Langstrom's Pony

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X:2 T:Laustrum Poney (sic) M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig S:O'Farrell – Pocket Companion, vol. 1 (c. 1805) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D g | fed cAA | cAA ecA | fed cAA | BG(B/c/) dBG :| |: cec dfd | cde ecA | cec dfd | BG(B/c/) dBG :| |: cAg fed cde ecA | cAg fed | BGB/c/ dBG :| |: cBA a2e | (a/b/)af ecA | BAG g2e | (g/a/)ge dBG :| |: A2d cAA | cAA ecA | A2d cAA | BG(B/c/) dBG :| |: (f/g/)af g2e | f2d ecA | (f/g/)af g2d | BG(B/c/) dBG :|]



LANGSTROM'S PONY (Capaillín Langstern). AKA - "The Langstern Pony," "Langstram Pony," "Lostrum Ponia," "Lanstrum Poney," "Lastrum Pone," "Lanxtrum Pony." AKA and see "Draught of Ale (A)," "Farrell's Pipes," "Fourpenny Girl (The)," "Grania's Welcome Home (2)," "Priest's Leap (3) (The)," "Saddle the Pony (3)," "Sweet Tibby Dunbar." Irish, Double Jig (6/8 or 3/2 time). A Mixolydian (most versions: G Major (Thompson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Thompson): AABB (Breathnach, Kennedy, O'Farrell): AABBCCDD (Brody, Flaherty, Mallinson, Mulvihill): AABCCDDE (Mitchell). One of the oldest continuously played jigs in the Irish repertoire, although the tune may possibly be of Scots origin, as has been noted in several sources. The titles "Lang Strumpony" and "Lass Trumponey" have also been identified by Matt Seattle as coming from older Scottish collections, and there is some conjecture that all these permutations may have derived from an original title in Gaelic. An oddly-titled variant, "Langtaum Ging" was entered in the 1780-1804 music manuscript collection of fiddler John Fife (perhaps from Perthshire, but also may have made entries while at sea), who called it a 'quick step'. A setting ("Lastrumpony") is to be found in James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, published in London around 1760, and Scottish amateur violinist and writing master David Young included it in his MacFarlane Manuscript (c. 1740, No. 4, p. 95) (as "Lang Strumpony"), "Written for the use of Walter Mcfarlan of that ilk."

However, "Langstrom Pony" appears a decade or two prior to Scottish versions in an Irish publication, John and William Neal's (A Choice Collection of Country Dances with their Proper Tunes, Dublin, 1726) as "Lastrum Pone" in a seven-part setting. It also was printed in the 18th century in Hibernian Muse (lxxxvi, c. 1780) as "Lostrum Ponia" and, at the beginning of the 19th century, under the titles "Laustrum Pony" and "Farrell's Pipes" in O'Farrell's Pocket Companion vol. 1 (1806-11) and National Music for the Union Pipes (c. 1800) respectively. The melody, in a more developed Irish setting, has long been a favorite of uilleann pipers. "Langstrom's Pony" appears in the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork uilleann piper and Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman [1]. Breathnach (1976) says his variant is "more or less" the version found in O'Neill's as "Saddle the Pony (3)," and also finds it in another, unknown, manuscript as "Fourpenny Girl (The)." He finds the tune similar in parts to "Paddy O'Rafferty." Paul de Grae finds another variant in Feldman & O'Doherty's Northern Fiddler (1976) under the title "King William's Rambles." See also the Québecois jig "Uncle Paddy," which shows some striking resemblances to "Langstrom's Pony", and can be considered a derivative tune-certainly in the first strain. "Highway to Dublin (The)" also has some similarities.

Paul de Grae remarks, "Nowadays, probably as a result of the Dé Danann recording of it, the tune is usually known as "Langstrom's Pony" and is played with three parts."


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - How to Change a Flat Tire [Brody]; piper Seamus Ennis, 1959 (Dublin, Ireland) [Breathnach]; fiddler Philip Duffy (b. 1966, London, now residing in Dublin) [Flaherty]; piper Willie Clancy (1918-1973, Miltown Malbay, west Clare) [Mitchell]; fiddler John Doherty (1895-1980, Donegal) [Feldman & O'Doherty]; fiddler Pat Neilly [Bulmer & Sharpley].

Printed sources : - Breathanch (CRÉ II), 1976; No. 46, p. 26 (appears as "Capaillín Langstern" {Langstern Pony}). Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 163. Boys of the Lough, 1977; p. 6. Bulmer & Sharpley (Music from Ireland vol. 2), 1974; No. 44. Cotter (Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor), 1989; 54. Feldman & O'Doherty (The Northern Fiddler), 1979; p. 61 (appears as "Untitled Slip Jig"). Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 31. Kennedy (Jigs & Quicksteps, Trips & Humours), 1997; No. 99, p. 24. R.M. Levey (First Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland), 1858; No. 86, p. 34. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 78, p. 34. Mitchell (Dance Music of Willie Clancy), 1993; No. 80, pp. 74-75. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 55, pg. 77. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. 1), c. 1805; p. 32 (appears as "Laustrum Poney"). Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 11), 1760; p. 123. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 91. Sullivan (Session Tunes, vol. 2); No. 26, p. 11 (appears as "The Langstern Pony"). Samuel, Anne & Peter Thompson (The Hibernian Muse), London, 1787; No. 87, p. 54.

Recorded sources : - Front Hall 018, How To Change a Flat Tire- "Traditional Music of Ireland and Shetland." Gael-Linn CEF 069, Paddy Glackin- "An Fhidil Straith II" (1980). Gael-Linn CEF 087, Dé Danann. Mist Covered Mountain" (1980). Island ILPS9432, The Chieftains - "Bonaparte's Retreat" (1976). Maggie's Music MM220, Hesperus - "Celtic Roots." Shanachie 79006, Mary Bergin- "Traditional Irish Music."

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [2]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [3]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [4]
Hear piper Willie Clancy playing the tune at the Comhaltas Archive [5]
Hear fiddler Sean Keane playing the tune at the Comhaltas Archive [6]
See a standard notation transcription of the melody from David Young's MacFarlane Manuscript (c. 1740) [7]



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