A fantastic O’Carolan tune, we played it in a group many years ago and it Baroque feel using cello, harp, violin, and pipes.
Great tune - but be aware that it’s only called a "polka" because it’s in 2/4. It hasn’t got a polka feel about it (not surprising - the polka as we know it wasn’t around in Carolan’s time), and if it were written in 4/4 then it would be much closer to a reel.
Must disagree with your comment ‘lazyhound’. To me it does have a polka feel and 2/4 is the right signature. Consider the contrast between those bars with 2 pairs of quavers and those bars with to sets of 4 semi-quavers. Fairly standard in many Irish Polkas, e.g. "Johnny Leary’s", "St. Mary’s".
Each bar has a 2-beat emphasis anyway but I suppose we should use the term ‘Polka’ with care. Being an ex morris dancer I cannot help thinking about the stepping that could go with this tune, being: 1.2.3 HOP.
@ hetty - are you suggesting that there is some fundemental difference between the Morris dancer’s "double-step" and the polka step?
Morris "Double-Step" and "Polka Step"
Both are: 1,2,3 HOP. but I’ve never danced the morris double step going round and round in a circle movement. And certainly not holding my fellow morris dancers in a ballroom, or similar hold. however I have danced a polka step with a female partner and perambulated around a dancefloor either slowly & sparingly or boldly and flamboyantly in a circular momentum completely seperately from any other dancers. So I suppose IMHO there is a fundamental difference in the execution of said step therefore the labels.
On the Hop!
Yes hetty - and I would also be the wrong length for most polka dances …
… not to mention that "polkas" didn’t exist in O’Carolan’s time …. 😉
We can hear it also on O’Stravaganza by Hugues de courson (perhaps that is what you’re telling about JACKB)
Re: Miss McDermot’s
there is another recording of this- on ‘Clannad’s’ 1972 debut album, track 8, titled ‘Mrs. McDermott’. There is another section in their version & it is played in a different key (E minor?), but it is definitely the same tune.
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