Bluebell Polka (The)

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X:1 % T:Bluebell Polka R:polka C:trad. S:played A - B - A - C M:C| L:1/8 Q:80 K:G (3Bdg| "G"b2 b2 gfge |"D"d2 d2 "G"B3 G |"D"FGAB "C"c2 d2 | "D"ed^cd "G"B2 (3Bdg | b2 b2 gfge| "D"d2 d2 "G"B3 G |"D"FGAB cdef | "G"g2 b2g2 :| K:D B2 | "D"A2 A2 FAdf |"A"a2 a2 "F#m"f4 |"A"a2 ^g2 "G"=g2 e2 | "D"b2 a^g "A"a2 f2 | "D"A2 A2 FAdf | "A"a2 a2 "F#m"f4 |"A"a2 ^g2 "G"=g2 e2 | "D"d2 f2 d2 :| K:C f2|"C"e2 e2 ef g2 | e2 e2 ef g2 | "Dm"fefg fe d2 | fefg fe d2 | "C"e2 e2 ef g2 | e2 e2 ef g2 |"Dm"fefg "G"fe d2| "C"c2 e2 c2 :|



BLUEBELL POLKA. AKA - "Little Pet Polka" (Ireland), "Curlew Hills (The)" (Ireland). English, Scottish, Irish; Polka. G Major ('A' part), D Major ('B' part) & C Major ('C' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBAACCAA. Attributed to one Frank Stanley in the Kerr collection (c. 1880's), the earliest publication found to date. Scottish musician and band leader Jimmy Shand recorded an influential version, one of the best-selling singles of his era, however, a much earlier Scottish version was recorded on a 78 RPM disc by an Edinburgh melodeon player named James Brown in 1911. Brown's name for it was "Little Pet (Caledonian Polka)," a name that survives in Irish tradition. According to Philippe Varlet, the melody was known to Irish musicians in the 78 RPM era. It was recorded by the renowned County Sligo/New York fiddler James Morrison for Columbia in 1935, and later, in the 1950's, by Mickey Carton, for the Copley label. The Gallowglass Céilí Band waxed "Blue Bell Polka" for Irish Columbia. The tune is sometimes used for an accompaniment to the Irish dance Siamsa Beirte (which roughly translates as 'play for two'), a kind of two-hand hornpipe sixteen bars in length. The dance apparently is of no particular antiquity. In Holland an early version was played as "Piederman's Polka." The melody sounds quite similar (and may be ancestral) to the American "Flop Eared Mule (1)."

Printed sources:

Recorded source:

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune Book, vol. 2), 1954; p. 27. Kerr (Merry Melodies vol. 1), c. 1880; No. 14, p. 51. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 144.

Recorded sources: - Topic TSCD607, Billy Cooper, Walter & Daisy Bulwer - "English Country Music" (2000. Originally recorded 1962).



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