Dolly Varden (1)

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DOLLY VARDEN [1] (An Dolly Varden). Irish, Polka. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Source Murphy said the polka was not of the usual kind played for dancing in Sliabh Luachra, but rather it had its own associated dance-"Dance around like 'The Stack of Barley'." A 'dolly varden' was a kind of woman's outfit in the 19th century, consisting of a wide-skirted, tight-bodiced print dress, worn with a triangular scarf and a flowered hat with a wide, drooping brim. The name comes from a character in the novel Barnaby Rudge (1841) by Charles Dickens, wherein Dolly Varden is the locksmith's coquettish daughter who was wont to wear a dress of flowered dimity. Jackie Small, editor of CRÉ V, says: "The public were very fond of this character, and songs and dances were composed in her honour. This tune is known as 'William Clarke' in County Limerick."

Source for notated version: Kerry fiddler Denis Murphy [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Breathnach/Small (CRÉ V), 1999; No. 87, p. 46.

Recorded sources:




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