Ring The Banjo polka

Ring The Banjo has been added to 9 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: Ring The Banjo
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: A2 dd |c/B/A dd | c/B/A dB/d | ed c2 | BA B/c/d | ed cd | ed cA |Bc d2 :|
|: df a2 | gg f2 | df aa | gf e2| cA B/c/d |ed cd | ed cA | Bc d2 :||
# Added by deeor .

Nine comments

Gan Ainm Polka

This wee tune popped into a friend’s head last week. We think he learned it from the County Down fiddler Jackie Donnan (dec’d).
Does anyone recognise it?

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"Ring the Banjo" is its name

A friend who has a great memory for tunes and names has now told me that the tune is called ‘Ring the Banjo’.
It’s a Quadrille tune played for the 1st figure of the Lancers.
The version I have posted may not be quite accurate so I may amend it once I hear the "correct" version.
Should it remain classified as a polka or should it be put into another category?

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2/4 seems right fight for it…

Any more information on the tune is always welcome. What’s your source for the information about ‘The Lancers’ connection?

That makes sense, they did use popular song airs, appropriate ones, for accompanying the sets of quadrilles, which includes ‘The Lancers’… Sometimes they’d create a whole set of tunes for the dance figures. The consequence of this was "The Dublin Set", which was the same old dance, but with songs with a Dublin connection, including "Molly Malone". There was a similar Belfast set, of tunes, and sets connected to things like opera airs and famous celebrities ~ "Jenny Lind"… I even remember one where the cover illustration was of people in black face and the airs were all accordingly associated, along the lines of "Ring De Banjo"…

Stephen Foster

Just clicked the link ~ ABSOLUTELY! ~ there were Stephen Foster sets, his tunes arranged for the sets of quadrilles (which as said, includes ‘The Lancers’). Chances are, deeor, if you’re interested, you’ll find them in the library system in Belfast, or at Queens University. There are quite a few in Dublin in the National Library, a favourite haunt of ours…

The Lancers Connection

"What’s your source for the information about ‘The Lancers’ connection?"
A friend and her husband who play for dancers. Next time I see her I’ll ask if the tune is used currently. Jackie Donnan from whence the tune came, played for dancers, (and danced himself) almost all his life. He would have been playing when Stephen Foster material would have been more in vogue.
I must say I found the title a bit incongruous but the Stephen Foster angle would explain it.

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Ring the Banjo

I have now modified the original ABC’s so that the tune is now correct according the recollections of my friends who play it. I don’t think Jeremy modifies the midi file so anyone interested should download the ABC’s to hear the "proper" version.

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