Captain Byng

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X:1 T:Captn. Byng M:C L:1/8 R:Reel B: Joseph Lowe - Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, B:book 1 (1844–1845, p. 11) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G g|fdgd BGGB|cAag fdef|{a}gfgd BGGB|cAdB G2 G:| c|BGdG BGGB|cAeA cAAc|BGdG BGGB|cAdB G2 Gc| (BG)dG BGGB|cAeA cAAc|BGdB ecdB|cAdB G2G||



CAPTAIN BYNG (An Taoiseac Buinge). AKA - "Capt. Bing." AKA and see "Colonel Byng's Favorite." Scottish (originally), Irish; Reel or Polka. Ireland, County Kerry. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Athole, Gow, Lowe, Skye): AABB (Taylor): AABB' (Kerr). Composed by Scottish fiddler, ensemble leader, music publisher and composer Nathaniel Gow (1766–1831) as "Colonel Byng's Favorite". It is popular in several genres: as a fiddle tune set as a both a polka and a reel in Irish and Scottish traditions, and as a bagpipe tune for the Great Highland Bagpipes. There was a Captain George Byng, who in 1805 commanded the Bellinqueux, a 64 gun ship-of-the-line in the Royal Navy. He became a Captain in 1795, in time for the wars with France during the Napoleonic era, and in 1806 he was involved with the capture of Capetown, South Africa. However, since the Irish tune appears to be derivative of Gow's melody, probably the title "Captain" was simply a substitution for "Colonel", rather that referring specifically to a person named Captain Byng. See also the extremely similar tune "Miss Betsy Robertson." Anthony Buffery says there is a tune family in Ireland derived from "Captain Byng," which includes the polkas "Captain Byng," "Mrs. Ryan's," and "Brosna Polka No. 3;" the slide "Stool of Repentance;" the reels "Pope's Toe (The)," "Templeglantine Reel (1) are all different settings but recognizably the same tune," says Anthony. The tune was entered into the large 1840 music manuscript collection of multi-instrumentalist John Rook, of Waverton, Cumbria.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - set dance music recorded at Na Píobairí Uilleann, late 1980's [Taylor].

Printed sources : - Amhlaoibh & Durham (An Pota Stóir: Ceol Seite Corca Duibne/The Set Dance Music of West Kerry), No. 5, p. 14 (appears as "Captain Bing"). Breathnach (CRÉ 2), 1976; No. 113 (appears as untitled polka). Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland, vol. 2), 1976, No. 74. Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 239. Gow (Fourth Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 2nd ed., originally 1800; p. 4. Jordan (Whistle and Sing!), 1975; p. 45. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), 1880'a; No. 111, p. 14. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 1), 1844–1845; p. 11. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 93. Mallinson (101 Polkas), 1997; No. 17, p. 7. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 736, p. 129. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 167. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 98. Taylor (Traditional Irish Music: Karen Tweed's Irish Choice), 1994; p. 36 (polka setting). Taylor (Music for the Sets: Blue Book), 1995; p. 21 (polka setting).

Recorded sources : - CCF2, Cape Cod Fiddlers – "Concert Collection II" (1999).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings [2]



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