album Celtic Roots Revival and should have the credit I.M.R.O./M.C.P.S beside it on any recordings made of it. Disappointed this did not happen on the recordings described above. Maurice Lennon.