Jamaica polka

Also known as Hey Jolly Broom Man, Jamacia, The Jolly Broom-Man, The Jolly Tradesman, Jovial Broome Man, Prodigals Resolution, The Slow Men Of London, Sometimes I Am A Tappster New, Sometimes I Am A Tapster New.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

Jamaica has been added to 1 tune set.

Jamaica has been added to 26 tunebooks.

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Two settings

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Fourteen comments

a popular 17th century dance tune; several broadside ballad songs are set to the tune, including the lewd Jolly Tradesman, from Pills To Purge Melancholy.

Popular where ?

This is an English country dance tune. There’s a nice recording of it somewhere by the Broadside Band. I believe it is played in G on that recording.

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In 4/4

“G”G2 B2 B2 cd | “C”e2 d2 e4 | “G”d2 B2 B2 AG | “D”A4 “G”G4 :|
“G”g2 g2 “D”f2 ed |“C” e2 e2 “G”d2 B2 |“G” g2 g2 “D” fg a2 |“A” e4 “D”d4 |
“G”g2 g2 “D”f2 ed |“C” e2 e2“G” d2 B2 | “C”cd e2“G”d2 cB |“D” A4 “G” G4 ||

Here an interesting version (with chords) in 4/4 probably more similar to the original version.

Re: Jamaica

This tune was originally known as the “Slow Men of London”, but later became known as the “Jovial Broome Man” when a ballad with this title was written and set to the tune:

A facsimile of this ballad is held in the British Library. Online version here:


Re: Jamaica

From a slow man to a jovial tradesman… what a transition.
I like the slow way in which Dave Swarbrick plays it.

Re: Jamaica

Performed by Barokksolistene on the Alehouse Sessions tour - recently on BBC and still on iplayer as of today.