C polka

Also known as The C, Curly Ker, Voiceless Palative Plosive Followed By The Inherent Vowel.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

C has been added to 13 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: C
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
|:G,C CB,/C/|DB, CD/E/|FF EC|B,/C/D/C/ B,/A,/G,|
G,C CB,/C/|DB, CD/E/|FF EC|DB, C2:|
|:EF/G/ EF/G/|ED/C/ B,>B,|C/B,/C/D/ E/D/C/B,/|A,B, A,G,|
EF/G/ EF/G/|ED/C/ B,>B,|C/B,/C/D/ E/D/C/B,/|A,B, C2:|
X: 2
T: C
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
Bars 3 & 4 (A music) should read;|FD/F/ EC|D/E/D/C/ B,/A,/G,|
Bars 7 & 8 (A music) should read;|FD/F/ EC|DB, C2:|
Bars 1
& 11 (B music) should read;|ED/C/ B,>C|D/C/D/E/ F/E/D/C/|
Bars 14 & 15 (B music) should read;|ED/C/ B,>C|DD/E/ F/E/D/C/|
# Added by hetty .

Twenty-seven comments

C Polka

This tune is a favourite at Bals, French and Breton sessions and European music festivals. Variations exist but this version is transcribed from Panic at the Cafe (Eaton/Cutting). It’s know collectively with another similar Polka (that I will sumbit shortly) as the “C Polkas”. I’ve only ever heard it referred to by that name.

Is it ever played at any sessions in Ireland, I wonder ? If not, why post it here ?

Posted by .

I think I may have heard it in sessions before, although not often. It is a nice wee tune. I like it. Out of interest, why post it in such a low octave? I know I am just being lazy but it would be easier if the notes were within the staves.

Whether it is common in sessions in Ireland or not it is a fairly simple, straight-forward polka, that would fit in just fine in Irish sessions. It is surely reasonably in keeping within the tradition and not an obscure Klezmer tune or Classical piece.

Here is the album mehitabel23 was referring to. You can even hear a clip of them playing the tune here with, admittedly a not very Irish feel to it.


That is just their interpretation though.

No Kenny, I don’t think it is often played in sessions in Ireland. But neither are all the An/En Dros, Hanter Dros, or Bourrées. Nor Wizard’s Walk :D

It was posted here, Kenny, and has a right to be here, because it is a good tune. Just like all the other good non-Irish tunes on this site. What is this, the World’s biggest Irish session tunebook? Well, yes I suppose, but it’s also a place for musicians around the World who have an interest in Irish music to share tunes they like.
And actually, the Wizard’s Walk has been played once in at least one session in Ireland. This is because I played it. I did get some funny looks, though.
I like the name, by the way. Short ant succinct. To the point.

Or maybe it’s actually a tune written about a computer language? Is the other polka known as C+?

Being an ‘An Dro’ fan I have no objection to this being here and with a clip of Andy Cutting playing can’t be bad but having heard the clip I find that your abc, mehitabel, is not quite right.
Bars 3 & 4 (A music) should read; | FD/F/ EC | D/E/D/C/ B,/A,/G, |
Bars 7 & 8 (A music) should read; | FD/F/ EC | DB, C2 :|

Bars 10 & 11 (B music) should read; | ED/C/ B,>C | D/C/D/E/ F/E/D/C/ |
Bars 14 & 15 (B music) should read; | ED/C/ B,>C | DD/E/ F/E/D/C/ |

Haven’t heard your second Polka but would ask if your abc is correct there?

Posted by .

As trad tunes, they are open to interpretation. And the versions here don’t match exactly the ones on Panic at the Cafe, but they are the versions that I know, and Panic at the Cafe has them quite similar. Same as with all trad tunes I guess. If you want to check this and the other against the Panic at the Cafe versions, you can send me an email and I’ll send you the recording 🙂

Thanks mehitabel. Your first comment at the top of this page implies that your abc is based on the CD recording ‘Panic at the Cafe’ thus my comments. However I do understand your point.
Email is on its way and I look forwad to the recording.

Posted by .


Kenny is from Scotland so his relevance to an Irish music collection is held in the same light as this tune.

All good tunes should be posted on here so WELL IN mehitabel23!

Posted .

Do you actually know anything about him? I suggest you read around a bit before you say stuff like that. In a few years time you could be seriously embarrassed reading back over these comments. 😏

Yes but DOW he always says stufff like that and it gets up my tree…i don’t care whether his reputation is good or not…

Posted .

It’s not about his reputation being good. It’s more to do with the comments about his “relevance to Irish music” or “relevance to an Irish music collection”.

I don’t think Kenny intends to pick on the poster of this tune. I think he’s probably trying to encourage the poster to take some responsibility for giving some background as to how the tune relates to Irish music. It’s not about the origins of the tune. We’ve all posted tunes that aren’t Irish, including Kenny himself. It didn’t take me long to find a Galician tune in amongst the list of tunes he’s posted during his time here. But look in the comments and you’ll find he justifies it by telling us first of all who he learnt it from, and then also that it’s been played by the likes of Sharon Shannon and Lunasa.

I’ve posted quite a few non-Irish tunes, but I do my best to try and make them relevant to Irish music. For example, in my profile you’ll find that I’ve gone to considerable lengths to show (often via comments on tune pages linked from my profile) how tunes from Northumberland have been passed to and fro across borders and how they might have spread e.g. from Scotland and into England and Ireland in various settings. I’ve also tried to trace how the names of tunes have changed as they’ve spread from place to place, and how forms have changed, e.g. the Scottish style single jigs turned to slides when they reached SW Ireland and the English and Scottish 3/2 tunes turned into Irish hop jigs.

Ok so I don’t expect others to bother doing all that stuff, but a few little snippets of info would be good - just something to personalise the tune a bit, and tie it in with the Irish tradition. Like for example, “this isn’t an Irish tune, but I heard it at an Irish session in Colchester, and went home and learnt it”.

I think maybe what Kenny said was shorthand for what I just said. Don’t simply take it as negative criticism.

Point taken

Posted .

NameChangesRConfusing - It is most frequently pronounced as the name for latin alphabet: C (IPA: /siː/) (descended from the Greek kappa/gamma, gimmel in Hebrew, ASCII 67 or 99), or if you are searching for an alternative, you can always use a voiceless palatal plosive followed by the inherent vowel, or in X-SAMPA the voiceless palatal fricative followed by the inherent vowel, but that’s quite contraversial.

Dow - I would post more about this tune if I could find anything more out about it, and next time I’m at a bal or something I will ask around and be sure to post the information here 🙂

Dan - I just lost the game.


Anyhow…I thought you pronounced the title “curly ker” which is what i was told “C” was pronounced..this avoided confusion with “kicking ker” which was the name for “K”…aah good old primary school…i miss it!

Posted .

Well you can continue to call it “curly ker”, I will call it “voiceless palative plosive followed by the inherent vowel” and we’ll see if anyone understands what we’re talking about. How are you getting on with C*?

Adding Comments

To pick up on your point Dow about lack of comment from some people, It would be helpful to all of us if people put something in their profiles. Tell us where they come from, what they play, what their experience of playing is etc.
I’m totally amazed how many profiles are just not there. Are people ashamed or worried about revealing something about their identity?

Posted by .

Could be something for the discussion page perhaps.

Posted by .

It has appeared on the discussions page a few times. The last time was certainly within the last couple of weeks or so. It annoys me too when profiles are blank. I don’t need to know who someone is but where they are and what their instrument is shouldn’t be giving too much away.

Not sure that anyone on this thread falls short on that score. Right enough, NCRC (note that is not NCFA! 🙂 ) does not have much but then again anyone doing a bit of research into their TheSession postings should be able to figure out who they used to be.

Ach……….mine stanes !

Posted by .

Re: C

There are many tunes on this site that are not Irish. The site is named ‘the session,’ as opposed to ‘the session exclusively to tunes proven to be composed in Ireland or by an Irish person.’ Can a ‘polka’ ever truly be Irish?

Re: C


Posted by .

Re: C

Love the second setting!