Galway Belles

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X:1 T:Galway Belles M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Polka K:Emin E>F GA|Be B>B|A>F DF|EF D/E/D| E>F GA|Be B>B|AF DF|E2E2:|| ee B>B|ee B>B|A>F DF|EF ED| ee B>B|ee B>B|AF DF|GE E2| ee B>B|ee B>B|A>F DF|EF ED| E>F GA|Be B>B|AF DF|E2 E2||



GALWAY BELLES. AKA - "Galway Belle (The). AKA and see "Cuz's Polka," "Galway Rogue," "Kerry Polka (2)," "69th Street Polka." Irish, Polka. E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B (Harker/Rafferty): AABB' (Miler & Perron). A Sliabh Luachra, County Kerry, polka. Boston, Mass., button accordion player Jerry O'Brien called the polka "Galway Belle," and may have obtained the tune from County Kerry fiddler Paddy Cronin, when he was resident in that city[1]. There are several tunes sourced to Cronin in his 1952 collection. The alternate title "Cuz's Polka" references concertina and button accordion player Terence "Cuz" Teahan (1905-1989, of Glountane, south County Kerry and Chicago. The "69th Street Polka" title comes from Lesl Harker (Rafferty, 2005). The Scottish tune "Campbell's Farewell to Redcastle" has a similar melodic contour and theme coding, albeit in the major mode.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - New Jersey flute player Mike Rafferty, born in Ballinakill, Co. Galway, in 1926 [Harker].

Printed sources : - Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 283, p. 91. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 130. O'Brien (Irish Folk Dance Music), 1952; No. 117.

Recorded sources : - Great Meadow Music GMM 2018, Frank Ferrel & Joe Derrane - "Fiddledance" (2004).




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  1. Paul de Grae, notes to "World Fiddle Day 2019, Fiddle Recital", [1]