Curlew Hills Polka (The)
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CURLEW HILLS (POLKA), THE. AKA and see "Ballybunnion Hop," "Chaffpool Post (2) (The)," "Glenbeigh Hornpipe," "McDermott's Barndance," "Morrison's Polka." Irish, Barn Dance. Recorded by Sligo fiddle master James Morrison in 1935 in New York. Michael Coleman also recorded the tune in 1927 under the title "James Gannon's Barn Dance (1)" (both Coleman and James Morrison had been students of fiddler James Gannon in south County Sligo). According to Caoimhin Mac Aoidh, the tune appears in Kerr's Merry Melodies set as a schottische ("A German Schottische", vol. 1, p. 46, set as the second part of a duet against "Home Sweet Home" as the first part). The Curlew Hills are rather modest hills located in south County Sligo-the name has no connection with the bird but rather is derived from the Irish corrsléibhte, 'the rounded hills'. The hills were the site of the Battle of the Curlews in 1599, when Red Hugh O'Donnell, who had been besieging the castle of Collooney, ambushed the relief column from Athlone headed by the Sir Conyers Clifford, Governor of Connacht, and routed them, killing the Englishman. Borders fiddler Willie Taylor along with Joe Hutton played the tune under the title "Bielbie's Hornpipe." Some Northumbrian sources also give the title as "Beilby's." See also the closely related "Military Schottische" family of tunes and the note for "Linehope Lope." The "Chaffpool Post (2) (The)" title for the tune seems unique to Sligo fiddler Michael Gorman.
Source for notated version:
Recorded sources: Regal Zonophone MR 1803 (78 RPM), James Morrison Band (1935).